frequently asked questions

We have put together information on what you can expect when visiting our clinic.  Have a read through and if you still have questions you can note them down to ask us when you come in, or give us a call, our friendly team will be very happy to answer any questions you have.

How do I make an appointment?

A referral from your GP will need to be faxed, emailed or sent via Healthlink to us. Our surgeons will review your referral and instruct our staff on the urgency of the referral and what type of appointment to book. Our staff will call you directly to book an appointment.

Do I need a referral?

Yes, in the event you would like to receive a rebate of your consultation fee from Medicare. Your referral from a GP expires after 12-months, please ensure you have a valid referral at the time of your appointment or follow-up appointment.

How soon can I have an appointment?

You should only have to wait a few weeks for an appointment. If the matter is urgent, ask your GP to call our rooms directly to book an appointment. If your GP has requested you have a hearing test, barium swallow test, MRI scan or CT scan prior to your appointment, please ensure the results are sent to North Queensland Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery to avoid delay with your appointment. Due to the length of time required for a vertigo or dizziness syndrome assessments, Dr Anderson only schedules one appointment per day (Wednesday or Friday). We have a cancellations list, please ask our staff if you wish to be placed on this list in the event an earlier appointment becomes available.

How soon will I have surgery?

Your surgeon will determine how urgent your surgery is and will instruct our staff on when to schedule your surgery. School holidays are popular times for surgery, so ensure you have sufficient time to have an initial consultation with a surgeon before surgery is booked. As we have 3 ENT surgeons we have 3 days a week where a surgeon is operating.

What should I bring to my appointment?

Your referral, list of current medications, allergies, DVA card number, pension card, NDIS management plan, audiogram results.

What are my payment options?

We accept cash, EFTPOS or cheque.

I do not have Private Health Insurance, can I and/or my child/ren still be seen?

Yes. Our surgeons see uninsured patients. Private Health Insurance does not cover your initial consultation or follow-up consultations. Private Health Insurance applies to when you are admitted to hospital. If you require surgery, this will need to be at your own cost. We can provide this information after your appointment with the surgeon.

What does my Private Health Insurance cover?

Private health insurance does not cover your initial consultation or follow-up consultation with our surgeons in the private consultation room. NQ ENT staff will prepare a quotation for your surgery which you will be asked to read and sign. Your surgery will not be booked until a signed quotation is received. Your quotation will include your known gap, which is the amount billed directly to your health fund and your health fund is responsible for paying the invoice. Your quotation may also include a gap fee (out-of-pocket costs) which is payable to NQ ENT by you. Each private health fund has their own fee schedule, so it is essential that you have your private health insurance membership when you come for your appointment. Private Health funds are continuously changing their fee schedules, so it is advisable to contact your health fund before your appointment to know precisely what you are covered for.

What is No-Gap and Known Gap Insurance agreement?

Your private health insurance provider sets a maximum limit for how much they will pay over the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) fee prescribed by Medicare. Your surgical quotation from NQ ENT will outline if the surgeon charges above the MBS but under your private health insurers ‘no gap’ threshold, meaning you will not have to pay extra fees. If the surgeon charges above the MBS and above the private health insurers ‘no gap’ then this amount will be payable prior to booking surgery.

I want to have my surgery/my child’s surgery during the school holidays?

Our NQ ENT staff will endeavour to accommodate your requests for dates for your surgery. The school holidays are especially busy periods for our surgeons. NQ ENT work with Mater One to increase the number of children admitted for surgery the week prior to school holidays to ensure 2 weeks recovery time over school holidays. Dr Anderson and Dr Liebenberg have school aged children and may not be available during school holidays.

I received my surgery quotation 11 months ago and I now want to proceed and I have signed this quote. When can I have my surgery?

Your GP referral expires 12 months from the original appointment with your ENT specialist. If this has expired, you will need to obtain a new referral from your GP. Your ENT surgeon will require a review appointment with you prior to booking surgery. Your health may have changed in the time since your last assessment, you may need to provide further medical history and your diagnosis may have changed. Our quotations are only valid for 28 days from the date the surgeon has seen you. Your private health fund may have also changed its fee schedule, so the quotation will need to be revised following your review with the surgeon.

Do I have to attend a follow-up appointment?

The surgeon may request a follow-up appointment during your initial consultation. It is your choice to attend the follow-up appointment or perhaps re-schedule. If you reside outside Townsville, our surgeons offer a telephone review for $45 or a tele-health review via Skype which is rebatable through Medicare.

I am/my child is on the waiting list at the Townsville Hospital, can I see an North Queensland Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery Clinic specialist and transfer back to public for my surgery?

Our practice is a private practice and provides a fee-for-service consultation and surgery. Free-for-service consultations are provided by Queensland Health and it is recommended that you ask your GP for a referral to this service. If your intention is to see one of our surgeons to enable you to ‘jump the public wait list’, we only operate a fee-for-service consultation and surgery. It is recommended to see your GP and organise a referral into the public system.

What about after hours contact details for my surgeon?

The surgeon may provide you with his private mobile number in cases of an emergency. Our staff will not provide patients with the private mobile number of a surgeon. Alternatively, if you are worried or if it is an emergency go to the Townsville University Hospital Emergency Department to be assessed by the Emergency doctors. If a North Queensland Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon is not available a ENT doctor is always on call at the Townsville University Hospital.