Frequently Asked Questions

When choosing a doctor, be sure you’re choosing one that you can fully trust to answer all of your questions and concerns. We offer easy-to-understand guides for some of the most common questions and inquiries we receive at our practice. 

How do I know if I need to see a Neurosurgeon?

Your GP or another specialist will refer you to see a neurosurgeon if they believe you have a condition that might require surgery. In most cases they have received test results that show an abnormality that may be treated surgically if your symptoms are significant enough.

Is there a long wait for an appointment or surgery?

Please call our rooms to discuss waiting times. All referrals are triaged by our doctors so that clinically urgent conditions can be treated within an appropriate timeframe.

Do I have to come to the office or can I have a Telehealth appointment?

All patients currently have the option of a Telehealth appointment under the COVID Medicare guidelines until the end of 2021. After that time, patients outside of the ACT and major metropolitan areas may still be eligible for Telehealth appointments, please ask our staff.

Do you bulk bill?

As we are a private practice, there is a fee for appointments and surgery. Patients will be advised on the cost prior to any bookings. 

What will happen at the first consultation? Will I receive treatment that day?

The Neurosurgeon will ask you about your symptoms and examine you for any abnormalities. He will review the results of any scans or other tests and provide you with an opinion on whether surgery would be an appropriate treatment for your condition. If surgery is recommended he will have an extensive discussion with you about the risks, benefits and planning of this surgery. Except in urgent cases, surgery would be booked for a future date.

I've already had a CT scan, why do I need to have an MRI?

Often our surgeons require an MRI to fully diagnose your condition and offer a surgical opinion. An MRI more accurately identifies the structures most likely to cause your symptoms.

Can I have a copy of my medical records?

All patients have access to their records under the Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997 (ACT). As our records are handled under a strict privacy policy please direct all requests in writing to our staff. Note that we are only able to provide records generated by our practice, not any other health care provider, and that records may not be passed on to a third party without the consent of our practice.

Will my records be uploaded to My Health Record?

At this stage My Health Record is being used by specialists to download information only. The Department of Health is working with medical software providers to enable automatic uploads of specialist records but this is not currently in effect.

What COVID safe measures are you taking?

Our practice is undertaking extensive measures to protect our staff and patients via our COVIDSafe business plan. Measures include screening processes and increased cleaning and infection control procedures. Please be patient with our screening process: National Capital Private Hospital will screen patients entering the hospital and our practice uses both a screening questionnaire and the CheckIn CBR app.

Will the doctor always recommend surgery?

Surgery in only recommended when there are severe or disabling symptoms AND there is a clearly identified structural abnormality on the test results that is able to be corrected by surgery. In pain conditions it is up to the patient to decide if their symptoms are troublesome enough that they wish to go ahead with surgery.

Can the doctor recommend other types of treatment, physiotherapy, acupuncture etc for my pain?

Our surgeons are trained in identifying and treating surgical conditions. As there is a lack of evidence on the efficacy of other non-surgical treatments (and this is not their area of expertise) they are unable to recommend one treatment over another. However they are supportive of most treatments if they help patients to manage their pain.

I'm in a lot of pain, why won't the doctor operate on me?

Surgery is only beneficial if symptoms correlate strongly with a structural abnormality that can be corrected by surgery. Many patients experience very severe pain but the source of the pain is not related to a surgically-correctible problem. In this case it is in patients' best interests to be assessed by another type of specialist, eg, a pain specialist, as surgery would not improve symptoms and may even exacerbate the condition.

How do I know if my surgery will be effective? What are the risks involved?

If surgery is recommended, our surgeons would discuss the likely outcome, risks and benefits with your so that you can make a fully informed decision about proceeding.

Will Medicare or my health fund cover the cost of my appointment or surgery?

Medicare will cover part of the cost of your consultation and surgery. If you have private health insurance, you will be able to claim for in-hospital expenses as well.

How do I claim my Medicare and / or health fund rebates?

Our practice staff will be able to send your claim to Medicare and / or your health fund on your behalf to save you the trouble.

What can I do to improve my postoperative recovery?

Before and after surgery, our practice nurse Ann will provide you with information and instructions on what to do / what not to do after surgery to help your recovery. Ann is available to answer any questions during this time, please don't hesitate to contact our rooms.

After surgery, who can I call after hours to get assistance?

Our surgeons are contactable through our rooms (ph. 62604680) during business hours and through the hospital after hours. Please refer to your operation report and discharge instructions for contact details.

Please contact our practice with any queries.

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