How to get a referral

To get a referral you’ll need to speak to your GP about your health concerns. Your GP will determine if you need specialist treatment and arrange any tests we require before they prepare the referral and send it to us.

Most referrals from GPs to hospital specialists are valid for 12 months. Referrals from specialists and consultant physicians to other specialists are valid for 3 months unless you’re admitted to hospital.

The referral process checks that the proposed consultation or test is clinically required. This allows Medicare to cover at least part of the cost for eligible patients.

What the waiting times are

Specialists see patients depending on the urgency of their condition. Because of this there may be a waiting list.

Waiting times vary. You can get an idea of waiting times on the Queensland Health performance website. Select the Seen tab to see the last quarters and average number of days waiting by specialty.

After your appointment the hospital may also place you on an elective surgery waiting list.

How to use Medicare

Our public hospitals offer Medicare bulk billing services to eligible patients. If you have a Medicare card you can choose to be treated as a bulk billed private patient.

If you choose to be bulk billed, your treatment will be free and clinic staff will claim your doctor’s services directly from Medicare.

If you're not eligible for Medicare

Sometimes getting treatment in a private medical clinic may be cheaper than a public hospital. We encourage you to discuss this with your referring GP.

If your GP does refer you to one of our hospitals, you’ll have to pay for your treatment.

Read more about health costs, insurance and financial support.

What services don’t need a referral

You don’t need a GP referral to access:

  • any emergency treatment
  • urgent mental health care
  • sexual health clinics
  • oral health care, provided you meet eligibility criteria.

Read more about outpatient appointments.

Last updated: December 2022