You will need a referral from your GP or another specialist before you can book to see one of our pain doctors. GP referrals are valid for 12 months from the date you first see our doctor, and specialist referrals are valid for 3 months.
We need to see the referral letter and we may need to get approval from our doctors before we can make your booking. Referrals can be mailed, faxed or delivered to our practice in person. They do need to be signed by the referring doctor due to Medicare regulations.
We will always endeavour to give you the soonest possible appointment that suits you.
Our doctors are all part-time at this practice, working at other practices and hospitals around town for the rest of the week (and often weekends!), and they are popular guys, so in most cases, this will mean a wait of at least 4-6 weeks, usually more.
The first appointment will be up to 1 hour long so that doctor has time to talk about your history and examine you before discussing possible treatment options. This may be followed by additional appointments which are usually 15 or 30 minutes.
Our doctors all work part-time at our practice, including some time in the rooms and some time in theatre, while working the remainder of their week at other practices and hospitals, so their schedules are busy. In order for them to give you the best care and attention, they may at times need to reschedule appointments around emergencies, and we will endeavour to contact you immediately should there be any change in your appointment.
Dr Alan Howell is retiring in March 2017. Dr Rod Grant has currently closed his books to new patients in order to give the best care to his current patients. Dr le Roux will do his best to see new referrals addressed to Dr Howell or Dr Grant, and we may ask you to get a referral to them instead.
When you book your first appointment, you will be sent a questionnaire to fill out and return to the practice prior to your appointment. This is invaluable in setting up your file, entering your information into our computer system and letting the doctor read your history before you come. You may return your questionnaire by mail, fax or in person during our office hours.
Failure to return the questionnaire may mean your appointment needs to be postponed or cancelled as we can not have your chart ready for doctor.
Our doctors want to be focussed on patients during appointments. To facilitate this, staff can take messages for doctors if you call but we cannot put you through to talk to the doctors.
As mentioned above, the doctors are not at this practice every day and when they are at other hospitals and practices our staff may not be able to interrupt them or even contact them, so it may take a few days to answer your enquiry.
If you have given us a mobile phone number, our automated system will send you a text message reminder two days before your appointment.
It is best to get repeat prescriptions from your GP rather than the pain doctors.