Below are some answers to frequently asked questions by patients attending Doncaster Eye Centre.
Do I need a referral?
Yes. In order to claim a rebate from Medicare you need a referral from your General Practitioner/Specialist or Optometrist. In most cases this will last for 12 months and the staff will inform you when you will need to obtain a new one if you require follow-up care.
Your visit is only covered by Medicare, not by private health insurance. If you have private health insurance for hospital, this will cover you for any hospital admission that may be necessary. If you have extras cover for glasses, your health fund will then cover some of the cost.
What are the clinic hours?
Appointments can be made between the hours of 8.30am and 5.00pm from Monday to Friday.
How do I make an appointment?
To make an appointment please telephone (03) 8850 4000. Remember to state which doctor you wish to see. In some cases, the staff may advise the best ophthalmologist to see based on the information you have given them. It is sometimes helpful to know the nature of your problem to determine the urgency of the appointment. If you provide us with a mobile phone number, we can send you a SMS reminder for your appointment the day prior to your appointment.
We are often asked to see emergency patients that can affect the running time of our Clinic. We ask for your understanding in these circumstances and thank you for your patience.
Do I need to bring anything with me to my appointment?
At your initial visit you will be required to complete a patient registration form. Please bring along your Medicare, Veterans Affairs, Pension, Health Care and Private Health insurance cards.
At each visit you should also bring a list of your current medications as well as your current glasses/spectacles or contact lenses.
Can I drive after my visit?
It is advised that you do not drive yourself to the appointment as eye drops, which dilate your pupils, are usually used at each visit to allow the doctor to examine inside your eyes. This means that you will have blurred vision and you will be sensitive to bright lights for 3-4 hours. It is best to wait until your vision returns to normal before you drive. It is also beneficial to bring a pair of sunglasses with you as this will reduce problems with glare and bright lights.
How long will my appointment take?
Standard Visits: Please allow at least 1 – 1.5 hours for your initial consultation as it may be necessary to perform a variety of tests during your visit.
Retinal Visits: We ask that you allow at least 2 hours for these visits, as they normally require extra testing and treatment.
Will I be required to pay for my consultation on the day of my appointment?
Yes. An account will be issued on the day of your visit and it is expected that all accounts will be settled on the day of consultation. You will be advised of consultation fees when you make an appointment. However we do not always know what extra testing may be required, and this may involve extra fees. The staff will inform you of this on the day if needs be.
Rebates for consultations and most tests can be claimed from Medicare, provided you have a current referral.
If your consultation is to be covered by either a WorkCover or TAC claim, a claim number and the case manager’s name must be provided at the time of your consultation. For a WorkCover patient who may require elective surgery, please note that a request to proceed with surgery must be given to the insurer. Written confirmation regarding the status of the claim must be received before the hospital will agree to proceed with your surgery.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes. Cash, cheques, EFTPOS and credit cards (Mastercard and Visa) are all accepted. We can transmit your claim to Medicare electronically on the day of your visit to claim the rebate for you. Please check that Medicare has your bank details so the rebate can be credited into your account, usually within 24 hours. Otherwise Medicare will send you a cheque which can take up to 5 weeks.
What about Car Parking?
A new on-site car park was built towards the end of 2016. We now have ample parking for our staff and patients.
What should I do in the case of an emergency?
Established patients should contact the office or their usual ophthalmologist with the emergency numbers provided.
New patients with an urgent problem should ask their referring practitioner or optometrist to contact the office directly to arrange an emergency appointment with the most appropriate doctor.
If you are unable to contact your ophthalmologist, or the ophthalmologist on call and you require urgent medical attention, you should contact the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital on (03) 9929 8666.