1. Do I need a referral from my GP to see the dermatologists?

    Generally yes. To be eligible for a medicare rebate you need a valid referral. If a GP writes a referral it is valid for 12 months from the date you first see the specialist. A referral from another specialist will only last for 3 months. A new referral is required if 12 months has elapsed since your last appointment or if you have a new problem. Anyone can make an appointment to see our dermatologists without a referral however you will have to pay the full consultation fee without being eligible for the medicare rebate or any other services which may be covered by medicare.

    You are responsible for ensuring your referral is valid. 

  2. What if my condition requires an urgent appointment?
    As demand for our services are high unfortunately we often have long waiting times. We leave times available for urgent appointments however, and try our best to fit urgent patients in. Generally we ask that your GP contact us to let us know about the problem so that we can make an appropriate appointment for you.
  3. Do I need a referral for a Skin Care consult, antiwrinkle injections, skin peels or laser?
    No. As these are considered cosmetic procedures there is no medicare rebate available. We encourage patients interested in these services to make an appointment with our skin therapist Belinda Fraser. She can expertly guide you through all our services including the Rationale range of skin care products recommended by Drs Welsh and McDonald. She will also be able to explain what is involved with our treatments and recommend which may be best for you.
  4. Can I purchase the Rationale Skin Care if I am not a patient of Dr Welsh or Dr McDonald?
    Yes. These medical grade skin care products are available to everyone. As these products are stronger than those generally available through Chemists and Department stores we recommend you make an appointment with our skin therapist who will be able to assess your skin type and recommend a straightforward and effective skin care regime for you. We will always provide you with samples of the products first for you to try.
  5. What about fees?
    The cost of providing specialist medical services is high so we do not bulk bill. Your initial consultation fee will be quoted at the time of booking an appointment, although this will not include any additional services that may be performed at the time of the consultation (such as freezing treatment or biopsies).

    Private patients incur an out of pocket gap above the Medicare rebate. Medicare rebates are obtainable only if you have a valid referral.

    Pensioners and Health care card holders are charged at a discounted rate.

    Gold Card DVA patients and appropriate white card holders, are treated with no gap fees.

    Excisional surgery and cosmetic procedures are quoted individually depending on complexity. Cosmetic procedures such as muscle relaxing injections, skin peels, as well as some laser treatments do not receive a rebate from Medicare.

    Where a biopsy or excision is performed and tissue is sent to pathology you will receive a separate invoice from the pathology company involved. A significant amount of this is rebatable from Medicare.

    Please note that fees are payable at the time of consultation. We accept cash, cheques, Visa, Mastercard, and EFTPOS.

  6. Can I claim anything back from my health insurance?
    Generally no. Private Health Insurance relates to Hospital or Day Surgery Centres and is not relevant to consultations or procedures done in these rooms. Occassionally some treatments may be partially covered. This can be discussed with your doctor
  7. Practice Privacy Policy
    Complete Skin Specialists takes your privacy seriously.   Privacy protection and confidentiality of health information is essential for quality health care and we are committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of information we handle about you.

    This policy explains:
    –        How we collect, store, use and disclose your personal information;
    –        How we may access your personal information;
    –        How we may protect the quality and security of your personal information;
    –        How you may seek correction of any personal information we hold; and
    –        How you may make a complaint about our handling of your personal information.

    In addition to our professional and ethical obligations, at a minimum, our Practice handles your personal information in accordance with federal and state privacy law.   This includes complying with the federal Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) forming part of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Victorian Health Privacy Principles (HPPs) forming part of the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic).

    More information about the APPs and HPPs can be found on the Australian Information Commissioner’s website www.oaic.gov.au or in hard copy on request from our Practice reception.

    Collection of information

    The Practice collects and holds personal information about you so that we may properly assess, diagnose, treat and be proactive in your health care needs.

    The type of personal information we collect may include:
    –        Personal details (name, address, date of birth, Medicare number);
    –        Your medical history;
    –        Notes made during the course of a medical consultation;
    –        Referral to other health services providers;
    –        Result and reports received from other health service providers; and
    –        Credit care or direct debit information for billing purposes.

    Wherever practicable we will collect this information from you personally – either at the Practice, over the phone, via written correspondence or via internet if you transact with us online.

    In some instances we may need to collect information about you from other sources such as referring doctors, treating specialists, pathology, radiology, hospitals or other health care providers.

    In an emergency, we may collect information from your immediate family, friends or carers.

    Use and disclosure

    Your personal information will only be used or disclosed for purposes directly related to providing you with quality health care, or in ways you would reasonably expect us to use it in order to provide you with this service.

    This includes use or disclosure:

    –        To the professional team directly involved in your health care, including treating doctors, pathology services, radiology services and other specialist outside this medical practice.  For example, this may occur through referral to other doctors when requesting medical tests or in the report or result returned to us following the referrals;
    –        To the Practice’s administrative staff for billing and other administrative tasks necessary to run our practice.  Our staff are trained in the handling of personal information in accordance with the Practice Privacy Policy;
    –        To your health insurance fund, Medicare or other organisations responsible for the financial aspects of your care;
    –        Where required by law, for example, pursuant to a subpoena;
    –        To insurers or lawyers for the defence of a medical claim; and/or
    –        To assist with training and education of other health care professionals.

    If you do not wish for your information to be used for training of health professionals, please tick here: □

    Our practice does not intend to disclose your personal information to overseas recipients.

    Information Quality

    We aim to ensure the information we hold about you is accurate, complete, up to date and relevant.  To this end our staff may ask you to confirm that your personal details are correct when you attend a consultation.  Please let us know if any of the information we hold about you is incorrect or not up to date.


    Our Practice takes all reasonable steps to protect the security of the personal information we hold, by:
    –        Securing our premises;
    –        Using passwords on all electronic systems and databases and varying access levels to protect electronic information from unauthorised interference, access, modification or disclosure; and
    –        Storing hard copy records in secure filing cabinets or rooms that are accessible only to Practice staff.

    Access to your personal information

    Under law you have a right to access personal information we hold about you.  Please contact our Practice Manager for more information on our Access to Medical Records Policy.

    We ask that you put your request in writing.  A fee for the retrieval and copying of your medical record will apply, charged in accordance with the schedule of fees specified in the Health Records Regulations 2008 (Vic), plus GST.  This fee is not redeemable through Medicare.

    Amendment of your personal information

    If you consider the information we hold about you is not correct, please contact the Practice in writing.  You have the right to have any incorrect information corrected.

    What happens if you choose to withhold your personal information?

    You are not obliged to give us your personal information.   However, if you choose not to provide the Practice with the personal details requested, it may limit our ability to provide you will full service.   We encourage you to discuss your concerns with our reception staff prior to your first consultation or with your doctor.

    What about use of personal information for direct marketing?

    Australian privacy law limits the use of personal information for direct marketing of goods and services.  We do not use your personal information for direct marketing.

    What should I do if I have a privacy complaint?

    If you have a complaint regarding the way your personal information has been handled by our Practice, please put it in writing and address it to the practice manager, Mrs Lesley Ogilvie.  We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 14 days, and endeavour to provide a full response within 30 days of receipt.

    Should you be dissatisfied with our response, you may lodge your written complaint with Victorian Privacy Commissioner at https://www.privacy.vic.gov.au and/or the Victorian Health Services Commissioner at http://www.health.vic.gov.au.

    If you have a query regarding our Practice’s privacy policy, please contact our practice manager who will be happy to discuss the matter with you.