Make an Appointment
Whether you have a serious or ongoing worry, would like to have a well child check or have a niggling issue to tackle, we share the same values of wanting the best for your child. Find out what’s involved in making an appointment to come and see Dr Liz.
Preparing for Your First Visit to Flourish
We appreciate that we're all busy people so we aim to run on time. If you can be prepared it helps us make the most of the time allocated to you and lets you plan your day better. There are some preliminary formalities that need to be carried out before the appointment properly commences, so we allocate extra time in order to review your registration; to carry out developmental screening; and to complete health questionnaires.
Before your appointment, we will discuss your referral with you, explain the referral system, inform you of how much time we feel needs to be allocated to your appointment and why, and provide an estimate of what the fees will be.
Your First Appointment
We aim to run on time, so your first appointment will consist of an initial 10 to 15 minutes for the completion and review of registration forms and the filling in of health and developmental screening questionnaires, where applicable. The initial face-to-face consultation with Dr Liz is 30-45 minutes for a simple problem or 45-60 minutes for a more complex problem or where there's more than one problem.
If you feel you need more time please discuss this with us and we can arrange a longer appointment for you, additional pro-rata fees will apply.
Follow Up or Review Appointments
Follow up visits will be allocated up to 20 minutes for a simple problem and up to 30 minutes for complex problems.
We encourage you to have an ongoing relationship with your family doctor (GP) and we ask that you obtain a referral from your GP prior to the consultation. If you have a current GP referral then you are able to claim a Medicare rebate. The referral will relate to a specific problem and is valid for 12 months. If you need advice about another problem as well then you are required by Medicare to obtain a separate referral.
For long-term problems an indefinite referral maybe the best option for you. Please discuss this with your GP.
Referrals from other specialists are only valid for 3 months and this includes a newborn referral from your obstetrician.
For families who prefer not to, or are unable to, obtain a referral from their GP, we are still happy to see you. The fees will be the same but you won't be able to claim a Medicare rebate.
Your child health nurse or GP usually performs well child checks. However, some families choose to see a paediatrician instead. We are happy to provide this service to you, but this will only attract a Medicare rebate if you have a valid referral.
Every newborn baby has a routine check in the first 2-3 days following delivery. Either the attending obstetrician performs this or a referral is made to a paediatrician. The referral remains valid for 3 months. If the baby is well or has a minor problem the baby will stay with their mother in the postnatal ward. Babies on the postnatal ward are considered outpatients by Medicare and hence their care attracts an 85 per cent Medicare rebate. However, it does not attract a rebate from your private medical fund. It can be a bit confusing and as the baby is not seen in the consulting rooms of the doctor and is not considered an inpatient at a hospital (but technically is located in hospital with their mother). As the doctor needs to travel to see the baby, a home visit item number applies.
Attendance at deliveries out of hours i.e. weekdays Mon to Thurs 1800 - 0600 and weekends Friday 1800 - Monday 0600 are charged at a different rate.
Attending Without Your Child
It is important to us that your child’s experience at Flourish Paediatrics is a happy and positive one. We encourage you to speak openly to your child about the reason for the visit and avoid any comments during the consultation that your child may perceive as negative or critical.
Sometimes parents feel that there are issues they would like to be able to discuss openly but they may need some guidance on how to deal them. For example, these may be highly personal or sensitive issues or those which are not in the child's best interest to hear about at present. If this applies to you please discuss this with us and we will do our best to offer you a separate appointment to discuss your concerns. However, Medicare will not provide a rebate unless the child attends the consultation.
We do discourage having the child wait outside while the adults discuss issues that relate to them. There will be the odd occasion where this is unavoidable and this will be managed on a case-by-case basis.
There are three options available to you should you wish to come without your child:
• A private visit where no Medicare rebate applies;
• A separate referral for you to Flourish from your GP;
• A referral for two or more adults involved in the child’s care to attend and the visit can be claimed as a group therapy session.
Why Our Fees Are higher Than the Medicare Schedule
The Federal Government sets Medicare benefits arbitrarily. Over the years the benefit level has not kept pace with inflation nor the changing landscape of medical practice, thereby widening the gap between reasonable fees and benefits. Every medical practice incurs the cost of employing administrative staff, general running expenses such as computers and software, phone, rent, electricity, professional indemnity insurance, accounting fees and medical equipment. The practice costs must all be met entirely from the fee charged by the doctor for the medical services he/she provides to patient. The financial obligation on the part of the client that will be incurred is the gap or out of pocket payment and where possible it is our policy to inform all prospective patients before the services are rendered.
For newborn babies we are required to not only examine and manage your newborn but also be available 24 hrs a day while you are in hospital should problems occur. Of course it's not safe for the doctor to be available every day and we have arrangements in place for our colleagues to cover for weekends and periods of leave. One account will be sent and when an account occurs from another doctor covering we will let you know, and then we settle the doctor's account accordingly.
Please feel free at any time to call us to discuss.
Medicare Safety Net
Families who are registered for the Medicare Safety Net will be able to claim 80 per cent of any gap (amount of out of pocket expenses between the fee and the Medicare rebate) once they have reached the threshold. The safety net is set each year on January 1st.