BOOKING AND CANCELLATION TERMS AND CONDITIONS


BOOKING AND CANCELLATION TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Date: 22 February 2022

These Booking and Cancellation Terms and Conditions (the Terms and Conditions) apply when you make an appointment for a clinical consultation or procedure with Marie Stopes International (ABN 63 093 595 192) trading as Marie Stopes Australia (we, us, our).

By submitting a booking enquiry and/or confirming an appointment reservation with us, you agree to these Terms and Conditions.

  1. Booking process

We accept booking enquiries through a variety of channels, including our telephone hotline and online booking enquiries made through our website.

As part of our booking process, we will:

  • ask you to confirm your preferred location and date / time for your appointment and your contact details;
  • ask you certain clinical questions about your health to assess your eligibility for the service you have requested;
  • provide you with an estimate of your final out-of-pocket costs for the requested service; and
  • ask you to pay an up-front Booking Fee.

There are some different requirements for clients who wish to book a teleabortion service, or a service that is delivered at one of our third-party day surgery or hospital facility partners.  Please see paragraph 4 for details.

Your appointment reservation will only be confirmed once these steps have been completed.  If you make a booking enquiry via our website, we may contact you by phone to complete these steps with you.

Once your appointment reservation has been confirmed we will send a confirmation e-mail to your nominated e-mail address.

  1. Up-front Booking Fee

For most services, we require payment of an up-front Booking Fee to confirm your booking. The Booking Fee will vary depending on the type of service you wish to book.  We will confirm the amount of the Booking Fee at the time of confirming your appointment reservation.

The Booking Fee covers the resources that we expend in preparing your requested service and administering your reservation.  This includes managing appointment scheduling and conducting clinical pre-assessment screenings in the lead up to your appointment.  These are important steps in ensuring that we can provide you with the requested service.

Once paid, the Booking Fee is non-refundable other than as set out in paragraph 6 below.

We may, at our sole discretion, waive the Booking Fee requirement for individual clients based on the availability of external sources of funding for your procedure, our financial hardship policies or other extenuating circumstances (as determined by us from time to time).  We may ask you to participate in a funding assessment to determine whether external sources of funding are available for your procedure before we decide to waive the Booking Fee for you.

  1. Pricing and preliminary cost estimate

As part of the booking process for confirming your appointment reservation we will provide you with a preliminary cost estimate of the expected total cost of your requested service.

This preliminary cost estimate will include a breakdown of the cost of the requested service (the Service Fee), any applicable rebates / discounts and the estimated final out-of-pocket price.  The final out-of-pocket price will include a deduction for any Booking Fee that you have paid.

We will ask you to confirm that you are comfortable with the Service Fee before confirming your appointment reservation and taking payment of the Booking Fee.

The out-of-pocket amount estimate that we provide you is based on our understanding of the relevant amounts that can be deducted from the Service Fee.  This depends on factors such as your level of insurance coverage and the types of Medicare rebates that you may qualify for.

If any of these factors change between the time of booking your appointment and the time of attending your appointment (or if the information you provided us was inaccurate or incomplete), this may impact the final out-of-pocket amount that is payable.

While we take all reasonable steps to ensure that the preliminary cost estimate is as accurate as possible at the time of provision, please note that the estimated out-of-pocket amount is not a binding quote and we do not guarantee that the final out-of-pocket amount will be the same as the amount we quote in the estimate.

  1. Prepayment / card pre-authorisation requirements for certain services

4.1 Third party facility day surgery / hospital bookings

If your booking is for a service delivered at one of our third-party day surgery or hospital facility partners, we do not take payment of the Booking Fee up-front at the time of confirming your appointment.  Instead, we will ask you to provide us with your credit or debit card payment information and your authorisation for us to charge the Booking Fee to your nominated card if you cancel or fail to attend your appointment.  This is to avoid any complications in billing with respect to people who may have a zero or low excess private hospital cover.

We will confirm the amount of the Booking Fee and ask you to give the authorisation on your nominated credit or debit card, at the time of confirming your appointment reservation.

If you attend the appointment, we will not charge the Booking Fee to your nominated card.  You will need to pay the Service Fee for the appointment in accordance with our normal billing process.

