How long do the appointments take?
Appointment times can vary dependent on many issues. Appointments for new patients may take from 30 minutes to an hour or more, depending on the medical condition. It is therefore important that you provide the reception staff with information regarding your medical condition when making the appointment, or preferably ensure that a referral has been forwarded to our office so the reception staff can book you the relevant time frame.
Review appointments will usually take approximately 15-20 minutes.
We recommend you allow ample time for your appointment with both your parking and any plans/appointments you may make following your appointment in this office (see following question on “Do the doctors run on time”).
Do the doctors run on time?
While every effort is made by the doctors in this practice to run on time, this is often not possible for many reasons including phone calls from other specialists and patients requiring additional time during their consultation. All of our doctors are also actively involved in hospital inpatient care that may require their attention throughout the day. You can assist this process by ensuring you arrive on time unless you have confirmed a later attendance with reception; however, while the reception staff can give you approximate indications if a doctor is running late, they are not privy to the details of each consultation or what interruptions the doctor may receive and therefore may not be able to provide an accurate timeline of when the doctor will see each patient.
To assist communication, the reception staff also do their best to advise patients in advance of significant delays via SMS message or you can ring the office for updates. We recommend you allow ample time for your appointment with both your parking and any plans/appointments you may make following your appointment in this office.
What are the fees to see the doctors?
Brisbane Diabetes Endocrinology is a private practice and therefore has private billing with a gap not covered by Medicare or your health fund. For more information regarding our current fees, please contact our reception staff.
What do my fees pay for?
Your consultation fee pays for your session time with an endocrinologist or allied health professional with extensive expert experience and training. In addition, the doctors and allied health professionals perform out-of-consultation duties such as:
· Consultation preparation/pre-reading, record keeping, writing letters to GPs and other treating providers
· Follow up on pathology and radiology results
· Provide urgent phone advice and other correspondence for patients both in and out of hospital. This includes advice or communication with other treating specialists and GP’s both during office hours and the privilege of contact outside office hours for emergencies, particularly hospital admissions
· Administrative and other professional duties, for which the doctors and allied health professionals do not receive extra payment.
The consultation fee provides for the time for these additional duties to ensure you receive a professional comprehensive and ethical service. The doctors and allied health professionals in this office are private independent practitioners who personally incur operational costs for all appointments (including cancellations); fund their own mandatory professional training, supervision and resources; are responsible their own insurances, superannuation and leave.
The doctors and allied health professionals in this practice are not paid employees and do not receive any funding from government agencies. They incur lost income when patients cancel or do not attend appointments. Consequently, this office relies on the timely payment of patient fees so they may continue to provide comprehensive patient care.
Does your practice bulk bill?
No, the doctors do not bulk bill. Brisbane Diabetes Endocrinology is a private practice.
Does your practice offer a reduced pension/health care card fee?
Patients with a valid pension card MAY be offered a reduced rate. This is at the discretion of the treating doctor.
Do you claim my account through Medicare?
Yes, we can electronically send your account to Medicare as long as you have a valid referral and have your bank account details registered with Medicare. For more information regarding registering your bank account details with Medicare contact your nearest Medicare office or see https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/medicare-services#registerbankdetails
Can I claim my account through my health insurance?
Private health insurance only covers medical specialists when you are an inpatient in hospital (see following question on “Gap Cover”). Outpatient services, such as attending private rooms of specialists are not covered by your health insurance – for further information, contact your health fund. The only exception to this are for patients covered under an international insurance who do not have Medicare – in this instance full payment is required at time of consultation and patient will need to follow up any relevant rebate from their insurance provider.
Are the doctors in your practice “Gap Cover” providers?
Gap Cover providers as listed by private health funds are only valid if you are being seen by a specialist as an inpatient in a fund participating hospital. Should you be admitted, our doctors are registered Gap Cover providers and in most cases will accept this as full payment and bill your health fund directly.
Why do I need a referral?
It is a Medicare requirement to have a valid referral for all visits to obtain a rebate from Medicare for specialist consultations. Referrals from a GP are valid for 12 months and referrals from another specialist are valid for 3 months only. While the reception staff make every effort to ensure you are advised if you will require a new referral for your appointment when making the appointment, obtaining a referral is the responsibility of the patient.
Do the doctors in your practice offer Skype consultations?
Skype consultations may be possible for certain patients for follow up appointments depending on the nature of the problem and if they meet the Medicare specifications on distance out of the city (http://www.doctorconnect.gov.au/internet/otd/publishing.nsf/Content/locator). For a first visit, the consultation must be face-to-face.
A Skype consultation for follow up appointments will be at the discretion of your treating doctor.
Can review attendances with the doctors be done via telephone or email?
Unfortunately, due to the nature of endocrinology, the doctors do require physical examination as part of their consultation. While telephone calls and/or email may be utilised in between regularly attended appointments with your doctor for a variety of reasons, you are required to attend the practice on a regular basis for medicolegal purposes and continuity of care. Additionally, telephone/email consultations do not attract a Medicare rebate.
Do the doctors in your practice offer natural therapies?
No. The specialists at this practice are registered with the Medical Board of Australia, and we have a responsibility to our patients to recommend treatment on the best evidence-based practice and established research. Unfortunately, naturopathic therapies do not generally fall in this category.
Is there car parking available?
There is no parking in the Alexandra building, but metered parking is available on the surrounding streets or the closest car park is the Wilson car park located in Bartley Street (off Wickham Terrace) behind the Watkins Medical Centre (located at 225 Wickham Terrace). Alternatively, Brisbane City Council Wickham Terrace Car Park is also close with vehicle entrance via Turbot Street and via Creek Street into Wickham Terrace.
Is public transport conveniently located?
Central Station is a nearby train station, approximately 250m from our office. Access Wickham Terrace via the subway tunnel or street access.
The free Spring Hill Loop bus offered by Brisbane City Council runs regularly from the Brisbane City area to Wickham Terrace with stop 134 – Watkins Medical Centre being the closest stop.
See the Translink website for details on hop on/hop off locations and timing of trip - https://translink.com.au/sites/default/files/assets/timetables/111114-loop-springhill.pdf