Our patient hub contains comprehensive information about your first appointment and the care you can expect to receive with us. If you have any further questions prior to your appointment, please call the Vision Eye Institute clinic with which you are booked (during business hours) or use our ask a question form (do NOT use this form in an emergency – contact the clinic or visit your nearest hospital emergency department instead).
Please confirm the following details prior to your appointment:
To ensure your appointment runs as smoothly as possible, please bring:
The receptionist will ask for a current referral letter and information such as your contact details, referring practitioner and if you have private health insurance or a concession card.
You will then be seen by an orthoptist. An orthoptist is a university-trained healthcare provider who diagnoses and investigates diseases of the eye and eye movements. Your orthoptist will take a medical history from you and use this to decide what, if any, testing is required. Many of these tests can be performed on the same day, but some may need to be scheduled for a later date.
Once the relevant tests have been performed, the orthoptist will provide these results to your ophthalmologist.
An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who has undertaken further specialist training in disorders of the eye. During the consultation, your ophthalmologist will go over the relevant parts of your medical history, examine your eyes and review your test results. In many cases, a diagnosis can be confirmed during the consultation and a treatment plan agreed upon. Occasionally, further tests will be required.
You will be directed back to the reception desk to make another appointment (if required) or be discharged from the clinic (i.e. no further follow-up required).
Our clinical staff generally allow 2 hours for the consultation and tests – this may seem like a long time, but we need to be thorough to ensure the delivery of high-quality care and the best possible outcome for you.
We always endeavour to keep waiting times as short as possible, but please also note there may be times when our doctors and orthoptists run late due to unexpected emergencies. As registered medical specialists, all Vision Eye Institute doctors are required to attend to emergency patients (particularly in situations where there is a risk of vision loss). We appreciate your patience when this occurs and our staff will update you about any changes to your appointment time.
Depending on your initial symptom(s) or complaint, there are a number of standard tests we perform – even if it seems like a simple problem. While some tests may seem unnecessary, they help us to make the correct clinical diagnosis and determine the right treatment for you. It also saves time to perform these tests before you see the ophthalmologist so that you don’t need to re-join the test queue or return at a later date to undergo these tests.
Procedures often take time and require specialised sterilised equipment. If the procedure room or specialised equipment is not available at the time of your appointment, our reception staff will book your procedure in for another suitable time.
However, if you require urgent treatment (e.g. for a sight-threatening retinal condition), this is often performed on the same day as your consultation.
We book patients in a way designed to ensure maximum efficiency and keep waiting times to a minimum. However, our doctors are often referred emergency and urgent cases because we treat the full range of eye conditions. These patients require immediate attention and may be at risk of losing their sight.
All Vision Eye Institute doctors are registered and professional healthcare providers and have a duty of care to attend to patients who require emergency or urgent care promptly.
Therefore, there may be occasions when our doctors and orthoptists unexpectedly run over time. We understand that waiting for appointments can be frustrating, but please be assured that you would receive this same priority care should it ever be necessary.
It’s important that you have a consultation and eye examination before we provide you with a quote because there are a number of factors that can affect the time, materials/equipment used and complexity of the surgery. During this consultation, your ophthalmologist will make a diagnosis, ensure there are no other issues with your eyes, discuss your treatment options plus the benefits/risks, and give you a detailed quote.
For example, there are a number of different lens options to choose from if you are having cataract surgery and the surgical technique may need to be modified if there is another eye condition present, such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.
Delivering high-quality patient care is our priority. Sometimes this means we need to repeat tests that have already been performed by your optometrist. There are various reasons for this – e.g. sometimes our machines may provide more detailed information, or we may need to check whether your condition has progressed.
However, we only order tests that will assist us in diagnosing and treating your eye condition. If you have any questions about why a test has been ordered, please don’t hesitate to ask your orthoptist or ophthalmologist.
If you have a valid referral letter from an optometrist, GP or another specialist doctor, you will be able to claim a Medicare rebate for the consultation. The consultation fee will depend on whether it is an initial consultation or a review (i.e. follow-up consultation) and can also vary from ophthalmologist to ophthalmologist.
Other costs you may incur include:
Please note that there have been recent changes to private health insurance legislation to help consumers better understand the different policies available. As a result, your level of cover may have changed.
Always remember to check your level of cover directly with your insurer before having a medical or surgical procedure – we can provide you with the item number if required.
Many people are suitable for laser eye surgery to correct vision problems due to short-sightedness, long-sightedness and/or astigmatism.
Laser eye surgery may be an option for you if:
Only a qualified eye care professional can determine your suitability for laser eye surgery. Even if you don’t qualify for a laser procedure, there are a number of other vision correction options available.
We offer free, no-obligation laser assessments with one of our optometrists or orthoptists – book your free assessment now
Medicare does not rebate any of the cost of laser eye surgery, apart from some of the cost of the pre-surgical consultation if you have a referral letter from a GP or optometrist.
Some private health insurers do offer cover for laser eye surgery.
We recommend you contact your health care provider to verify your level of cover.
BUPA members can call 134 135 or visit www.bupa.com.au.
Medibank members can call 132 331 or visit www.medibank.com.au.
Laser eye surgery is not recommended for women who are pregnant.
Pregnancy-related hormonal changes cause your body (including your corneas) to retain more fluid and swell. Some women temporarily become more short-sighted while they are pregnant. Medications given during and after surgery could also affect your unborn baby. We recommend waiting a few months after giving birth before having surgery, when your vision has returned to pre-pregnancy levels.
Some of the medications used for patients undergoing laser eye surgery may pass into breastmilk and potentially into your bloodstream as well. Therefore, it’s advisable to delay laser eye surgery until you have stopped breastfeeding. You should also wait at least 3 weeks after your procedure before trying to conceive.
A suitability assessment for laser eye surgery is performed by one of our orthoptists or optometrists. During this free, no-obligation assessment, we will perform a number of key tests to check whether you are in the treatable range for laser eye surgery. If we determine that laser eye surgery is an option for you, you can choose to proceed to the pre-surgical consultation with one of our highly experienced vision correction surgeons.
The pre-surgical consultation involves comprehensive testing and measurement of your eyes followed by a thorough discussion with your surgeon about:
This consultation attracts a fee and is eligible for a Medicare rebate if you have a referral letter from an optometrist or GP.
Please note you cannot book a laser eye surgery procedure without having the pre-surgical consultation first.
IMPORTANT: If you are concerned about your eyes and require an urgent consultation, DO NOT use this form. Please call one of our clinics during office hours or contact your nearest emergency department.