Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my condition gets worse before my appointment?

We recommend that you see your GP and discuss your condition with your GP.  If necessary, your GP may wish to contact Gold Coast Spine.

What if I have to go to an Accident & Emergency Centre because my pain is so bad?

We recommend that you go to the Accident & Emergency Centre at Pindara Private Hospital.  If you are a current patient or have an appointment to see your surgeon, please tell the doctors your surgeon’s name and ask them to contact him.   Please note that your surgeon cannot see patients at Gold Coast Private Hospital, John Flynn Hospital, the Gold Coast University Hospital or Robina Hospital.

What if I have to reschedule or cancel my appointment?

Please make sure that you contact us as soon as possible to advise if you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment.

Can I bring someone with me to my appointment?

Certainly, you may wish to bring your spouse, close relative, or friend.  However, we would ask that you consider carefully the number of people that come with you as there is only limited seating available in the waiting room at Gold Coast Spine.

Will I have to undress at the appointment?

Generally, patients need to undress to their underwear to enable your surgeon to undertake an orthopaedic examination.  If you are a woman, and wish a female staff person or your companion to be present during the examination, please advise our receptionist on arrival.

What should I ask my surgeon about my problem?

We suggest that you write down a list of questions as they come to you before you come for your appointment and bring the list with you to your consultation with your surgeon.

Will my surgeon be able to tell me what is wrong at my first appointment?

In many cases, your surgeon will give you a diagnosis at your first visit.  But, in many cases, he may require further investigations to be undertaken before he can give you his opinion about the nature of your spinal condition.

Why do doctors always run late?

Good question.  Doctors have a hard time trying to set aside the right amount of time for each patient.  You are new to us and it’s very hard to predict exactly how long it will take to discuss your problem.  The same principle applies to every other patient your surgeon sees in a day.  Every person is seen for as long as needed.  Because of this, he may run late.  We ask all our patients to be understanding of the needs of others being seen on the same day.  We recommend that you set aside 2 hours out of your schedule for your appointment. Please feel free to call us on the day of your appointment to ask if your surgeon is running on time.

Why do I need a referral from my GP?

Your GP is the most appropriate person to decide which specialist is the best person to help you with your problem.  The referral letter enables your GP to tell the specialist about the history of your condition. Also, if you do not have a referral, you will not get a specialist consultation rebate from Medicare in relation to the fee you paid for your consultation.

If I have more questions after my visit, can I telephone or email my surgeon and discuss them?

Unfortunately, your surgeon is not able to discuss treatment issues over the telephone or via emails.  You will need to book another appointment to discuss your concerns about your ongoing condition.

Will my surgeon tell my GP about my consultation?

Yes, your surgeon will write to your GP about your visit.  While we try to get the letters to your GP as quickly as possible, it may take up to two weeks for your GP to receive your surgeon’s letter.

Do I need to bring my x-rays each time I see my surgeon?

Yes, please bring all your spine radiology with you to each appointment you have.  Your surgeon may need to look at them again.

What will my health fund pay towards my consultation?

You will be able to claim a rebate from Medicare for part of your consultation fee after your appointment.  Your private health insurance does not provide a rebate for specialist consultation fees unless you are an inpatient in a private hospital at the time.

Am I able to have a telehealth video appointment?

Gold Coast Spine is not able to support telehealth video appointments at this time.

Can I bring my pet with me to my appointment?

As we are a medical clinic, animals are not allowed in our practice. A service animal may attend with you if it is a registered service animal and clearly identified.