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On the costs of first class medicals in Melbourne

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On the costs of first class medicals in Melbourne

Old 17th May 2019, 01:19
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Angry On the costs of first class medicals in Melbourne

I just went through my first medical class 1 here in Melbourne so I thought I'd give a rundown of the costs incurred. So here they are, for what it's worth in May 2019 A$:

Optometrist: $275 for a full one-hour check-up
Blood sample analysis: $90
Audiogram: $95
Electrocardiogram: $45
DAME: $475 (!?)
CASA: $75 (!?)

On a personal note, the only fee I find warranted in the above is perhaps the optometrist's. The lady did a thorough work and was super professional. That's definitely on the pricey side for a one-hour check-up but she truly gave me the impression that I left her place knowing more about my eyesight than when I came in. I can't say nearly as much of the DAME.

The ECG, audiograms and blood sample analysis are cow-milking schemes, no wonder here. That's especially true for the audiogram.

The DAME's fees are just way out of line. I have nothing against GPs in general but my guess is, they're on the low end of earnings of all medical practitioners and they're probably just trying to make a quick dollar in today's solid Aussie economy.

It honestly is just a very sad fact that a straightforward class 1 lands you north of $1000 in this country. There's obviously a cartel at work here when GPs can charge you such a fortune for one hour of their time. There seems to be no control or oversight on their fees and competition in that environment just doesn't work because this is no free market. To a larger extent this is yet again another example of how common things or services end up being disproportionately expensive in Australia compared to other OCDE countries. And boy do I feel for those of you whose class 1 required extra checks.
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Old 17th May 2019, 01:33
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Whilst the DAME may seem like just a GP, they need to have jumped through hoops to be approved by CASA to issue medicals which costs them time and money. It must also be onerous as the number of DAMEís is dropping, or so Iíve been told.

The other issue is that itís not like visiting your GP as itís not bulk billed, so youíre paying full price.

My GP charged me $275 for my initial Police Medical which is less comprehensive than the CASA one and doesnít require a blood test, but does take up to an hour.
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Old 17th May 2019, 01:49
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Perhaps Sydney is cheaper in this regard!
Just done class 1 renewal (shorter for the DAME than initial issue) in “the shire” for $256 including ECG and Audiogram.
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Old 17th May 2019, 02:12
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I think the idea that DAMEs are in it for easy quick money is not the case. If it was there would be more doctors clamouring to be DAMEs.

As I understand it the number of DAMEs is dropping, medicos no longer find it worth the aggravation of dealing with the bureaucracy of CASA so have been dropping out.

My DAME charged $350 last time for class 1, which included blood, ECG etc
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Old 17th May 2019, 02:37
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Originally Posted by Okihara View Post
The ECG, audiograms and blood sample analysis are cow-milking schemes, no wonder here. That's especially true for the audiogram.
You may end up being grateful for having had baselines established through the above mentioned checks unless you have been in the habit of doing this previously.

See where your hearing is after a few years of piston/ turboprop flying.

Think beyond the 'now'.
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Old 17th May 2019, 04:44
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To be fair bloods/audio are only every 5 years to 60, eyes even less so, some authorities require bloods every year.
For OP the $450.00 for the DAME seems waaay out of whack.

Last medical (58) was $150 DAME $49 ECG in Melbourne

Cheers.
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Old 18th May 2019, 02:03
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Originally Posted by galdian View Post
To be fair bloods/audio are only every 5 years to 60, eyes even less so, some authorities require bloods every year.
For OP the $450.00 for the DAME seems waaay out of whack.
Last medical (58) was $150 DAME $49 ECG in Melbourne
Fair enough. Could you please PM me with the name of your DAME? Cheers
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Old 18th May 2019, 07:09
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PM sent.

