Carers Program
Carers Program

Working with your Doctor

Making the Most of Your GP and GP Services
In your caring role a good working relationship with your GP and the GP of the person you look after can make things easier. It can help you improve your own health and well-being and the health and independence of the person for whom you care.

Before choosing or changing your GP, you need to decide what sort of relationship you want with them, especially if you and the person you care for share the same doctor. It is important that your own medical needs, as well as those of the person, are met. You may be relying on your doctor for care and support for a long time. Whether Medicare completely covers the cost of your visit to the doctors or you pay more on top, you both have a right to expect good quality medical care of your own choosing.

As well as referring you (or the person you care for) to medical specialists, your GP can also refer you to services such as podiatry physiotherapy or psychology (often called "Allied Health" services). You are able to claim a Medicare rebate for part or all of the costs of these visits, depending on the fee charged. For Allied Health services, your doctor will need to record a Care Plan as well as make a referral to a Medicare-accredited practitioner and there will be a limit to the number of visits you can claim per year.

Helpful Tips

  • Think ahead about what you want to discuss or know;
  • Write down your concerns beforehand;
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions;
  • If you have a lot to ask, tell the doctor/Receptionist  you want a "long appointment";
  • Ask your docotr about all options to help you decide on appropriate chooses;
  • Using the same GP as the person you care for may help you to gain a good knowledge of their condition and the treatments available.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • Do you bulk bill?
  • Do you have a locum or after- hours service when you're on leave?
  • Do you make house calls?

After Hours GP Services in SLHD
There are after hours GP services at Balmain and Canterbury Hospitals. These may be more suitable options for you than busy hospital Emergency Departments.

Contact Details:

Balmain General Practice Casualty
Hours: 7 days a week 8am - 10pm
Phone: 9395 2111

Canterbury After Hours Southern Suburbs Medical
Mon - Fri 6.30pm - 10.30pm
Sat 1.30pm - 9.00pm
Sun & PH  10am - 9.30pm 
Phone: 1300 665 569

GP Helpline
As part of ongoing health reforms the Australian Government introduced the afterhours GP helpline for medical advice when your usual Dr is not available. You can now speak to a GP over the telephone on 1800 022 222:

Important Links

Accredited Carer Employer