4.2 Telehealth abortion services

Teleabortion, or medical abortion via telehealth, is where you are clinically assessed virtually and then a doctor consults with you over the phone, instead of you coming to a clinic.  If the doctor determines it is safe for you to proceed with the treatment, we will send you the medication for your abortion by courier to your postal address.

If you engage us to provide you with teleabortion services, we will ask you to pre-pay the full amount of your Service Fee up-front. The Service Fee will include an amount for your Booking Fee, as specified in the quote provided to you.

If you cancel or fail to attend your teleabortion appointment, we will not be able to send you the medication for your abortion and we will refund you the balance of the Service Fee that you have paid, less the Booking Fee component (which we will retain to cover our costs in administering your booking and preparing for the cancelled appointment).

You may re-schedule your teleabortion appointment by contacting us at least three (3) business days prior to your appointment without being charged any additional fees, but this is subject to appointment availability. If you provide us with less than three (3) business days' notice, we will treat this as a cancellation of your current booking and we will retain the Booking Fee that you have paid for the cancelled appointment.  You may ask us to book a new appointment for you, but you will need to pay a new Booking Fee.

  1. Ineligibility to proceed based on clinical grounds

5.1 Clinical eligibility

Once your appointment reservation has been confirmed and you have paid the relevant Booking Fee, we may conduct assessments to confirm your eligibility to receive the service you have booked.  These assessments may include:

  • a pre-assessment clinical screening conducted by our staff; and
  • a further assessment by the treating doctor at the time of your appointment.

5.2 Pre-assessment clinical screening

In some cases, our pre-assessment clinical screening may determine that there are clinical reasons why you are unable to proceed with your requested service.  In such cases, we will discuss these reasons with you and explore options, which may include a recommendation to change to a different type of appointment or referring you to alternative service providers that may be able to assist you further (where this is possible).

5.3 Clinical assessment at your appointment

Your treating doctor may decide, at the time of your appointment, that there are clinical reasons why you are unable to proceed with your requested service.  The doctor may discuss other options and referrals with you (where this is possible).

  1. Re-scheduling, cancellations, and refunds of the Booking Fee

6.1 Clinical exclusions

The Booking Fee covers our time and effort in conducting pre-assessment screenings, reviewing investigations and reports that are important to the safe delivery of care to you, as well as managing any referrals to alternative services that you may require.

As such, we do not provide a refund of the Booking Fee if we determine that you are unable to proceed with the requested service based on clinical grounds (a "clinical exclusion").

If the treating doctor identifies a clinical exclusion during your appointment, we may charge you the consultation price for that appointment less the Booking Fee that you have already paid and any other applicable rebates.  For some clients, there may be no out-of-pocket amount payable once rebates are applied.  The consultation price for the appointment will be explained to you by our staff on the day of your appointment.

6.2 Re-scheduling

When you book an appointment, we reserve that date and time specifically for you and we arrange for the relevant specialist staff and resources to be available at that date and time.  This makes it difficult for us to re-schedule appointments on short notice.

You may re-schedule your appointment by contacting us at least three (3) business days prior to your appointment.  We will do our best to re-schedule your appointment to the next suitable date and time, but please note that this is subject to the availability of our clinical staff and facilities, and the needs of our other clients.

If you provide us with less than three (3) business days' notice, we may treat this as a cancellation of your current booking and we may retain the Booking Fee that you have paid for the cancelled appointment.  You may ask us to book a new appointment for you, but you will need to pay a new Booking Fee.

If you need to discuss your circumstances with us, please use the Contact Us form on our website (https://www.mariestopes.org.au/enquiries/) and we will do our best to help.  In exceptional circumstances we may decide to provide a Discretionary Refund of your Booking Fee in accordance with paragraph 6.6.

6.3 Cancellations by you / no-shows

We do not provide a refund of the Booking Fee if you cancel or fail to attend your appointment.

However, we understand that there can be a range of reasons why people are unable to attend appointments or choose not to proceed.

