Psychiatry and Psychology
Do I need a referral to see a psychiatrist?
Yes, you require a referral from your GP, Obstetrician or another specialist to see our psychiatrist.
Do psychiatrists provide psychotherapy (talk-therapy)? I thought they only prescribed medication.
A psychiatrist is trained in both general medical, psychiatric and psychological treatments which allows them to prescribe medication as well to provide therapy. While there are psychiatrists that do not provide psychotherapy, our Psychiatrist Dr Makielan does provide.
What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors with specialist training in psychiatry. The treatments provided by a psychiatrist can include medication and general medical care including checking your physical health and the effects of medication, psychological treatments and brain stimulation therapies.
Psychologists have a Bachelor’s degree and two years of work experience– the study of the human mind and behaviour. They can provide psychological treatments, but cannot prescribe medications. Generally, you need a referral to see a psychiatrist, but not for a psychologist. Some psychologists may also hold a Masters or Doctorate level qualification in psychology. If they have a Doctorate (PhD), a psychologist can call themselves ‘Dr’, but they are not medical doctors.
Do I have a say in my assessment and treatment?
Your doctor will discuss your assessment and treatment options and give you an opportunity to ask questions. You will be asked to consent to before undergoing any treatment. You will also be asked if other relevant people (such as school teachers or counsellors) can be contacted.
Can I see the same practitioner in multiple clinic locations?
As one of Dr. Makielan's patients, you can move between any of her locations depending on availability and your preference. However, for psychotherapy sessions we recommend the Eastwood clinic as the rooms are designed for this purpose.
How long are the appointments?
The initial appointment is 45minutes or 60 minutes depending on if its for children or adults. Subsequent appointments vary depending on the nature of the problem and ongoing treatment, but are either 30 minutes or 45 minutes.
Will I get a reminder for the appointment?
Yes, our booking system will send an email with relevant information five days prior to the appointment and an SMS reminder three days prior. However, we cannot guarantee the successful delivery of reminders – it is the patient's or parents' responsibility to remember their appointment time.
Can I speak to Dr. Makielan on the phone?
Dr. Makielan is usually busy in clinic with her patients so it is unlikely she will be able to speak with you on the phone. If you have any specific questions regarding your treatment, please book an appointment.
Requests outside of appointments
Can I get a letter, document or Medical certificate?
If you need proof of your appointment or any forms filled out, please discuss this with us during your consultation and we can complete them during the consultation.
Can my school or psychologist contact you for information?
Requests for information need to be done via email or fax with written consent from patients and/or parents attached. We will only share the clinical letters or reports completed during your consultations.
Payment and Medicare Rebates
What is our Payment Policy?
Payment is required in full on the day of consultation by cash, Eftpos or credit card. If eligible, you can submit the receipt to Medicare for a rebate or we can lodge the claim online with Medicare on your behalf. Medicare will deposit directly into your nominated bank account within 24 - 48 hours.
What is the Medicare rebate for psychiatrist appointments?
For psychiatrist appointments, you will get back around $231.35 for an initial consultation and $163.45 for subsequent standard consultations.
However, Medicare also has a concept of Safety Net, which provides higher rebate once your out of pocket expenses (‘gap fee’) have reached a certain threshold. Once reached, Medicare will refund 80% of your out your out of pocket fees. This means most costs will be rebated after approximately 10-12 sessions.
For individuals and families registered for Safety Net, the threshold is $2169.20 (for 2020). For concession card holders – Pensioner Concession Card, Health Care Card or a Commonwealth Seniors Card, and people who receive Family Tax Benefit (Part A) – the threshold is $692.20.
What is the Medicare rebate for psychologist appointments?
If you have a mental health care plan from your GP, psychiatrist or referred to by an eligible specialist, Medicare will rebate up to 10 sessions in a calendar year. You will get around $87.45 in rebate.
Why do you not bulk-bill? Why do you have a 'gap fee'?
The reality is that Medicare rebates do not cover the full cost of providing you with safe and effective mental health treatment. The fees charged by our practice have to cover all of our operating costs including staff, rent, medical equipment, electricity, computers and insurance.