You don’t always need a referral to see a gynaecologist in Australia.
It’s sometimes possible to visit a gynaecologist without a referral, depending on the clinic you’re going to. However, Australian citizens and residents won’t be able to claim a Medicare rebate without a current referral letter from their GP (general practitioner).
Having said this, many gynaecologists will only see patients who have been referred – regardless of Medicare rebate considerations.
At any rate, a referral letter helps the specialist to better understand your medical history and why you need further support. This background information provides more context, so the specialist can concentrate on getting to the root of the problem rather than asking basic questions.
The gynaecologist can also keep your GP updated about any findings or treatment plans.
Referrals from GPs to gynaecologists (and all specialists) usually last for 12 months from the date of the first specialist appointment.
For cases that require ongoing support, general practitioners can write a letter with a longer referral date. The patient can also go back to their GP to get a new referral if required.
What is a gynaecologist?
A gynaecologist is a specialist doctor who focuses on the health of female reproductive organs. Some gynaecologists are also obstetricians who specialise in pregnancy and childbirth as well.
In Australia, gynaecologists must train for another four years after becoming a doctor (eight years in total).
When to see a gynaecologist?
It’s a good idea to see a gynaecologist once a year for general screening, regardless of whether or not you’re experiencing any problems. We generally recommend that women make their first appointment after becoming sexually active, or by the time they turn 21 (even if they’ve never had intercourse).
Here are some conditions that gynaecologists generally help with:
- Menstruation and menopause
- Fertility and pregnancy
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Cancers in the reproductive organs
- Cancers in the breasts
- Sexual dysfunction
- Domestic violence
- Sexual assault
How much does it cost to see a gynaecologist in Australia?
It generally costs $240 for the first consultation, and there’s a rebate of $76 for Australian citizens and residents who’ve been referred by a GP. Subsequent consultations cost around $165, with a $38 rebate for citizens and residents.
Dr Peng is a fully qualified gynaecologist and obstetrician:
Dr Andrew Peng understands how daunting a trip to the gynaecologist can be, especially if it’s your first visit! He creates a nurturing environment so that all patients feel as comfortable as possible, and sets aside plenty of time to discuss your concerns (you won’t feel rushed).
At Sydney Obstetrician, patients are [required/not required] to bring a letter from their GP.
Please call 0457 666 088 for more information, or to book an appointment with Dr Peng.