In Australia, we are very fortunate to have access to well trained quality medical professionals. While there is always room for improvement (as there is across any industry), the few grumbles that you occasionally hear regarding the short comings of Medicare, the PBS or a particular facility or individual are a drop in the ocean when compared against other systems around the globe. Medically, we are quite literally the lucky country.
Personally, my GP has provided me with fantastic medical support across many decades and life stages. One of the aspects I have always found reassuring is that my GP has never been afraid to outsource, whether that be further testing to investigate a medical issue or a referral to a specialist. If we lived in a perfect world, that might be where this blog would finish. However, despite access to quality medical care, there are occasions when it’s clear a diagnosis and suitable treatment plan is difficult to determine. In such situations, a second opinion can be helpful but knowing who to turn to for that second opinion can be daunting.
Who will you see? How do you find that person? I have personal experience of this scenario but fortunately for me, I always knew who I was going to turn to for the second opinion. I have access to a service called Best Doctors. Best Doctors is a private company established by Harvard University medical specialists and now operates in 30 countries. Operating since 1989, it uses a global network of over 50,000 leading medical specialists to provide a second opinion. It can be used if you want to be certain a medical diagnosis is correct, if you don’t understand your diagnosis, if you need help deciding upon a suitable treatment plan or if you’re questioning why your symptoms aren’t improving.
The service isn’t readily accessible in Australia. The two avenues to access the service in Australia are via MLC Insurance and BUPA. I am eligible via both companies but working in the Financial Planning industry I decided to access the service via my MLC Insurance, allowing me to experience what we recommend to our clients first-hand. I am only at the start of this journey but so far so good. I have found the service easy to access, personable and efficient.
The journey ahead is unknown, for now, however I am very confident that my second opinion will be directed to a suitably qualified medical professional. My GP is also looking forward to the process, as it is a journey we are taking together. I am a believer in insurance – through my working life, I witness the randomness of medical conditions or accidents that can impact a person’s lifestyle and goals. Given the rising cost of living, it is hard to keep the faith and continue to pay for insurance premiums that, let’s face it, you hope you never need to use.
While I still don’t like having to pay for insurance, it is refreshing to find a valuable “hidden” service available at no additional cost. If you are unsure what features and benefits are available to you via your personal insurance cover, I recommend that you seek the professional opinion of a qualified financial planner. You just never know the impact it might have on both your financial and physical wellbeing.