When should you see a Rheumatologist?
If you have muscle or joint symptoms that are causing you problems consult your General Practitioner who will decide if your symptoms require assessment by a Rheumatologist. A Rheumatologist is a specialist physician who has expertise in diagnosing and treating arthritis, other musculoskeletal conditions and autoimmune diseases. Sometimes called ‘rheumatic diseases’.
Arthritis mainly affects the joints while other musculoskeletal conditions can affect the joints, bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments, skin, eyes, internal organs and the nervous system.
A referral letter from a GP or specialist is required to see a Rheumatologist.
Some of the more common diseases and conditions rheumatologists treat are:
|Joint diseases||osteoarthritis, gout, spinal problems|
|Muscle and tendons||fibromyalgia, polymyalgia rheumatica|
|Bone diseases||osteoporosis, Paget’s disease|
|Autoimmune diseases||rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, scleroderma|
|Connective tissue diseases||hypermobility spectrum disorders, Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome|
Your GP or referring specialist will advise you whether your referral is urgent or non- urgent. There is a set of criteria that helps them decide on the urgency of your referral.
Adult Rheumatology Services in the ACT
Canberra Health Services – Department of Rheumatology (Canberra Hospital) – must be referred by GP or specialist, services are bulk-billed direct to Medicare.
- Urgent referrals: if your GP feels you need immediate assessment and treatment they will contact the on-call rheumatology register at Canberra Hospital and then may send you to the Emergency Department at The Canberra Hospital.
- Non-urgent referrals: are sent via email (eReferral) by the GP or specialist directly to the department. The eReferral is then triaged according to urgency from 1-3 (e.g. Category 1 seen first). The rheumatology department will contact you with an appointment.
Three clinics are held: Biologic Clinic, Early Arthritis Clinic, General Rheumatology Clinic
Private rheumatology services accept urgent and non-urgent referrals. Your GP or specialist must email/ fax/ post a referral letter directly to the practice before an appointment can be made. The practice will triage your referral and contact you with an appointment time. Fees apply.
Canberra Medical Specialists
Rheumatologists: Dr Chandi Perera* and Dr Kokum Dissanayake
Telephone number: (02) 5134 5998
Address: Suite 4, 6 Phipps Close, Deakin ACT 2600
*Dr Chandi Perera is the also the Head of Canberra Health Services, Rheumatology Dept.
|Dr Anna Dorai-Raj *||Dr Kenneth Khoo||Dr Pentony||Dr Morrisroe*|
|Dr Suren Jayaweera||Dr Ted Tsai||Dr Schweta Kumar *|
(*currently not taking new patients)
Telephone number: (02) 6260 3796
Address: Level 1, 1 Bowes Place, Woden ACT 2606 Referrals to: email firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 88, Woden ACT 2606 or by Fax: (02) 6260 3402
Equinox Specialist Centre
Rheumatologist: Dr Ling San Wong
Telephone number: (02) 6269 2455
Address: Located at- Equinox 2, 24/70 Kent Street, Deakin ACT 2600. See patients over 15yrs of age.
Canberra Rheumatology – not taking new patients.
Alternatively, you can see a rheumatologist in Sydney. To find a rheumatologist in Sydney go to the Australian Rheumatology Association website at www.rheumatology.org.au
Paediatric Rheumatologists in the ACT
Currently, there are no Paediatric Rheumatology services available in the ACT. To access Paediatric Rheumatology services please see information below on Sydney services that are available.
Paediatric Rheumatologists near the ACT
Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick Rheumatology Dept
Rheumatologists: Dr Jeff Chaitow and Assoc Prof Davinder Singh-Grewal
Telephone number: (02) 9382 1597
*GP or specialist referral letter to specialist by name, faxed to (02)9382 1580. Weekly clinics alternate Weds and Thurs.
Rheumatology Department at Westmead Children’s Hospital
Telephone number: (02) 9845 2525
Rheumatologist: Dr Jeff Chaitow (fortnightly on Thurs) and Assoc Prof Davinder Singh-Grewal (every Friday) at the Paediatric Rheumatology Outpatient and Bandaged Bear Clinics. GP or specialist referral letter to specialist by name, faxed to (02) 9845 0566.
PRIVATE – Sydney only (contact the private rooms directly)
Rheumatologist: Dr Jeffery Chaitow
Telephone number: (02) 9487 3611
Fax: (02) 9487 3735
|Wahroong Specialist Centre |
Suite 6, 176 Fox Valley Road
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9.30 – 17.00
|Norwest Medical Centre |
Suite 101, level 1, 9 Norbrik Drive, Bella Vista
Tuesday & Friday 9.30 – 17.00
Rheumatologist: Assoc Prof Davinder Singh- Grewal
Telephone number: (02) 8212 4123
Fax: (02) 8212 4126
|Suite 9, Level 1 Children’s Hospital Medical Centre |
Hainsworth St, Westmead, NSW 2145
|Suite 202, Level 2 |
66 High St, Randwick, NSW 2031