My uncle has been saying for years that getting old ain’t for wimps and generally he seems to be right. The older we get the more inevitable it is that some parts of our body will finally wear out and pack it in, just like an engine or gearbox in a car. I think that’s the best way to look at life and maintain a humourous perspective about getting older.

Getting old can also be an expensive business, even if you are ‘Smart’ – capital S, and have private health insurance for when a trip to the specialist becomes unavoidable.

As my 73 year old father has just found out recently, doctors more than ever know how to charge like wounded bulls, in the space of around 4 hours a few rogue doctors, including an anaesthesist, made a cool $5000 our of my dad for a procedural prostate biopsy and two lightning fast non-surgical appointments with specialists either side of the biopsy.

My dad is a pensioner who battles through life like the rest, he eats well and has enough money to go on a few holidays but he goes without a few luxuries in life to afford the ever increasing BUPA premiums, which increase every April, always well above the CPI.

Including the $500 excess, which i feel is the only legitimate expense there is for someone with private health insurance, his final bill for the biopsy and the two brief encounters with specialists was $1400, but the doctors still made their 5 grand. The anaesthesist netted hundreds of dollars, not sure exactly how many, for walking ten metres & giving my dad one needle prick. I am definitely in the wrong profession.

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