What are the differences between child services and adult services?

  • Child health settings focus a lot on your family whereas adult services will treat you as an independent adult. In the adult hospitals, you can take someone with you to appointments because it can help to have someone there to support you, and they can also help you remember all your questions, or even help ask difficult questions. Having a support person is great as they can remember information and may also ask important questions that you haven’t thought of yet. It is also a good idea to have some time by yourself with your doctor or other health professional in the Haemophilia Treatment Centre team, so you can ask different questions you may not want to say in front of others, and this also lets the medical team ask more personal questions.
  • Throughout your teenage years you may have noticed that your doctors start to talk more to you and less to your parents. In the adult service you are welcome to involve your parents or partner but you are encouraged to know about your medical conditions and you will be asked all the questions, not your family. It might be helpful for you to bring a list of questions with you. Try and get the most out of your appointment while you are there.
  • In an adult health service it is expected that you make your own appointments and take responsibility to show up and on time or to let the Haemophilia Treatment Centre know if you can’t make it. The team in the adult services are keen to support you, and understand that life gets complicated and that on the odd occasion you can’t get to an appointment.
  • Make sure you make a long enough appointment to discuss any concerns you might have.
  • There is usually no cost to attend the Haemophilia Treatment Centre as they are part of the public health care system. Services outside of the Haemophilia Treatment Centre and the public health system may incur charges; for example going to see a private specialist like a gynaecologist or dentist. Make sure you get your own Medicare card, and learn about how Medicare works.
  • Private health insurance is another thing to learn about. Whilst you are a student you may be covered by your parent’s private health insurance, if they have it. However once you start working or stop studying you would need to think about whether you will get your own health insurance and whether you can afford it, There are also tax consequences if you are working and don’t have private health insurance. Make sure you have a talk with your health service, Haemophilia Treatment Centre or doctor for more specifics and shop around for private health insurance if you need it to find something that suits you and your health needs.
  • Everyone needs a General Practitioner (GP) at some time – your Haemophilia Treatment Centre looks after your bleeding disorder but there are many other health issues that can happen in life. The first port of call may be your family doctor, or GP. Often GPs charge more than the amount (rebate) you get back from Medicare. There are many GPs who will reduce their charges if you have a health care card or have limited income. There are also some GPs who bulk bill which means they just charge the government part of the cost and you do not have to pay anything. While cost is very important, having a good GP is also essential. It is up to you to find a good GP. Talk to your family and friends about who they recommend.

Date last reviewed: 16/07/2018