Mr O often says “Australia will kill a person with paperwork”. I often tend to agree! Yesterday we dashed off to the Medicare office to enrol Mr O and all the little Os for the third and final time! Third time, you ask? For the uninitiated, it goes like this. When a partner arrives on a temporary partner visa, they are entitled to an interim enrolment which expires annually. So we enrolled the first time the day after everyone arrived, then the second time a year later. The second interim enrolment expired today, so we really had to get this third and final enrolment done yesterday.
With Miss O 1 now 18 and likely to be heading off on her own life at any time, we thought it appropriate she have her own Medicare card and we would put the rest of the family on my Medicare card. We had previously been told we could do that once permanent residency was granted.
About a year ago Medicare and the Department of Human Services were combined into one and the website is different now. I printed and completed what I thought were the right forms, but when we arrived there I had only sort of got it right. It seems I can’t add my family to my card because “they are the ones with an arrival date”. OK, I’m not sure why anyone having an arrival date drives who can be added to what card, but in the end I have given up MY Medicare number and been transferred to Mr O’s Medicare number. I feel a little sad to have said goodbye to the number I’ve had for so long. As I didn’t know this, I was missing the Transfer Form. So we completed that and changed the details of the Contact Person on the Enrolment Form.
We were there about an hour, so it wasn’t too bad and we never have to do it again! Just as well we took Mr O Jnr 1 with us, as anyone over 15 needs to be there for the enrolment. Well, the forms said over-15s had to be present for the “initial” enrolment and while this was not the initial enrolment, I felt it better to be on the safe side and dragged him out of bed. Lucky I did – he needed to be there.
As I said to Mr O, if it had just been him, we wouldn’t have worried too much about being on time, but with four children? Who knows WHAT might happen!
Where was I last night? You got, the Royal Children’s Hospital! Late yesterday afternoon, Miss O 2, who has hay-fever in spring/summer and then seemed to just have a never-ending cold recently, started having a shocking coughing fit and vomiting. No fever, but I didn’t like the sound of her chest. After much discussion we decided a trip to the hospital was the safest option. Mr O wanted to come, but I can never see the point in both of us sitting around the waiting room of a hospital, so I suggested he stay home with the others. After all, he’d done the last trip when Mr O Jnr 1 did something to his neck! So at midnight we were in the waiting room. The triage nurse checked all the vitals and advised we had a two hour wait to see a doctor. Thankfully the nurse had no immediate concerns: he did agree Miss O 2 needed to see a doctor, but felt it could wait until this morning.
We came home and as we got out of the car, Miss O 2 vomited all over the lawn. Just as well we got out of the car first!
Miss O 2′s reaction to being able to visit this big shiny hospital for free was much as Mr O Jnr 2′s reaction had been. Totally wide-eyed wonder, especially at the fish tank.
We finally figured out Miss O 2 didn’t have a pain in her tummy, she actually meant nausea. While a horrible feeling, it is not pain as such. The vomiting was because she has been swallowing her phlegm. So distressing.
This morning it was off to the local GP and I parted with $88 for a Sunday consultation. Next stop was the chemist for a myriad of drugs and the hire of a nebuliser for another $177 (we will get $80 of that back, being the deposit on the hire of the nebuliser). We do not know if our young lady is an asthmatic, but the doctor says her lungs certainly are at the moment, probably due to an infection. She will be back there on Wednesday to be reassessed after the treatment. We have one drug once a day, another twice a day and the nebuliser four times a day.
Not having a full medical history doesn’t help. Miss O 2 says she has had this “can’t breathe” thing at least four times before in Nigeria, we will just have to wait and work it out. She had never experienced having a cold before arriving in Australia and let me tell you, blowing your nose is a learned skill! We hope it isn’t asthma, just the infection.
Like I said, with kids you just never know! Last minute we may have been with the Medicare enrolment, but thank goodness we did!
Best wishes to our Trouble Princess for a speedy recovery.
Note to overseas readers: Australia’s Medicare is not the same as the USA Medicare. In Australia everyone (residents and citizens) is enrolled in Medicare and we all pay a 1.5% levy to fund the system.