Blood tests. Private services vs seeing your local GP
A blood test is something we all should do regularly if we are using performance enhancing drugs. I do not think anyone in the know would disagree with that. The next question is what blood tests should we get? In another article on the forum, this is explained and you can read about that by clicking here. All that is left to figure out now then, is how to go about getting the actual blood test? There are a number of ways you could go about getting a blood test in Australia and each method has its pros and cons to consider before making a decision that is right for you. Below, I have explained each method.
Method #1 – Seeing a bulk billed general practitioner
Visiting a bulk billed GP means the entire process is “free” if you have a Medicare card. The cost of the consultation with the GP and the blood test itself is of no charge to the patient. This is the obvious pro with this method. However, bulk billed GPs are typically inclined to be less understanding and may even refuse you the blood test of your choice in some cases. Another con is that in order to receive your blood test results, you will have to book another appointment with the GP in order to receive them. Because bulk billed GP clinics often deal with lower income demographics, the business model is less efficient compared to a private practice. It is not uncommon to wait 30-45 minutes extra when you arrive at the clinic because bulk billed GPs are often not on schedule with their appointments for the day. In short, bulk billed GPs are often running behind because they are a volume business.
Method #2 – Seeing a private doctor
A private doctor will require you to pay for your consults, but are often more understanding and willing to help if you find the right one. The price for a private doctor can range anywhere from $60-$150 per visit in Australia, depending on the reputation of the doctor. The downside to a private doctor is the cost for the consult and also having to return to the doctor to receive the results of your blood test. The blood test itself will still be of no additional charge. As well as private doctors typically being more willing to help you with your goal of getting a blood test, some of them have the knowledge to help steer you in the right direction of health. Unfortunately, in Australia, doctors who are educated on the topic of monitoring lab values on performance enhancement drugs are few and far between.
Method #3 – Using a private blood test service
A private blood test service requires no doctor’s appointment. That’s right, there is no need to see a doctor at all. This is an obvious pro with a private blood testing service. You will not be at the mercy of an authoritarian figure that is telling you what you can or cannot get tested. With a private blood test service, you can select a large range of specific blood tests and test just about anything you want if you have the budget. One of the forum sponsors www.imedical.com.au is a popular choice among the AST community for PED users because of the ease of business. With Imed, the process is simple, easy and fast. Once you select the lab values you want to check, you pay via common online payment methods, then you will be emailed a request form from Imed. That request form is the same as the request form you’d receive from your doctor. The request form is taken with you to the pathology for the nurse’s reference when drawing blood. Imed will then email you the results in the coming days. The only con with using a private blood test service is the harm to your wallet. Blood tests from a private service can cost anywhere between $150-$400 per test depending on what lab values you’d like to check. For most casual/intermediate PED users, a $200 blood test will provide an accurate enough picture of current health.
So there you have it. Three ways you can go about getting your blood tested in Australia. Which one is right for you?