Australian Government Systems

So you know I had an operation, right? I went to Medicare today to submit the outpatient receipts, and got 72% of the costs back, which when you consider how much a surgeon and anaesthetist cost, never mind the supporting and admin staff, can amount to quite a bit. I am thankful that I live in a country that has a medical system that provides support to its citizens for expensive treatments. Australians have the Safety Net, which provides rebates above standard allowances when you go over an annual limit.

In a similar vein, I’m also impressed at the amount of stuff you can do online in this country. My first ever experience of the Australian government was when I applied for my Working Holiday Visa almost 9 years ago. After queuing at the Australian Embassy in London, to be told it would be quicker to do it online, I received my Visa within 11 hours of submitting my application.

Today I found that not only can you lodge some forms of legal applications on-line with the Commonwealth Courts Portal, but after talking to one of their support folks, I can even serve the papers by email! I find Australia is way more innovative in terms on on-line access to state and federal information and services than the UK (the only system I have enough knowledge of to compare to) which is most likely due to the vast distances and isolation of parts of the population of this great landmass.

The strangest thing, though, after submitting the application to the court, is the portal view. It tells you what proceedings have been lodged, when the hearing will take place, who will be presiding, what documents you’ve submitted, who the applicant and respondent are, and even the outcome and ruling of the hearing. Now you can keep an eye on the process of your hearings as easily as you can write a blog post or order a pizza. Quite surreal.

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