If you need to discuss your circumstances with us, please use the Contact Us form on our website (https://www.mariestopes.org.au/enquiries/) and we will do our best to help.  In exceptional circumstances we may decide to provide a Discretionary Refund of your Booking Fee in accordance with paragraph 6.6.

6.4 Cancellation by us

If your appointment is cancelled by us for any reason, other than because you cannot proceed safely to treatment on clinical grounds (see section 6.1 above), we will provide you with the option to:

  • re-book the appointment (instead of receiving a refund); or
  • cancel the appointment and receive a full refund of the Booking Fee and any amount of the Service Fee that has been pre-paid.

This is in addition to any remedies that you may be entitled to under applicable Non-Excludable Conditions (see paragraph 7).

6.5 Other scenarios

You are also entitled to a refund from us in the following situations:

  • If you have overpaid for the Booking Fee or other fees for whatever reason, we will refund you the amount that you overpaid.
  • If your private health claim is returned to us instead of to you following your appointment, we will refund you that claim amount.

6.6 Discretionary refunds of the Booking Fee

Notwithstanding any other provision of these Terms and Conditions we reserve the right to, at our sole discretion, refund a Booking Fee based on the client's financial hardship or other extenuating circumstances as determined by us from time to time on a case-by-case basis (a Discretionary Refund).

You acknowledge and agree that any Discretionary Refund is at our sole discretion, and we are under no obligation to provide a Discretionary Refund to any client.

6.7 Other refund rights

The refund rights and other remedies offered in this paragraph 6 are in addition to all other non-excludable rights and remedies which you may have under the Australian Consumer Law and any other applicable laws.

  1. Australian Consumer Law

In this clause, "Australian Consumer Law" means Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and the terms "Consumer”, and "Consumer Guarantees" have the meaning given to them in the Australian Consumer Law.

The Australian Consumer Law provides Consumers with several protections including the Consumer Guarantees that cannot be excluded, restricted, or modified.

Nothing in these Terms of Use has the effect of excluding, restricting, or modifying a Consumer's rights under the Australian Consumer Law or any other statutory rights which cannot be excluded, restricted, or modified (Non-Excludable Conditions).

However, where the Australian Consumer Law permits a supplier to limit its liability for a failure to comply with a Consumer Guarantee, we limit our liability to:

(a) in the case of services, the supplying of the services again or paying the cost of having the services supplied again; or

(b) in the case of goods, repairing, replacing, or supplying equivalent goods, or paying the cost of any of those remedies.

  1. Privacy

We collect certain personal information during the booking process to process your booking enquiry and manage your appointment reservation.  This includes the information that you provide in your initial booking enquiry, and any information that we collect during the booking and pre-assessment clinical screening process.

If you are providing any personal information or health information about another person, you must have their prior consent to do so.

We use this information to assess your eligibility for the services you have requested, and to manage your appointment booking.  If you don't provide this information, we may not be able to offer you an appointment or provide you with the requested services.

Information about your booking (including payment information) will be handled by our administrative staff.  The clinical information you provide will be shared with the doctors, specialists and/or consultants who are providing you with the service you have requested.

Our Privacy Policy, available at www.mariestopes.org.au/privacy, explains:

  • how we handle personal information;
  • who we may need to share your information with; and
  • the circumstances in which we may send your information overseas.

Our Privacy Policy also explains how you can seek to access or correct any personal information we hold about you, how to complain about a privacy breach and how we will deal with a privacy complaint.  You can contact us by calling 1300 003 707 or by using the contact form on our website (www.mariestopes.org.au/enquiries/).

By placing a booking enquiry and providing us with your personal information, you agree that we may use your personal information as described in these Terms and Conditions and in our Privacy Policy.

  1. Severability

Each clause in these Terms and Conditions is severable from the others and if one found to be unenforceable, this will not affect the validity of the others.

  1. Governing law

These Terms and Conditions are governed by the laws applicable in the State of Victoria, Australia, and you submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts in Victoria.

  1. Changes to these Terms and Conditions

We may vary these Terms and Conditions from time to time by publishing an updated version on our website.  The updated version will apply to all booking enquiries made after the date on which the updated version is published on our website.

Once you have confirmed your appointment reservation, we recommend that you take a copy of these Terms and Conditions for your records.