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Assessing Fitness to Drive – Cairns Doctors

By July 30, 2018 No Comments

Medical fitness to drive

If you apply or renew your Queensland driver licence, you must notify The Department of Transport about any medical condition that is likely to adversely affect your ability to drive safely.

You must notify The Department of Transport if after you get or renew your Queensland driver licence you develop a permanent or long-term medical condition, or if you have a permanent or long-term increase in, or other aggravation of a medical condition that is likely to affect your ability to drive safely.

If your condition is temporary you don’t need to notify us unless the medical condition becomes long-term or permanent and is likely to adversely affect your ability to drive safely.

If you do not notify The Department of Transport about your medical condition, you may receive a maximum court-imposed fine of more than $7,800 and your driver licence may be cancelled.

Your health professional is legally permitted to notify us about your medical condition.

Medical conditions

Some of the more common medical conditions that are likely to affect your ability to drive safely include:

  • blackouts
  • diabetes
  • eye or vision problems
  • heart disease
  • neurological – dementia, stroke, seizures or epilepsy
  • psychiatric disorders
  • sleep disorders
  • alcohol or drug dependency

 

Drivers 75 and over are subject to regular medical assessments as well.

 

This means that if you are 75 or over, and want to keep driving, you must go back to your doctor at least once per year.  This does not affect the expiry date of your driver’s license, which is shown on your driver’s licence.

In some cases, your doctor may want to undertake more regular checks, and your Medical Certificate may be issued for a shorter period.  If you doctor issues a medical certificate for longer than 13 months, you may only use the certificate for 13 months from the issue date.

Permanent or long-term medical conditions

You need to have your medical fitness to drive assessed if you develop a permanent or long-term medical condition, or an increase in or change to an existing medical condition, that is likely to adversely affect your ability to drive safely.

If you are uncertain about your medical condition, and the impact it may have on your ability to drive safely, we recommend that you consult your health professional.

There are 2 medical standards:

  • private vehicle driver standard
  • commercial vehicle standard.

You will be assessed against the standard of driver licence that you hold or apply for and the purpose for which you drive, or plan to drive.

You must respond truthfully to questions from health professionals regarding your health status.

Drivers Medical’s cannot be booked online, as you need to see one of our nurses first, who will conduct some tests on you, before seeing a doctor.  For long term medical conditions and medications, it is best practice to always try and see your usual doctor, or if they are away, someone else in the practice who has seen you before and can review your medical file with you on the day.

Specialist assessment

Some medical conditions need assessment by a specialist qualified in managing your particular medical condition. Your general practitioner will refer you to a specialist who will undertake further assessment of your medical condition and provide a report back to your general practitioner.

If you can’t see a specialist and you have been assessed by your health professional as not meeting the criteria to hold an unconditional licence, talk to your health professional about whether you meet the criteria to hold a conditional licence.

While waiting for the specialist assessment, you may be permitted to drive if:

  • you have an appointment to see the relevant specialist at the earliest practicable opportunity

and

  • in the opinion of your health professional your medical condition is not likely to lead to an acute incapacity, or loss of concentration before the assessment occurs.

 

What are the costs?

 

As driving is accepted as being a necessity, any medically required assessments (private vehicle driver) are covered by Medicare.  This means that a Medicare rebate is available, or if you are being bulk-billed there is no out of pocket expense.

Driving for work (commercial vehicle driver) is not covered by Medicare, and a fee is payable at time of the appointment.  You will be supplied with a Tax Invoice as this is a legitimate expense for your business or employment.

Commercial Drivers Fees (as of 1 July 2018)

  • Basic Commercial:- $100.00 + GST
  • Basic Commercial + Drug(instant) and Alcohol Screen(DAS):- $160 + GST
    • In the event of a positive DAS, the collected sample can be sent to the lab for an in-depth review. Payment of $150.00 plus GST is required before the sample can be sent
  • Detailed Commercial + DAS + Physiometric Assessment:- $250 + GST

 

The easiest way to determine if you require a Commercial Drivers Assessment is if you are driving for work, or earn a living from your license.

Examples being:

  • Bus Driver
  • Truck Driver
  • Taxi Driver
  • Uber Driver
  • Courier/Delivery Drier
  • Limousine driver

For all Drivers Medicals, Private or Commercial, please call our amazing Medical Reception team on 07 4242 5300 and book a time with one of our nurses, and your usual or preferred Doctor.

For all other bookings, online is available by clicking here.