Do I need a referral?
To claim Medicare benefits for a Specialist Consultation you will need a referral. You can be referred by your General Practitioner (GP), your Optometrist or by another Specialist. A referral from your GP will be valid for (12) twelve months, as will a referral from your Optometrist. A referral from another Specialist will be valid for (3) three months only.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
Your referral, any current glasses, list of current medications, any previous test results, medicare card, pension/concession card and private health fund card.
Can I drive after my appointment?
On the day of your appointment we suggest that you do not drive to the rooms. It is advisable to have someone drive you in or to take public transport/taxi, as your eyes will be dilated which makes it difficult to see clearly for approximately two hours. This will make driving difficult and if you are returning to work, you may not be able to read fine print. We also advise to bring a pair of sunglasses as the sun’s glare may bother you.
How long will my appointment take?
Please allow 45 minutes to 1 hour. As each patient is an individual the care provided needs to be specific. Accordingly when you arrive for your appointment you will be seen by an Ophthalmic Assistant Nurse who will conduct an initial assessment. Depending on your eye condition we then need to perform a number of tests. Each test performed is different. During your consultation with the Ophthalmologist you will be informed in detail of your eye condition, what it means for you personally and what steps and/or medications need to be used.
How do I settle my account?
Payment of accounts is to be made on the day of your appointment. We accept cash, cheque, EFTPOS, Bankcard, MasterCard and Visa Card. Please feel free to call the rooms if you have any queries regarding costs associated with your appointment.
Will I receive a rebate from Medicare?
You will receive a rebate from Medicare for your consultation fee. Medicare will also rebate most treatments received in our rooms, as well as operations. There are a few diagnostic tests that a reimbursement has not yet been established for (e.g: OCT/CTI test).
What do dilating drops do and why do I need to have them?
Dilating drops are used to enlarge your pupil so the Ophthalmologist can get a better view of your retina (the back of your eye). The effects of these drops may last several hours and as a result, we recommend you do not drive after having dilating drops, it may also be difficult for you to read if you need to return to work.
I had a field test six months ago, why do I have to have another one?
Glaucoma damages the optic nerve in the back of your eye. The optic nerve is responsible for conveying vision from your eye to your brain. Damage or changes to the optic nerve can affect your visual field or side vision. That is why it is important to have a field test regularly, so that we can see if there has been any damage to the nerve, or if your eye condition is progressing. As glaucoma is a progressive disease field tests need to occur regularly to ensure there has been no change, or progression in the visual field. You are entitled to a medicare rebate for two visual field tests within a 12 month period. As we are testing quite a large area of vision, usually about 30 degrees around your central vision, field testing can take from between 5 to 15 minutes each eye depending on the damage that is being investigated. Sometimes more detailed testing is required so this again can take some extra time. This is vital as field testing is a major factor in deciding if treatment should be commenced, increased or tapered depending on any changes that we observe by comparing previous fields to a current field.
Can my general practitioner renew my script for eye drops?
General practitioners (GPs) can renew a script for any drop. However GPs maybe unable to measure your intraocular pressure (IOP) and are therefore unable to determine if the drops are having any effect on your IOP. GPs and optometrists are also unable to accurately discriminate subtle changes within the structure of your eye that your Ophthalmologist is able to do with their more detailed training and use of advanced technologies described within this site. It is these subtle changes that may be causing problems with your vision.
Should I use my prescription drops on the day of my appointment?
If you have been prescribed drops by your Ophthalmologist you should continue to use them, including the day of your appointment.