Information for patients
WHILE YOUR JOURNEY MAY SEEM DAUNTING, WE ARE HERE TO HELP MAKE THINGS EASIER FOR YOU
PREPARING FOR YOUR INITIAL APPOINTMENT.
Do I need a referral?
Yes, you will require a referral from your GP to Dr Laura which is essential to claim part of the cost of your consultation and surgery from Medicare.
What is the cost of the appointment?
You will be informed of the cost at the time you make an appointment. Medicare will rebate a portion of the cost, but the rest is not able to be claimed back. This is because the Medicare rebates do not adequately cover the cost of providing a private specialist service. Private health cover doesn't cover any outpatient costs such as appointments or other services such as radiology and pathology (if you have a biopsy).
What do I bring to my appointment?
You will need to bring the following to your initial appointment:
Your referral from your GP
Your X-rays or scans. If you can bring a copy of the films (preferably on film or as a disc), this will expedite your care.
Your Medicare card and Veterans’ Affairs card (if applicable)
Your private health insurance fund details
Your list of medications
Payment (cash, EFTPOS or credit card)
It is useful to bring along any questions you may have
Can I bring someone along with me to the appointment?
(Edited August 8 2020)
Normally, Dr Laura would encourage you to bring a support person, as they may be able to recall details that you may forget or ask questions that you haven't considered.
However with the current COVID19 pandemic, unfortunately this cannot be accommodated unless there are extenuating circumstances (such as cancer diagnosis, carers for older patients with dementia etc). Please check with the office if you are unsure if you can bring someone with you.
What will happen at my first appointment?
You will be asked to fill in a registration form. Dr Laura will take a thorough history relevant to your condition and examine you. She will assess all of the results of tests that you have. After this, Dr Laura will explain your condition to you, even if you have a good understanding of it. Further blood tests or imaging investigations may be required to further assess your condition, and a follow-up appointment may be made. If you are recommended surgery, you will be provided with information regarding this.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.
Can I get my results over the phone or email?
Dr Laura will give most patients their results in person at their next appointment. Even if results are not concerning, this will allow the appropriate setting to ask questions about the condition, what to expect and further management.
I have seen Dr Laura before, so do I need a new referral each time?
GP referrals expire after 12 months, so you may need another referral prior to your appointment. Some GPs may write an "indefinite" or "ongoing" referral, in which case you will not need a new referral each visit. If you change GP, or they move location, you will need another referral as their provider number will change.
I have previously received a referral from Dr Laura to see another specialist which has expired. Can she provide another referral?
Dr Laura will provide initial referrals to other doctors, such as an endocrinologist, medical oncologist or radiation oncologist, if required. This will last 3 months as it is a referral from a specialist. You will be directed to see your GP for additional referrals, which will last 12 months, and which is of paramount importance as your GP needs to be kept involved in your medical care.
I have a skin lesion that I would like removed under local anaesthetic, will Dr Laura be able to do this in the rooms?
Dr Laura will need to assess your condition at the initial appointment to see if you are suitable for a procedure on the day. If you would like her to consider this, please let the reception staff know when making your appointment, as we need to allow adequate time to perform your procedure. If the location of the lesion will hinder your driving, you should make arrangements for someone else to drive you in.
I would like to do some reading about my condition on the internet, what do you recommend?
Dr Laura will provide you with sufficient information during each stage of your treatment. The internet can be an excellent source of medical information, but may also be misleading, as it may not apply in your particular circumstance. If you would like to do some reading on-line, Dr Laura suggests a few websites below.
This excellent site provides an overview of endocrine diseases and their treatment, in easy-to-understand language.
Breast Cancer Trials is the main breast cancer trials group in Australia. This site outlines the current Australian clinical trials in breast cancer.
BCNA is the peak national organisation for Australians affected by breast cancer. This site provides useful information, resources and support for women diagnosed with breast cancer and their families.
The Cancer Council provides a guide to services in Victoria for people diagnosed with cancer and connections with others affected by cancer.
This site contains information and support for women and men diagnosed with breast cancer and their family and friends. There is also an app that can be downloaded for mobile information.
This organisation is dedicated to providing holistic support (psychological, practical and physical) for women and men diagnosed with breast cancer and their families.