FAQ

How much do I pay?

Our Practice offers bulk billing to children under 16, Health care card holders and Pension card holders for most Medicare rebateable services. All other patients may incur a private fee. Reception staff can provide you with the current fees for your doctor.

To enable us to bill you correctly please show your Medicare and Concession cards to the receptionist on arrival. If applicable we ask that you pay the fee at the time of your consultation.

What are your billing arrangements?

We expect payment at the time of the consultation. You can pay with cash, credit card or EFTPOS. If you have already registered your bank details with Medicare, when your receipt is processed here, the details can be sent to Medicare and Medicare can credit your rebate within a few days directly to your account. If you prefer, you can go to a Medicare office and claim your rebate straight away. Only the receipt and your Medicare card are necessary if claiming in person.

Are there any situations where I may be bulk billed?

Our Practice offers bulk billing to children under 16, Health care card holders and Pension card holders for most Medicare rebateable services. If you are uncertain in this regard, please check with our Receptionists.

What is the waiting time like for doctors?

Appointments for urgent things are arranged on the day. For routine matters, the wait for an appointment varies. If you want to see a particular doctor, or need a particular time slot, it may take a few days, subject to the Doctors workload.

How long is a normal appointment?

A standard appointment is usually up to 15 minutes. Please ask the receptionist to book a long consultation if you have more than one problem to be dealt with or need a consultation that will include counselling. If the doctor has asked you to arrange an appointment for a procedure, they will indicate how long will be needed for that procedure.

What if I cancel or reschedule an appointment?

We understand that sometimes circumstances change and you may not be able to keep an appointment. Please let us know as far ahead as possible, so that the appointment can be allocated to another patient. Patients who repeatedly make an appointment and then do not arrive, may find it difficult to make appointments in future, and may be asked to pay in advance. Our practice charges a $25 non-attendance fee if you fail to notify us prior to your appointment time that you will not be attending.

Do I need an appointment for a script, referral or certificate?

Generally yes.

Medicare requires that you have a referral letter from your GP to see a specialist. Under Medicare guidelines referrals cannot be backdated.  Therefore, we request that you make an appointment with your GP at least one week prior to your specialist appointment so that your GP can write a letter containing all the relevant information.

Prescriptions usually last 6 months, so that necessary checks can be done before you continue on. It is important that when you fill the last repeat, you make an appointment with your doctor so that a new script can be provided in a timely way. It is usually possible to synchronise scripts if you are taking several medications, so that they come due together.

A certificate states that the doctor has seen you and that you are fit/unfit. So you do need to be seen if you need a certificate.

Why is my doctor running late?

We try hard to keep to time, however injured and unexpectedly ill patients can, and do, cause delay. You can help too. Please ask the receptionist to book a long consultation if you have more than one problem to be dealt with or need a consultation that will include counselling.

Can I get my test results over the phone?

Generally, it helps if you can ring in the afternoon. Once the Doctor has reviewed your results, he will usually write a short message on the result, which is what the receptionist will read to you. If you need further information, you may need to make an appointment to discuss the result with your doctor. Most times your doctor will ask to see you for a consultation to discuss your test results.

Can I get a family member's test results over the phone?

Privacy laws prevent us from disclosing any information about a patient, even to family members, without their prior consent.

Can I talk to my doctor over the phone?

Unfortunately, doctors will not generally be able to take patients’ phone calls during a consultation as it is important to keep interruptions to a minimum. The doctor will return your call as soon as is practicable. If the matter is urgent please let staff know the nature of the urgency so that your call can be dealt with appropriately. Many things are best discussed in person, especially as an examination may be needed to sort the problem out.

Can I get any medical advice over the phone?

If you need to be seen urgently, please let our receptionists know and tell them the general nature of the problem. If necessary they can direct you to our treatment area for assessment by our trained nursing staff.

Do your doctors make home visits?

Home visits are available by arrangement for our regular patients, if that patient is unable to come to the surgery. These will usually be done at the completion of the doctor’s session.

How are my medical records kept?

Our medical records are kept electronically, so that whichever doctor or nurse you see, can find what they need to know to help you manage your health. Results of blood and x-ray tests are sent to the Practice electronically, so they can be added accurately to the file. Many specialist letters are now also sent this way, as are hospital discharge summaries. Paper letters are scanned so they can be stored electronically too.

What do I do if I have a complaint or a suggestion?

We would like to improve our service. If you have had any problems with our care, our after-hours emergency cover, or wish to comment on any other matter, please contact us.

Experience has shown that if you have a problem with one of our doctors it is best to speak to him or her first. If you are still unhappy please contact the Practice Manager – Lee White,

by Phone:  07 4788-9444

By Email:  

Should the matter not be resolved to your satisfaction after bringing it to our attention you may wish to contact The Office of Health Ombudsman at:

Ph: 133 646

PO Box 13281 George St, Brisbane Qld 4003

How do I contact the doctor after hours?

AFTER HOURS TELPHONE (07) 4788-9444

If you ring the practice after hours you will hear a recorded message giving the number for the After Hours Doctor On Call. If there are any problems with the answering system, and the matter is urgent, you should present to the Townsville Hospital Emergency Department or call 000 and ask for an Ambulance.

Will you remind me when I am due for my pap smear or a vaccination?

A system for reminders for ongoing health checks/preventative activities is available. Discuss this with your doctor.

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