Posted by: David | 2009/05/26

Costs of repeat prescriptions...

Seeing that BiPolar is a lifelong chronic illness, that needs to be treated permanently - why is it necessary for a Psychiatrist to charge R500 for an appointment to simply have a chat and scribble on a piece of paper?
Can I go to a Psychologist for a prescription instead, and if so what is the maximum duration that can be prescribed?
What are your individual rates at present (for a half hour consultation)?

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Dear David

Your point regarding the high cost of treatment is well noted.

Psychologists cannot prescribe medication as they have not had any training in pharmacology.

The law determines that the maximum validity of a prescription is 6 months. This means that you will have to see a health care professional at least once every six months.

During a follow-up consultation your Psychiatrist should assess your current mental state, possible side effects on the medication and also sometimes make changes to medication. Depending on your condition and the medication you take he/she may also want to order blood tests.

Consultation fees are determined by the Department of Health, who issues a Reference Price List (RPL) on a yearly basis. Legally any healthcare practitioner can charge up to 300% of that rate. This list is available on the DOH website.

My Practice charges Discovery Premier B rates, which is around R 400 per 20 minute follow up.

I hope this answers your question.

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