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 – Dr Chandi Perera, Dr Kokum Dissanayake – Ph: 5134 5998

Suite 4, 6 Phipps Close Deakin ACT 2600

Dr Chandi Perera is the also the Head of Canberra Health Services, Rheumatology Dept.

Rheumatology ACT – Ph: 6260 3796

Level 1, 1 Bowes Place, Woden ACT 2606 Referrals to: email referrals@rheumatologyact.com.au or Po Box 88, Woden ACT 2606  or by Fax: (02) 6260 3402 Rheumatologists who practice at Rheumatology ACT are:

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)

Equinox Specialist Centre – Dr Ling San Wong – Ph: 6269 2455

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

PUBLIC- Sydney

Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick Rheumatology Dept – Ph (02) 9382 1597

Dr Jeff Chaitow and Assoc Prof Davinder Singh-Grewal. 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 – Ph (02) 9845 2525

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)

Dr Jeffery ChaitowPh: (02) 9487-3611 Fax: (02) 9487 3735 reception@jeffchaitowpractice.com.au

Wahroong Specialist Centre

Suite 6, 176 Fox Valley Road

Monday, Wednesday, Friday   9.30 – 1700

Norwest Medical Centre

Suite 101, level 1, 9 Norbrik Drive, Bella Vista

Tuesday & Friday   9.30 – 1700

Assoc Prof Davinder Singh-GrewalPh: (02) 8212 4123 Fax: (02) 8212 4126 www.paediatricrheumatology.com

Suite 9, Level1 Children’s Hospital Medical Centre

Hainsworth St, Westmead NSW 2145

Suite 202, Level 2

66 High St, Randwick NSW 2031