For Patients

 

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Making Appointments

QE Specialist Centre is only for Specialists (No GPs) therefore a referral is required to have a consultation. This is a rule of Medicare and is illegal otherwise.  A referral from your GP is valid for 12 months, while a specialist to specialist referral is valid, on a temporary basis, for 3 months. 

Due to demand, some doctors are so heavily booked – all the Neurologists are booked several months ahead, for example – that we require you to send in your referral for triage. Triage means identifying who is most urgent and requires the soonest appointment. In the case you have an urgent referral, our staff will endeavour to have it triaged swiftly and contact you at the soonest convenience with an appropriate appointment time.

Our Specialists ask if you may bring any recent scans and test results with you to the appointment. If you don’t have access to these, we can get most things online, faxed or emailed. It will help the doctor and you if everything needed for your appointment is to hand. Help us by providing information about test results that you think the doctor may need.

The Specialist writes to your GP after each visit. Your GP will have been informed about changes to your medication so further prescriptions can be obtained from your GP unless higher approval is required (e.g. certain Rheumatology drugs like Abatacept need authority scripts from a specialist in order to be dispensed from a chemist

 

Attending Appointments

You can help us deliver the best possible care by following a few simple guidelines:

  1. Make sure the QE Specialist Centre is given or is holding a valid referral on your behalf.  This will ensure you can claim Medicare rebates and inform the specialist of the background to your condition.
  2. If you are attending for the first time please arrive 10 minutes early to clarify details and chase any outstanding correspondance you may require.  
  3. For billing and Medicare rebate purposes it is vital you bring your Medicare and concession cards to the appointment. If you are attending an appointment with a Surgeon it is vital to bring your private health insurance details, too.
  4. It is very important that your specialist knows what medications you currently use.  The safest way to be sure we have the correct information is to bring the medications to the appointment.
  5. Any form of medical imaging which may pertain to your condition should also be brought to appointments.  We will let you know when they are no longer required for you to take home.

  

Cancelling Appointments

If you are unable to attend your appointment it is in your own interests to ring and make another time without delay. That way we can also make the vacated appointment available to another patient.  Waiting times for appointments to see our specialists can be kept to a minimum if all available appointments are made available to patients.

Please be aware that the vast majority of our specialists are often booking months ahead.

 

Interpreters

Citizens of Australia are entitled to an interpreter for their consultation with a specialist if their English is not good enough to fully understand the consultation and it's content. It is recommended, if you are able, to bring a friend or relative with a good understanding of the English language with you, though, an Interpreter may be booked if this is not possible. It is most important that you ask for an interpreter at the time of booking your appointment. Our Interpreters are nationally accredited and contracted through the Translating & Interpreting Services arm of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (Australian Government).

4 weeks’ notice is required and specific interpreters cannot be requested. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of us securing an interpreter, particularly for some of the lesser used languages.

 

Fees

Each doctor charges differently and gaps vary. It is your responsibility to ask about the cost in advance of your appointment. With over 40 specialists consulting in the centre, each doctor charges differently. Some only charge privately, others may Bulk Bill - it is entirely their discretion to decide what to charge. Our services such as ECGs, Echocardiograms are Bulk Billed, though Pulmonary Function Testing is totally private.

Medicare would like you to register your bank details with them for swift EFT payment of your Medicare rebate. Why would you want to wait 4-5 weeks for a cheque and then go to your bank to pay it in? We have the form for you to complete and will supply an addressed envelope for you to post your details to Medicare. Download it here or ask one of our staff when you come in.

If you pay us with via any method (cash, cheque etc.) and have an ATM card linked to a savings/checking account (debit account); our EFTPOS machine is connected to Medicare and within 30 seconds of your payment, we can process the rebate into your debit account. We cannot processes the rebate back into a Credit card account at the discretion of Medicare. To use this highly efficient method, therefore, you do need to bring an ATM card with a PIN to your appointment. For further clarification please ask our friendly staff.

 

Country Patients

We do our best to accommodate you as we appreciate that you are driving long distances to attend your appointment, alongside dealing with issues accessing medical care that city-based patients do not have.

Ensure we know that you are from the country. Are you driving down and returning home on the same day? Are you staying overnight? There are certain schemes in place for subsidised accomodation. TQEH has dedicated accomodation for Cardiology patients - ask our staff for more details.

The Australian Government have a scheme in place to help subsidise the costs of travel and accomodation associated with your visit - The Patient Assistance Transport Scheme (PATS). It is a 3-part application form requiring details from your GP, your Specialist, and You. Do you need a PATS form completed?  We have Section 2 (Specialist) here. You will need to source the other pages from your GP (OR download them here; Section 1Section 3) and make sure they complete their section of the form, too. Have you completed yours? Have you kept your receipts for travel and accommodation? This is necessary for successful application.

 

Privacy

Patient records are protected by our compliance with all privacy legislation and the guidelines of relevant professional bodies such as the AMA.

 

Access to Personal Records

A request for access to your medical record held by the QE Specialist Centre should be directed to your treating specialist, or your referring doctor (who will be copied into all correspondance).

 

Complaints

Our doctors and staff are passionate about being the first choice in specialist medicine for patients and referring doctors.  We apply a culture of continuous learning and improvement to all aspects of our services, with patient well-being as the focus of all our activity.

If you feel there are instances where we could have done better we would welcome your feedback.  Your concerns will always be treated respectfully and resolved promptly. Issues should be raised with your treating cardiologist or the QE Specialist Centre Manager.