Frequently Asked Questions

Preparing for your appointment

How do I book a consultation?

Consultations are by appointment and you will usually need a referral from a general practitioner or specialist. Contact our reception by phone to make an appointment.

What should I bring to my first appointment?

  • A referral from your General Practitioner or family doctor
  • Your Medicare card, DVA card, or Pension card and details of your private health insurance, if you have have it.
  • Results of any previous tests relating to your complaint. This may include x-rays and other scans, blood test results or details of other doctors whom you have seen about this condition.
  • A list of your current medications and any drug allergies.
  • A completed Patient registration form or you may choose to complete this once you arrive in the rooms.

How is my GP involved in my care?

In the first instance, you should talk to your own family doctor about any symptoms. They can advise you on whether specialist care is appropriate and who the best specialist is for your needs. They can also initiate diagnostic tests or treatments prior to you seeing the specialist. Your family doctor can help the specialist to care for you better by providing relevant information about your past and present health and monitoring ongoing test results and treatments. Communicating with the specialist will also enable your family doctor to care for you better during and after your specialist treatment.

Can I change or cancel my appointment?

Please contact the practice office staff if you need to cancel or change your appointment time. Please give as much notice as possible so we can offer your appointment to patients on our waiting list.

Attending your appointment

What should I expect during my first visit?

During your first appointment, the gastroenterologist will ask you details of your symptoms and your medical history. Usually, a physical examination will be undertaken. Further appropriate tests or procedures will then be arranged. The gastroenterologist will explain what is involved with the tests or procedures and the main risks and benefits of having them done. They will also discuss treatment of your complaints and arrange for appropriate follow-up.

When do I come?

SGS is located in the Ryde Hospital medical precinct, just downhill from the hospital building. There is patient parking at the back of the property and easy, level access directly into the clinic building. Contact us here.

Are my medical records kept private and confidential?

Your medical file is handled with the utmost respect for your privacy. We will discuss details of your medical situation, as necessary, with your medical practitioners involved in your care but otherwise will not ordinarily release details from your medical file without your prior consent. As a condition of employment, our staff are bound by strict confidentiality requirements.

How do I pay for my appointment?

We request you settle your bill at the time of your consultation. We have facilities for EFTPOS or credit card payment and we accept cash but not cheques. If you have registered with Medicare, we can send a claim and Medicare can reimburse you directly into your bank account.

Arranging procedures

How are procedures arranged?

During your consultation, it may be recommended that you have procedures done. Your doctor will discuss what will happen, any preparation required and the risks [Hyperlink “Procedures”]. Our friendly office staff will then take you through the booking process and arrange a date for your procedures.

Can I have procedures without an appointment prior?

For patients who are eligible, your GP may recommend you proceed directly to having a procedure without a consultation prior. Your GP should complete the Direct Access Endoscopy Service form and you should then call the office to make further arrangements.

Fees

Fees for consultations

SGS is a private practice and the fees are listed below. We charge fees well below the Australian Medical Association (AMA) recommendations not because our care is cheap, but because we want to maximise the number of people who can access excellent, private gastrointestinal healthcare. If you have a valid referral, you can claim part of the fee back from Medicare, which will reduce the overall cost you pay for your consultation.

New consultations
Consultation fee $235
Pensioner fee $165
Medicare rebate $132.30

Follow-up consultations
Consultation fee $125
Pensioner fee $95
Medicare rebate $66.50

New complex consultations (addressing multiple medical issues)
Consultation fee $340
Pensioner fee $265
Medicare rebate $231.25

Follow-up complex consultation
Consultation fee $175
Pensioner fee $145
Medicare rebate $115.85

If you suffer financial hardship, we are willing to discuss different options for the fees. Public hospital gastrointestinal clinics provide bulk billed appointments which can be arranged through your GP, however the waiting time for new patients to be seen in these clinics are often quite lengthy.

Fees for Phone Consultations during COVID-19 restrictions

During the COVID-19 restrictions, we will be charging the lower pensioner rate for phone consultations, and pensioners will be bulk billed. The same Medicare rebates are applicable for phone consultations.

Fees for procedures

At SGS, private procedures are billed with “no gap”. That means, if your private health insurance covers the procedure, your gastroenterologist’s fees will be paid completely by your health fund and Medicare, and you will not be charged directly. There may however be an excess payment required by your health fund, depending on the level of cover you have chosen.

If you do not have insurance, you can pay for procedures to be done privately and prices vary depending on the hospital where the procedures are carried out. Further information is available from the practice office staff. Alternatively, we can usually arrange for procedures to be performed at one of our affiliated public hospitals where all costs will be covered by Medicare. Note that there is usually a longer waiting time to have procedures done in the public system.