This page will explain everything you need to know about our specialist clinics and the process to make or change appointments.
How to make an appointment?
All specialist clinic appointments require a referral.
Go to your local optometrist for an assessment and referral if you have an eye condition. Your optometrist will provide us with information about your eyes including how urgently you require an appointment.
Ears, nose, or throat referrals:
If you need a referral for your ear, nose, or throat your doctor or GP can assist with an assessment and referral. This information will help us understand what sort of appointment you need and how urgently you need to be seen.
Demand for our services is high which may mean a long waiting time. If your referral is accepted we will send you a letter letting you know that you have been added to the waiting list and asking you to call and make an appointment.
What to bring with you?
Once you have an appointment with us, please bring the following on the day:
Your appointment letter from the hospital
Any relevant X-rays, scans, blood tests, or other test results
A list of current medications you are taking
Your Medicare card, pension card (if you have one), and any other medicine concession and Safety Net cards you may hold
Your GP’s address and phone number
Any medication or dietary supplements you may require during your visit
Toys or books for children who are attending the clinic with you
Clerical staff will register you 15 minutes before your appointment. You will then be asked a few questions and asked to take a seat in the appropriate waiting area.
2. Clinical Assessment and Investigation:
Depending on your condition you may be seen by an Orthoptist or a Nurse who will perform some tests. You may require scans or photos to be taken by a Medical Photographer. You may be given eye drops which might blur your vision. After these procedures you will be asked to go back to the waiting room.
3. While you wait:
Clinicians perform examinations before you see the doctor. This may impact your appointment time. This is a good time to think about and write down questions you may want to ask your doctor and complete any paperwork you have been given. If you need to get refreshments, use the toilets or move your car please tell the clerical staff. You will not lose your place in the queue.
An Ophthalmologist or another medical professional will examine your eye and advise you on an appropriate treatment plan, any further investigation and obtain your consent for surgery if required.
Our clerical staff will tell you about your follow up arrangements.
If the doctor has prescribed any medication, you will need to visit the pharmacy to get the script filled.
Main hospital (32 Gisborne Street)
Level 1, Smorgan Family Wing
Eye and Ear on the Park (St Andrew’s Place)
Upper ground floor, open Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm.
Phone: (03) 9929 8203
You can go home and follow the treatment plan given by the doctor, if relevant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Specialist Clinics are a type of service where you are assessed and cared for by specialist doctors – in this hospital that means a doctor who is a specialist in eye, ear, nose, or throat conditions. In some cases, you will also be seen by an associated allied health clinician (eg an Orthoptist). Within your visit your condition will be assessed (using diagnostic testing) and treatment options will be discussed.
Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5.30pm.
You may bring someone with you to the clinic, however, due to limited seating we would ask you to come with one companion only. If you are attending an eye clinic, we advise you not to drive as eye drops may be used that will blur your vision. Please refer to our COVID-19 updates to note any visitor changes.
If you are a Medicare card holder, you will not be charged to see the doctor. You will be charged for your medications. The price of this varies and discounts apply to Pension and Health Care card holders.
It is important that you telephone, email or write to the specialist clinic to notify them of any changes, this will ensure that the clinic can continue to contact you.
We recommended you allow up to three hours for your appointment. All patients are given a specific appointment time, however, sometimes delays can occur. The staff may be delayed by needing to discuss a complicated treatment or diagnosis with a patient, or they may be required urgently in other parts of the hospital. Plan to arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before your allocated appointment to allow time to complete any necessary paperwork, especially at your first visit.
The Eye and Ear is a specialist teaching hospital, so there are medical and allied health care students who are at different stages of their training interacting with patients to increase their clinical knowledge. Your doctor will introduce these staff to you, and it is your right to refuse to be seen with a student if you so wish. This will not affect your care in any way.
The Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS) assists rural Victorians who need to travel long distances from home for specialised medical treatment from approved specialist doctors. To be eligible for assistance, patients must reside in a rural region and travel 100 kilometres or more (one way), or an average of 500 kilometres per week for five weeks or more, to receive treatment from a recognised specialist. Each state has its own subsidy scheme. To find out more about these schemes, contact your GP or State Government.
For further information, contact Support Services or read more about the VPTAS scheme.
The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital is committed to protecting your privacy under the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic), learn about your rights and responsibilities.
You should ask your doctor during your appointment for a medical certificate if you require one.
Waiting list letter
As with all public hospitals, we are constantly reviewing our waiting list to try and make sure that the people most in need of our specialist services can be seen in a reasonable timeframe by our specialists. We are writing to patients on our waiting list to check their details are correct and confirm if they still wish to remain on our waiting list. Patients who no longer need our services can be removed, freeing up more space for patients who require our specialist care.
Please send back the form on the letter using the reply paid envelope supplied. You can also email email@example.com with your details, including your Patient Number (located on the top right hand of the letter), stating that you wish to remain on the waiting list.
As we are writing and calling a number of patients at once to confirm their details, the phone lines can get very busy. If you have a question about why you received a letter you may like to read these Frequently Asked Questions first to see if they help to answer your questions. If you are calling to confirm that you would still like to remain on the waiting list, you can write to us using the form and reply paid envelope supplied, or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org with your details or questions. You can also leave a message and someone will call you back.
Once we receive notification that you would like to remain on the waiting list we will write you a letter confirming that you are still on the waiting list. Please allow 4-6 weeks for a confirmation letter to be sent. Please be aware that Australia Post advises that current mail delivery timeframes are up to five business days.
If you are a patient who has been waiting a long time for an appointment with one of our specialists, we are recommending that you get an updated referral as your condition may have changed. If the new referral indicates that your condition has deteriorated, you may be moved up the waiting list and seen more quickly. If you do not wish to get a new referral you can still remain on the waiting list.
Once we receive notification that you would like to remain on the waiting list or a new referral from your GP/healthcare provider, we will write you a letter confirming that you are still on the waiting list. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for a confirmation letter to be sent. We will also write to your GP/healthcare provider. Please be aware that Australia Post advises that current mail delivery timeframes are up to five business days.
The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital is a major provider of services in ophthalmology and otolaryngology to patients from all over Victoria. Demand for our services is very high, particularly our Specialists Clinics. As a specialist hospital, the Eye and Ear aims to prioritise care to those with urgent and complex clinical problems and has put in place a number of strategies to manage demand, including regular validation of our waiting lists.
If we do not hear back from you to say you still require an appointment at the Eye and Ear, you will be contacted again and your GP or healthcare provider will also be notified. In line with the Department of Health Specialist clinics in Victorian public hospitals: access policy, if after we have tried to contact you three times and do not get a response, you will be removed from the waiting list and your GP or healthcare provider will be notified. That place will then be freed up for another patient requiring specialist care.
To make sure that our waiting list is as accurate as possible, we would appreciate hearing from you to tell us if you no longer need an appointment at the Eye and Ear. That waiting list place can then be freed up for another patient requiring specialist care.
Due to high demand for specialist care at the Eye and Ear, there is a considerable waiting time for an appointment. If you are concerned about your condition while you are waiting, please see your GP or healthcare provider.
It can be hard to remember the questions you want to ask your doctor or nurse when you are at your appointment. We have listed some example questions below that you can use as a prompt if necessary.
What treatments are available to me?
What could these treatments involve?
Could there be any side effects?
What can I do to manage medication side effects?
How long do I need to take this medication/ use new drops for?