1 How to make a new appointment

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Get a referral from your doctor and all relevant medical history.

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Email us your letter of referral or bring it with you to your appointment

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Contact us to make an appointment once you receive your referral

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We will send you a letter of confirmation

Fees

Consultations

For consultations, you will receive an invoice at the time of the appointment and we kindly ask that you settle the account on the day. We accept most forms of payment including Visa, Mastercard, personal cheque, EFTPOS and cash. We will then give you a receipt which you can take to claim the Medicare rebate. Note that private health insurance does not cover consultations, only in-hospital fees. However if you are are insured through Veteran’s Affairs it is possible for us┬áto directly bill this insurer for your consultation. Initial consultations are generally 30 minutes in duration. A lower fee applies to review appointments. Post operative reviews within the first 6 weeks after surgery are included in the surgical fee and do not require another referral.

Surgical fees, gap fees & in-hospital fees

For surgical fees, depending on your insurer and the type of operation, we may be able to charge the insurer directly (“no-gap” scheme) and there will be no out-of-pocket fee for you. However, in some cases the private health fund does not completely cover the cost of the surgery and there may be an out-of-pocket or “gap” fee. In this case, we are obliged to inform you in writing of the estimated fees prior to your surgery and obtain your consent (“informed financial consent”). You will not be billed for the surgical fee until after the surgery. Sometimes, because of unforseen changes during the operation, this charge may be slightly different from the estimated fee. For Veteran’s Affairs patients, generally there will be no cost to you for your operation. We will write to your third party insurer to obtain pre-arranged approval for your surgery, if this is necessary. Please note that the hospital may also charge you for other services during your inpatient stay such as radiology, pathology and allied health services. Unfortunately, we are not able to estimate these fees for you prior to the surgery.

No private insurance?

We are happy to see urgent patients without private insurance in the rooms for consultations. If you need to have an operation and you do not have an insurer, or your insurance does not cover surgery at a private hospital, you will be placed on the waiting list at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Depending on the urgency of your operation the wait may be anywhere from 1 to 6 months on average. There will be no charge at all to you for surgery performed at the public hospital. Please note that although we will endeavour to look after you personally whilst at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, in some cases your operation may be done under the supervision of another neurosurgeon.

What if I want to pay for my operation myself?

If you do not have private insurance, it is possible for you to personally cover the costs of your treatment at a private hospital. This also applies to overseas patients, those with travel medical insurance and others who may not be covered by Medicare and so don’t qualify for treatment in an Australian public hospital. The advantages of this is that there is no prolonged waiting time and you are operated on by the specialist surgeon of your choice. If you are interested in this option, we can arrange a quotation for you. Note that the hospital generally requires an upfront payment prior to admission.


3 Referrals

We accept referrals from both privately insured and public patients. However, Work Cover or third party patients are not seen by all surgeons. Please note that A/Prof. Drummond and Dr. Morokoff do not see work cover or third party cases. Please note that to obtain the Medicare rebate on your consultation fees, a referral from your GP or specialist is required.

4 Office Hours

Office hours are Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm. If you have an urgent neurosurgical issue outside of these times, please call the Royal Melbourne Hospital on (03) 9342 7000 and ask to page the Neurosurgery Registrar or come straight to the Emergency Department at RMH or your local hospital.

5 Further Questions

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