It was signed Don because that is my name, one of the moderators under the handle of grappers, if you want a full copy of the email you sent to the moderators I will cut and paste it and send it to you in the private message function, which will show yo have one message at the right hand side opposite where is says welcome and your name.
All you need to do is go to the bottom post, then click on 'reply' and enter your story, to which you will get people responding to it.
It would be nice if you did tell us something about yourself and what brought you here and why?
Give it a try. Let's get to know you.
I wish the ring (this Chronic Pain) had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. (Frodo Baggins)
So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide, is what to do with the time that is given to us. (Gandalf the Grey)
I went to the Wesley private hospital pain clinic in Brisbane a couple of years ago. It was a 3 week outpatient program and was fully covered by my private health fund (Medibank). I didn't even need to pay the hospital excess (which surprised me, but was an arrangement between the clinic and the health fund). A reputable pain clinic should be able to explain the costs and if they can't or you want to double check maybe ring your health fund? I had to have a referral from my GP. As Mary said (earlier in the thread) a multidisciplinary-team approach has a strong evidence base and probably by doing such programs it saves the health funds in the longterm. It was hard work, but very worthwhile. I think some people even attend every year or every second year as a refresher.
In terms of private pain specialist I pay $245 per 30-60 minute appointment and get approx $156 back from Medicare (out of pocket $90), until it reaches the Medicare Safety Net, when the amount back from Medicare increases to 80% out-of-pocket, so gap is then about $10-15 per appointment. This is Brisbane example and again the doctor's surgery should be able to tell you what it will cost and what you'll get back. My specialist seems to be held in high esteem by other doctors and I have found him a God send. With chronic pain, medication and rehabilitation options etc often seem to go beyond the GP's expertise. You'll of course need a GP referral for any specialist. Due to my chronic pain I usually reach the Medicare threshold early in the calendar year and get more back on GP and any other doctors for the rest of the year and this applies to my husband as well as we are registered as a family with Medicare (though he has good health).
I also have been able to claim a rebate on some scripts through private health (e.g. Lyrica - though it may be on PBS now) and I make sure I keep all eligible receipts for tax purposes.
You certainly have a way with words Peter, the reply i got below has stopped me from furnishing my story "in full"as it has no good ending.
Secondly, I am sorry that you have had bad experiences with doctors and specialists over the years. Please be aware that we have some very vulnerable people here. Everyone has a different experience and not everyone's is negative. Sometimes negative experiences can change around for the better. My own case was one of those and I know of many others. If you wish to post of your experiences please do it here. That way we can all read your story. Please be aware that we don't mention the names of health professionals here for very obvious reasons.