FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Many people in Australia worry about skin cancer with good reason. We have the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with 2 out of every 3 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer within their lifetime.

Anyone with a risk factor for skin cancer should consider getting a whole body skin examination. Skin cancers can appear even on areas of the body that are not exposed to the sun.

Our patients are people from all walks of life. Here are some of the risk factors that increase the risk of having a skin cancer:

  • A family member has had a skin cancer treated
  • You have been sunburnt in the past, particularly as a child
  • You have used a solarium in the past, particularly under the age of 30
  • You have a large number of moles on your body
  • You work outdoors or have done so in the past
  • You regularly pursue an outdoor sport such as cricket, golf, surfing, running, or swimming
  • You have had a skin cancer before
  • You have a very fair skin which burns easily

Prior to your appointment please go to https://www.hotdoc.com.au/forms/graceville-skin-cancer-clinic-new-patient-registration-form and fill out your New Patient Forms including providing details pertaining to  any previous Skin Cancer Treatments.

Before your initial skin check please look at your skin, scalp and private areas and note anything of particular concern that you may wish to mention to Dr Norval. Please do not wear any makeup, artificial tanner or hand or toe nail polish to your appointment. This is so your doctor has a clear and unobstructed view of your skin.

During a skin check Dr Norval will ask you to undress down to your undergarments. You will be asked to lie on the examination couch and all female patients will have a chaperone in the room (generally a Nurse or Medical Administration Assistant). You will be covered with a sheet and during the skin check will be checked using a variety of instruments such as the Molemax HD Machine, Molemate or dermlight which magnifies and illuminates the skin.  These tools allow Dr Norval to see the patterns within the skin lesion with a remarkable amount of detail. If you know there is a mole that Dr Norval has not seen (perhaps under the underwear) you should let him know so they can examine this also.

Any lesion which appears to be suspicious will be noted. Dr Norval will also obtain your request  for a biopsy (where a small part of the lesion is removed and sent for pathological examination), once Pathology indicates that Skin Cancer has been detected we will contact you for a recall appointment for an excision (where the lesion is completely removed). If you do not receive a phone call from us please note that we have no need for any follow up appointments. We will only call you if we need to see you or discuss a result. If you are concerned you are of course welcome to ring us to ask if your biopsy results are back but our standard practice policy is to call you back IF Dr Norval has recalled you. Please keep in mind receiving your histology results can take time depending on the lab that is processing the results and their staffing levels at the time but generally we receive all lab results back in 1 week and you and then called back (weekdays) within 24 hours to make an appointment to come in (only if Dr Norval has requested a recall for you).

  1. Please come in with easy to remove clothing and little to no jewellery.
  2. Please make sure you point out any areas of concern. If you have any moles that have changed in appearance or moles that have become painful please make sure to mention these. Dr Norval will do a full skin check but often patients have a good idea if something seems a little unsual so if you are feeling something is wrong it is always best to point it out at the time of your appointment – there are no such things as embarrassing questions.
  3. Please do not wear strong perfumes or deodorants or body lotion.
  4. Please do not shave your legs for at least 5 days prior to your appointment. Often shaving can cause chaffing or cuts which can make your skin look abnormal.
  5. Please do not wear foundation or heavy make up as Dr Norval needs to see your skin clearly without making up masking your appearance.

FEES & BILLING INFORMATION

From 1 January 2024 fees will will be:

FROM 1 January 2024

For Holders of a valid Pension Card or Health Care or Concession Card – We will Bulk Bill all services. Please note if you do not hold a valid concession card there will be a fee payable of $150 up to 30 June 2024.

THIS FEE Includes all histopathology and/all biopsies and any excisions. Please note there is no Medicare rebate for cosmetic Procedures including skin tag removals. For cosmetic skin work you will need to book a consult and discuss all fees at your appointment. You will need to pay your $150.00 skin check appointment and ask for a quote for cosmetic procedures. From 1 January 2025 please note this fee is $185.00 with a Medicare rebate of $41.10

All Other Patients (including under 18’s)

Your skin check appointment will cost $150.00 per skin check with a $41.10 rebate from Medicare. Please note for all bookings from 1 January 2025 this fee will increase to $185.00 with a $41.10 rebate from Medicare. For cosmetic procedures such as skin tag removal you will need to book a skin check appointment and obtain a quote for further work (such as skin tag removals).

THIS FEE Includes all histopathology and/all biopsies and any excisions.

FROM 1 January 2025 – A Full Skin Check Fee will be $185.00 with a medicare rebate of $41.10

This fee Includes all histopathology and/all biopsies and any excisions following your skin check and if you require more regular skin checks within a 12 month period you will need to pay this fee again.

Procedures such as Biopsies and Excisions are included in the $150.00 Skin Check fee.

If you do not hold a valid Medicare/DVA card the costs can go into the high hundreds of dollars so please be aware you will be responsible for all fees if you do not hold a valid Medicare/DVA card. We do not take Private Health Insurance as we are a Medical Clinic under Medicare.

The actual amount will depend on the complexity of the work being done and a quote will be given to you on the day of your appointment. You will need to book a Standard Consultation ($150.00 which does not attract a Medicare Rebate) as Medicare do not reimburse patients for ‘cosmetics’ (skin tags, small tattoo removal, neatening of scars etc). Our most common request is the removal of skin tags. Pricing generally starts out at $90.00 per skin tag however this is a rough estimate only.

Please note COSMETIC work will only be available from Mid 2025 as Dr Norval is heavily booked and is prioritising his Skin Cancer Patients over any cosmetic procedures.

