General clinic FAQs

Paediatricians are specialists in newborn, childhood and adolescent medicine and will work with you and your general practitioner to provide care for your child. In general, the cut-off for new patients is around 16 years of age, although exceptions may be made in certain cases. For existing patients, the transition process to adult care needs careful planning and we will start undertaking this at around the age of 16 years. However, we can continue to provide care until your child finishes their schooling and feels comfortable moving onto adult services.

We will provide each child and family with the appropriate amount of time that their condition requires. A guide to appointment time duration is listed below:

  • Initial scheduled appointment – 1 hour (please arrive 10 minutes early)
  • Subsequent scheduled appointment – Approximately 30 minutes

Yes, all patients need a valid referral to see a specialist. You will need to provide your referral prior to your appointment. Referrals from another specialist last only 3 months, whereas a referral from your general practitioner will last 12 months from the time of your child’s first appointment at Fairfield Paediatrics. We request a new referral from your general practitioner every 12 months.

Absolutely – this is no problem at all.   It is completely your choice which specialist you choose to attend and you can use the referral you have from your GP to attend any paediatrician.

Yes – it is a legal requirement for Medicare billing purposes that your child attends the appointment. This includes attendance at the drop-in clinic for things like asthma management plans and repeat scripts etc.

If you would prefer to have a discussion without your child in the consulting room, please bring a friend or relative who can wait with your child in the waiting room.

If your child develops a new issue needing a paediatrician, a new referral needs to be obtained from your general practitioner. This is important so that your family doctor is aware of the changes in your child’s health and also so that we can allocate sufficient time for the appointment.

Please contact the practice as early as possible in the day to discuss this. We specialise in the assessment and treatment of acute medical issues and therefore in most cases we will advise you to still come to the appointment, although the time may change to try and minimise the risk to other patients. If it is a completely new medical issue, another referral from your general practitioner is required.

We understand the unpredictable nature of family life, traffic issues, public transport delays and last minute nappy explosions! If you are running late, please ring and let us know but travel safely as this is more important than anything else.

If you are only running a few minutes late, please attend the appointment but ring to let us know as this will help us make arrangements to keep your child’s appointment running as close to time as possible. If you are running more than 10 minutes late, we will still do our best to see your child that day although the time may need to be altered. Occasionally this won’t be possible but we will reschedule as the appointment as soon as possible.

Yes – we will send you an SMS if your doctor is running more than 30 minutes late, so please check your mobile regularly on the day of the appointment.

You are also more than welcome to call the clinic ahead of your arrival to check on whether your child’s appointment is likely to be on time.

Yes – for appropriate families, we welcome the opportunity to provide a Telehealth service.  Please contact us to discuss.

Absolutely! Our clinic is a safe space for children of all ages. If you can, bring a friend or relative with you to help mind other children while you are in the appointment with your child.

If this is not possible, we understand. Our reception team are happy to help out when they can, or your other children are welcome to join you in the consult room.

Of course! We welcome and encourage all mothers to feel completely comfortable breast feeding anywhere in our clinic. Fairfield Paediatrics is a member of the Australian Breastfeeding Association, which ensures that we maintain a smoke free environment and a welcoming attitude (as well as a comfy armchair in a more private zone if you so wish!).

Appointment FAQs

The current waiting time for an appointment varies depending on the urgency of the condition. When a referral is received at the clinic it will be expertly triaged, with the urgency of your child’s condition determining the length of time before an appointment is allocated. We try to see all patients within a reasonable period, and do not envisage any wait times extending for more than three months. When this is the case we offer a cancellation list, which gives the opportunity of bringing the appointment forward if a cancellation is received. If you would like to be placed on the cancellation list, please advise reception staff at the time of making your appointment.

Absolutely – we know how important rapid and easy access to specialised care is when your child is unwell.  We will always aim to see urgent patients the same day if possible, please call us to see how we may be able to assist.

Yes – if you would like your child to be seen as soon as possible and have the flexibility to attend an earlier appointment please ask to go on the cancellation list. Very often this will result in your child being able to be seen earlier however it is important that you have flexibility and are readily contactable. As we often only receive a few hours notice of a cancellation, we will usually send an SMS to several families on the cancellation list. The first family to call us back to confirm the appointment will be booked, any subsequent families that call will receive priority notification for future cancellations.

Fees FAQs

We are a private paediatric clinic and unfortunately it is not possible for us to offer bulk-billing.  We aim to keep our fees as low as possible and they are below the AMA recommended rates.  Please contact us to discuss and we can provide an accurate assessment.

You will be requested to pay the full amount on the day by credit card or EFTPOS.  We utilise Tyro and are able to credit back the Medicare rebate to your cheque or savings account with the funds being available immediately.  Alternatively, using Medicare Online your Medicare rebate will be directly deposited into your nominated bank account within 3 business days.

Yes – we offer reduced out-of-pocket costs for current Health Care Card holders.  Please mention this at the time of booking and bring your card to the appointment.

The Medicare safety net is a government initiative to reduce the out-of-pocket costs for outpatient medical services such as GP, specialist and eligible allied health consultations.  Once an individual or family has reached the amount set by the government in a calendar year, they are eligible to receive 80% of the out-of-pocket expense of the consultation.  Although there is a cap for the item number assigned to that consultation by the treating doctor, Fairfield Paediatrics always charges well under the cap.

If a family registers all members then every time an individual within the family attends a medical or eligible allied health consultation that results in an out-of-pocket fee, they contribute towards reaching the safety net.  Unfortunately it doesn’t happen automatically, even if all members of the family are listed on the same Medicare card.  Families need to register by completing the following Safety Net registration form and mailing it to the Department of Human Services (address is listed on the form).  As of January 2019 the current out-of-pocket expenses that a family needs to reach before being eligible for the safety net is $680.70 for Health Care Card holders and $2133 for all other individuals and families.   The Medicare account holder will be notified once the family is getting close to the safety net limit, once it is reached the additional rebate will be applied automatically by Medicare.

The safety net can be confusing, please discuss any questions you have with us and more detailed information is available here.

We aim to keep our fees as low as possible but can only do so by making sure that every patient attends their booked appointment. We will make every effort to remind you of upcoming appointments by SMS and/or e-mail but if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible. Unfortunately we may need to charge you a non-attendance fee if you don’t let us know that you need to cancel your child’s appointment.

No – by law, private health insurance is only able to pay towards the costs of medical treatment during a hospital admission. Paediatric consultations are covered by Medicare. However, you may be covered for some allied health services such as dietetics or psychology where they are not covered by Medicare.

For further information or to assess your eligibility for private health rebates from our allied health providers, you should contact your private health fund provider.

paediatrician faqs

Making an appointment

Simply provide us with some of your details, upload your referral letter and we’ll be in touch.