Here you will find the most common questions we get.

If there is a question you have that is not here, please feel free to reach out to one of our staff for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, generally not. We operate a full-service private practice clinic with leading local clinical and administrative staff, along with the latest state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic clinical technology, which enables us to offer patients a truly world-class clinical experience. This service is not possible to run on a Bulk-Billing model.  Therefore, there are reasonable out-of-pocket expenses associated with most consultations and procedures.

No, you don’t.  You are allowed to see an ophthalmologist without a referral in Australia.  However, having a referral enables you to claim the Medicare rebate after seeing an ophthalmologist.

If you are a Medicare card holder and want to claim the Medicare rebate, you will require a valid referral from either a GP, optometrist or another specialist to entitle you to claim your Medicare rebate.

GP and optometrist referrals are valid for 12 months and Specialist referrals are valid for 3 months. We accept indefinite/ongoing referrals from GPs and optometrists only.

Patients who do not have a Medicare card or who do not want to claim the Medicare rebate do not require a referral to attend the practice and will be billed per the standard rates.

It is worth noting that a referral often contains vital information about your medical history or particular condition and is worth the trouble.

Yes, you can.  You can use a referral that is made out to a different specialist of the same speciality/vocation (eg: another ophthalmologist) to see one of our specialists.

In clinic

Private health insurance does not cover in room procedures (unless you are an in-patient or overseas visitor with international travel insurance). If you are an international visitor with the necessary insurance, full payment is required at the time of the consultation, you will then be provided with a receipt to claim directly from your provider.


No, you are not necessarily required to have private health insurance to be a patient in a private hospital. A ‘self-funded’ patient is someone who doesn’t have Private Health Insurance, but pays for their medical treatment upfront.  This consists of the specialist’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital’s fee. 

An account will be issued on the day of your consultation. It is expected that all accounts are settled on the day. We accept payment via EFTPOS, Mastercard, Visa, cash and cheque. Where possible, we will process your account through Medicare.

Surgical patients are expected to settle their accounts within 21 days of surgery. Our surgeons may choose to, or not to, participate in the health fund GAP scheme. We will inform all patients of the costs of surgery prior to the procedure being undertaken.

In order to receive your Medicare and private health insurance benefit, our staff will provide you with the necessary paperwork in order to claim your rebate. Alternatively, you can claim through your MyGov account.

Yes, appointments are essential to ensuring we can provide you the adequate care needed.
Please phone our rooms on (03) 9417 1011 to schedule an appointment.

Most consultations are eligible for a Medicare rebate provided that you have a current referral, however Medicare doesn’t cover the full cost of your appointment / treatment and there are out-of-pocket costs.

Also, some individual tests do not have a Medicare rebate. We will advise you when this is the case in advance.

Currently there are no rebates for OCT (Ocular Coherence Tomography) and Pentacam.

If you have International Health Insurance you may be eligible for a rebate from your insurer. Payment for the consultation in full is required. One of our reception staff will provide you with a duplicate of your receipt for you to be able to claim from your insurer yourself.

Appointments are offered between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.

Our phones are open 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday.

Yes, any previous scans or results from your optometrist or another treating ophthalmologist will be useful in diagnosing and treating you.

Be prepared that in some instances we will need to repeat some tests again on the clinic’s equipment. This enables your ophthalmologist to get a baseline on our equipment for all future tests, which can be directly compared and monitored for progression of disease.

Orthoptists are degree qualified health professionals. Similar to a nurse, they support the ophthalmologist by performing relevant diagnostic testing, taking your medical history, discussing the reason for your visit and answering any questions and concerns you may have.

You will see an orthoptist at each visit before you see the ophthalmologist.

A new consultation takes 1 to 2 hours depending on what tests you require and your condition. We routinely advise all patients to allow up to 90 minutes per appointment and will endeavour to advise you if there are any delays.

We suggest that you come prepared that your eyes may be dilated. You may experience difficulty focusing and glare caused by the drops. Bring sunglasses for comfort as you may experience light sensitivity and arrange alternative travel as it is not advised to drive, alternatively, have a driver with you.

Any patient with an urgent problem should ask their referring practitioner to contact our room directly on (03) 9417 1011 to arrange emergency treatment with the appropriate ophthalmologist.

Existing patients please phone our rooms directly and we will triage your call and schedule an appointment as necessary.

Post-operative patients should phone their surgeon on the number provided to them in their post-operative instructions.

After hours, if you are unable to contact us or see your GP, we suggest you visit the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital or your local emergency department.

Melbourne Cup Clinic Closure

The clinic will be closed from Monday 6th November 2023 and will re-open on Wednesday 8th November 2023.

Happy Holidays

The clinic will be closed from Friday 22nd December 2023 and will re-open on Monday 8th January 2024.

From the team at East Melbourne Eye Group, we wish all of our patients & referrers a happy & safe festive period.

The Christmas holiday period can be a very busy time, please take a moment to ensure you have enough scripts to cover you over the holiday period and your referrals are up to date.