In Australia, anyone is entitled to make an appointment to see a specialist. However, in order to receive the full Medicare rebate for your visit to assist covering the cost, a valid referral from a medical practitioner is required. A referral from a general practitioner is valid for 12 months from the day it is activated (the first consultation with the specialist), unless indicated otherwise. A referral from another specialist (for example paediatrician, immunologist, ophthalmologist, neurologist or another ENT specialist) is only valid for 3 months.
General practitioners work hard to develop a thorough understanding of your health concerns, and can convey a good deal of information about your medical history (including allergies and medications) in a succinct manner via a referral letter, which consequently helps us approach your ENT health problem in a wholistic manner. In addition, a referral requires a specialist to write a report back to the referring GP, with clinical findings and a management plan. This two way communication helps ensure an up to date treatment plan for your health problems.
Please note that medical practitioners cannot legally provide a backdated referral letter after the specialist consultation, so it is important to ensure you have a valid referral before being seen, if you wish to claim the Medicare rebate. Our staff will advise you if your referral is due to expire before your next appointment.
A referral from a dentist or audiologist is also valid.
We are also happy to see patients who may not be eligible for Medicare, including visitors who may have overseas or travel insurance.