Referral Process

Making your first appointment

Any GP can refer you to one of our Psychiatrists

Once you have a referral you will need to send it in to the clinic for one of our Psychiatrists to review. You can post or drop the referral off in person, or GP Surgeries are usually happy to fax it to us directly.

Following review of the referral by the Psychiatrist, one of our admin staff will be in contact to arrange an appointment.

Other Specialist Doctors can also refer, however, specialist referrals are only valid for 3 months, and in any case it is preferable for our psychiatrists to be in contact with a primary care Doctor (GP) to make sure you healthcare is coordinated as well as it can be. GP referrals are usually valid for 12 months.

You need a referral in order to make an appointment, this is to ensure that the specialist care is coordinated with the General Practitioner properly. It also ensures that you are eligible for the Medicare Rebate. Medicare covers a significant portion of the medical fees. Without a valid referral in place you will not receive the rebate.

On the day of your appointment, the fees are paid in full by yourself. The eligible Medicare Rebate is immediately paid back into your account via our eftpos machine. The time between the full payment and the Medicare Rebate returning into your account is around 15 seconds. If having the whole amount in your account in the first place is an issue, please raise this with the clinic staff. For larger payments (as is often the case for the initial new appointment) there is an alternative payment method where only the gap fee is payable and the Medicare Rebate is paid separately via cheque.

Appointments can be prioritised according to the referral information (urgency), the clinic also runs a cancellation list for more urgent situations where last minute appointments can be offered to those who need them. Please note that Shellharbour Psychological Medicine is not an emergency service. If your needs are urgent or in an emergency please consider the following:

  • Call 000 where Emergency Services are needed immediately
  • Attend a Hospital Emergency Department
  • Call the Mental Health Access Line on 1800 011 511
  • Call Lifeline on 13 11 14