Choosing a specialist
If you've spoken to your General Practitioner (GP) about a health concern, they'll assess your condition and refer you to a specialist for further treatment if necessary. In most cases you'll have an initial consultation with the specialist. During this time you can ask your specialist some questions to make sure you feel comfortable with the proposed treatment plan. It will also give you an opportunity to know what costs you can expect from your procedure.
You and your specialist can discuss ways to reduce your out of pocket expenses, such as:
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Here are some useful questions to ask your specialist:
Do I really need the procedure and are there any treatments as an alternative to surgery?
What’s your experience in treating this type of condition?
What happens if I don’t do anything?
Can this procedure be done as day surgery?
What are the risks and potential complications if I have the procedure?
What must I do in the lead up to my admission to hospital?
What side-effects should I expect after my procedure?
What should I do if things don’t seem right after I’m discharged?
What medication do I need to take and for how long?
Will any other healthcare professionals (e.g. anaesthetist, assistant surgeon) be involved in my procedure? What are their costs?
Do I have the option of being discharged early with nib’s Rehabilitation in the Home program?
Don’t forget, you can seek treatment from a different specialist with lower fees, or one who will participate in nib’s MediGap to ensure you won’t have any out of pocket costs - your GP may have some suggestions, but your health fund may be able to provide you with more options. Your GP referral can be transferred to a specialist that you choose, so long as they’re in the same speciality field.