For Patients who do not hold a Medicare Card please note we charge $150.00 for the skin check and all histology and procedures will be privately billed due on the day of the consultation. 4Cyte Pathology will send you a seperate account. Payment is expected at the time of consultation and can be made by cash, EFTPOS, MasterCard/Visa and payment will be required at the time of your appointment. Costs can run into many hundreds of dollars. We do not take Private Health Insurance as we are a Medical Clinic under the Medicare System.

Please be advised that our Non Attendance Fee of $75.00 will be payable if we receive less than 12 hours notice (working hours) prior to your appointment. There is no Medicare Rebate for this expense. If you miss 2 or more appointments and do not pay the non- attendance fee we will not be able to offer you any further appointments. Please note that for multiple non attendances in the same family the $75.00 non attendance fee will be charged per person. We are often booked out for up to 4 months in advance with a lengthy wait list for cancellations and giving us notice that you intend to cancel allows us to give another patient the opportunity to access an earlier appointment.

PLEASE NOTE: As part of booking an appointment to attend our clinic you accept and agree to the below terms:

1. We are a paperless practice and do not keep hard copy patient files. As a result you are required to fill in your online new patient form at least 7 days prior to attending your appointment. If you manage to get a last minute cancellation you agree to fill out the forms at the same time as booking as we do not have staff available to type in information at the time you present to the clinic. This must be done immediately. Online forms can be located at

https://www.hotdoc.com.au/forms/graceville-skin-cancer-clinic-new-patient-registration-form

2. If you wish to have us review patient files from other clinics please ensure that obtain your own records directly and these are brought to us in hard copy format at least TWO WEEKS prior to your consult with Dr Norval. We do not insert foreign disks/usb sticks into our system as our server could be corrupted by a virus. Hard copy records regarding your skin only conditions (please do not drop off GP files containing other medical history) can be dropped into our practice for scanning onto your patient file however your skin check consultation goes for 20 minutes at a cost of $150.00 if you are requiring a longer appointment for Dr Norval to review your current skin condition this is NOT included in your allocated appointment window and you will require a double appointment ($300.00 for a 40 minute consultation) with a medicare rebate of $80.10 and a deposit of $150.00 needs to be paid at the time of booking a double appointment.

TELEHEALTH SERVICES

If Dr Norval needs to follow up with you after your initial Skin Check appointment and you are unable to come in for an appointment we offer bulk-billed telephone consultations for your convenience. The process of booking a telephone consultation is simple and operates in the same manner as making a standard face to face appointment.

When making an appointment online (please go to Hotdoc) simply select the appointment type ‘phone consultation’ rather than the reason for the appointment. Please note Dr Norval can not diagnose Skin Cancers or offer follow up treatment by phone and email. Phone appointments are in the event you have questions pertaining to after care or medication use following your face to face consultation.

Please note Dr Norval will do his best to contact you at the scheduled time however unexpected delays may occur.

Please be advised that we DO NOT PRESCRIBE S8 medications either in person or by phone.

PATIENT INFORMATION

GRACEVILLE SKIN runs an appointment system. You can make an appointment by contacting the practice by phone or booking online by HOTDOC. We do NOT offer Walk-in appointments. Dr Norval is frequently booked out weeks in advance and as a results will require a booking by phone or in person to discuss any needs, questions or concerns. He does not return patients phone calls without an appointment due to being heavily booked out with existing patients. Please understand that if he has multiple Interuptions without a valid appointment time this takes away time from his existing patient and leaves that patient without receiving the appropriate level of care they deserve.

Each appointment is for one person. If you have other family members who require medical attention, please make a separate booking for them aims to adhere to appointment schedules; however, the unpredictable nature of a medical practice means that doctors sometimes run behind time. This is mostly due to a patient requiring urgent medical attention. We sincerely regret any inconvenience caused to patients when we fall behind with our appointment schedule.
If you are a new patient please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to your appointment time to ensure Medicare card details and all relevant patient details are up to date. For all existing patients please be on time for your appointment. If you are late for your appointment Dr Norval will have to cut your appointment time short as he cannot keep his other patients waiting.

We would really appreciate it if you no longer need your appointment to please call and cancel so another patient can book the appointment.

In order to monitor your health and fulfil our ethical and legal responsibilities, we require that you attend your doctor in order to receive all results, scripts or referrals. Our staff are unable to provide you with your results over the phone however they will be able to contact you to ask that you return for a recall appointment.

It is our practice policy that Dr Norval does not take phone calls from patients or return patient’s phone calls. If a patient needs to speak to Dr Norval they must make a face to face or telephone appointment.

Reception staff are happy to put forward requests; however, it is at the doctor’s discretion in how they choose to proceed.

This practice is designed for wheelchair access.

For your convenience car parking is available in the carpark located near the clinic as well as in the surrounding streets.

Your medical records are private and confidential and only available to authorised members of staff. All information at GRACEVILLE SKIN is managed in accordance with the National Privacy Principles of the Privacy Act available at www.privacy.gov.au/health.

If you have any concerns, complaints or suggestions about any aspect of our service we would appreciate hearing about them and will take them seriously.

Please use one of the following:

Phone: 07 3132 8960
Email: mail@gracevilleskincancerclinic.com.au
Use the suggestion box.

Matters which are unable to be resolved within the practice may be referred to:

Office of the Health Ombudsman
133646 (133OHO)
complaints@oho.qld.gov.au
PO BOX 13281,
George Street
Brisbane 4003