F.A.Q's & General Enquiries

What is the difference between a psychologist and psychiatrist?

Both Psychiatrists and Psychologists are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of emotional, behavioural or personal problems, as well as to provide various forms of therapy.

Psychiatrists are Medical Specialists, having undergone Specialist training after graduating from Medical School with a medical degree. Before beginning specialist training they have gained experience in management of a wide range of physical disorders and their physical treatments and are able to advise about the contribution of physical illness to the current problems. Psychiatrists are registered to prescribe medication if necessary, and may have arranged admitting rights to continue care if inpatient hospital care is recommended.

Psychologists study human behaviour in their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees before undertaking supervised experience and gaining registration. They do not have a medical degree; however, many have postgraduate qualifications to specialise in various aspects of psychology, including non-pharmacological management of mental illness.

Why do I need a referral?

A referral is a requirement of Medicare to authorise that the care being provided is considered necessary by an independent medical practitioner. This is desirable to enable the cause of the problems to be identified, so that other factors which may be contributing will be treated.

The referral will:
1. provide useful information about your medical conditions and treatments, and relevant past history.
2. allow you to claim your Medicare rebate.

To receive a Medicare rebate for consultation fees for psychological services, a person must be referred by a GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician. General Practitioners are required to make these referrals in the context of a Mental Health Care Plan. (A Mental Health Care Plan is not required for referral from a GP to a psychiatrist, nor for a referral from a psychiatrist to a psychologist.)

Why do referrals need to be renewed every 12 months?

This Medicare rule encourages the good practice of having your condition reviewed to check developments including progress and possible complications.

A General Practitioner's referral is for a 12 month duration, unless otherwise specified. Your GP is able to make a referral for an indefinite period for those who may need assistance over a longer period of time.

A referral from a medical specialist to a psychiatrist is for a period of 3 months.

Our Cancellation Policy

Why am I required to give 24 hours notice if I want to cancel my appointment?

There are many more people who would like assistance than there are appointments available, hence waiting periods which are longer than anyone wants. This requirement is to provide the best service at the shortest interval after referral for those who have sought our help. We like to assist them to get the relief to which they are entitled within the shortest possible time.

Your early advice that an appointment time has become inconvenient makes it possible for us to offer others your cancelled appointment. Failure to give appropriate notice disadvantages other people. We ask that you respect the needs of patients waiting for an appointment and give as much notice as possible if you cancel your appointment. Failure to give at least 24 hours notice may incur a non-attendance fee which is not refundable through Medicare.

What is the fee for a consultation?

Each of the practitioners has made their own arrangements regarding the fees charged for their services. Fees are generally time based, with 15 minute increments. The fees applicable for assessment only appointments, initial appointments and continuing care appointments are different.

Fees for registered and clinical psychologists are different, reflecting different levels of specific qualifications.

The fees can be discussed with you, by telephone if convenient, prior to making an appointment by contacting our receptionists. They will also be able to advise you of your entitlements with respect to Medicare rebates, and about other important Federal Health Department initiatives to limit the financial impact of the cost of health care for those with continuing or complex conditions.

Some people will have entitlements to cover from other agencies including Department of Veterans Affairs, MCRS, Comcare, WorkCover and other Interstate and Industry Disability Insurers.

Our reception will be able to advise about the Out of Pocket Safety Net for consultation fees, and some aspects of Private Health Insurance if inpatient care has been provided. It is important that you are well advised regarding the fees applicable, the rebates to which you are entitled, (especially for continuing care when conditions are complex) and the component of the payment for which you will be personally responsible.

Am I eligible for a Medicare rebate for my consultation?

All Medicare Card holders with a current referral are eligible for a rebate for the fees charged for treatment services.

Payment and Medicare Rebates

Fees are payable at the time of consultation by EFTPOS, cash, Mastercard or Visa.

'Medicare Online' may save you a considerable amount of time and inconvenience.

Following payment of your consultation, your paid account details can transmitted to Medicare after which the Medicare rebate is paid into your bank account. For this service, your Medicare Card and bank account details (BSB & Account number) need to be registered with Medicare. Your rebate will be deposited into your account in up to 3 working days. The reception staff will be happy to help you with this, with information and processing the claim.

Telephone Calls:

Interruptions during consultations are restricted to emergencies. Messages and requests may be left with the receptionists, with a response provided at the first available opportunity. Tests results will be given over the phone by staff if arranged by the consulting Doctor.


In the event of circumstances which cannot wait for the next appointment the options are:
• Make an earlier appointment
• Telephone the receptionist for advice (She will seek further advice from your doctor, or another doctor if yours is not available)
• Prepare arrangements with your own practitioner regarding out of hours arrangements
• Seek advice from your General Practitioner
• Seek advice from your local Accident and Emergency Department
• Contact Emergency Services

Mobile Phones:

It would be appreciated if you could turn off your mobile phone, or set it to silent, while in the waiting room, for the comfort of other patients and to assist the reception staff who will be making arrangements with others on the phone.

Your Rights

If you are concerned about the service provided, we would like the chance to rectify this. This is best done by discussion with your doctor, by writing, talking to a receptionist, or by leaving a note in our Suggestion Box. We take your concerns and suggestions seriously. If you believe an official complaint is appropriate, you are entitled to report this to the Health Rights Commission of Queensland

The Management of your Personal Health Information

Your medical record is a confidential document. It is the policy of this practice to maintain security of personal health information at all times and to ensure that this information is only available to authorised members of staff. We abide by the Ten National Privacy Principles. Further information is available at http://www.privacy.gov.au/health/index.html

Patient Feedback

We are constantly striving to improve the quality of our practice and value any suggestions you may have that could assist us to enhance the quality of our services. If you can assist in this way, please place a note in our Suggestion Box or speak to one of our friendly reception staff.

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