Cheeeeers.
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Old 19th May 2019, 21:47
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One thing some don't realise re the DAME is that they are still just a GP and they charge X amount of dollars per time block usually 10-15 mins per appointment so an aviation medical takes up multiple 'appointments' hence the higher charge.
Wait till you guys get to Nth of 60 if yr flying at the heavy metal level, twice a year means lots of $$$$ and PITA appointments!
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Old 20th May 2019, 06:36
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I think you will find that your DAME does a lot more than just give you a medical. He has to go through your whole medical history basically from day one, write it up in explanatory letters to AvMed, basically negotiate for you to ascertain what he and they are both happy with. Then he probably has follow up correspondence as well. I would say that $450 probably would not even go close to his real cost in these days of total bureaucracy.. If you don't believe this, try finding a DAME in a country town, they are few and far between because it is not worth their time or the hassle of dealing with the authority..I would think that you are being ripped of a lot more in a lot of aviation business's, ie ASIC, flight reviews, try getting an AOC. And don't let us talk of Part 61
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Old 20th May 2019, 08:53
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He filled in everything on CASA's medical record system while I was standing beside him. The only two fields he was unable to fill in were my glucose and triglyceride levels which came in with my blood sample analysis a couple of days later. I'm trying hard to remember but he himself said that this was all that was left for him to submit the request to CASA. This bloke was so functionally disorganised that he probably wasted a total of 30 min being logged out of his own computer and struggling to type his own password to get back in.
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Old 21st May 2019, 00:29
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A$75 is a bargain. My last CAA medical renewal fee over here was NZ$313.00! Thankfully they've since reduced it so now it's only NZ$120.75
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Old 21st May 2019, 00:55
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being logged out of his own computer and struggling to type his own password to get back in.
I think this might actually be - being logged out of the CASA inline system and needing to log back in. The CASA online system is notorious for this. And the online system probably adds 30 min to to process of doing the medical.
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Old 21st May 2019, 07:47
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Look at CA$A not the Doctors

Originally Posted by machtuk View Post
Wait till you guys get to Nth of 60 if yr flying at the heavy metal level
Do don't need to be flying heavy metal to be slugged. However, I don't think the issue is with the DAME. Obviously the price varies doctor by doctor and it depends on how many of the extras (blood, ECG etc) can be covered by the public health and/or insurance but it falls within a range. My doctor only charges for his time but CASA determines how much time he has to spend to do the paperwork.


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Old 22nd May 2019, 07:27
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Originally Posted by Okihara View Post
compared to other OCDE countries.
Thank goodness the DAME didn't pick up your dyslexia..
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Old 23rd May 2019, 01:48
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Originally Posted by gerry111 View Post
Thank goodness the DAME didn't pick up your dyslexia..
The DAME did. He said it's a common side effect from the pills I take daily to keep my severe bipolar disorder under control.
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Old 24th Jun 2019, 17:03
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Some of those costs are taking the piss...........but, my Class 1 medical picked up a genetic abnormality that required surgery to rectify. The condition would have killed me. But I still whinge about doing the medical, not the cost of it, just the pain in the arse process every friggin year.
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Old 24th Jun 2019, 17:05
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Dankpilot, take the train and tram to Medical One, Moonee Ponds. Dr Vince Galtieri, best DAME going around. Most of the tests can be done on-site at a reasonable cost. 2 unge was Vince's cost.
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Old 24th Jun 2019, 18:11
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Originally Posted by The name is Porter View Post
Some of those costs are taking the piss...........but, my Class 1 medical picked up a genetic abnormality that required surgery to rectify. The condition would have killed me. But I still whinge about doing the medical, not the cost of it, just the pain in the arse process every friggin year.

its crazy right! Oh no! Glad youíre okay then! Pretty scary. A lot of the students had problems they didnít know about with their hearts and theyíve been stopped from ever flying. Pretty sad 😾 Canít wait to do this every year haha not
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Old 25th Jun 2019, 11:48
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Just remember coffee prior to a blood pressure check and ECG is not a good idea.
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