1. My child has a medical emergency

If your child has a medical emergency right now, please call 000 and ask for an Ambulance, to request immediate ambulance attendance at your location. Ambulance Victoria are also able to give basic first-aid advice over the phone while you are waiting for the ambulance and paramedic staff to arrive.

The Geelong Children’s Clinic is open 9am – 4pm Mondays – Thursdays. We are usually closed for ten days over the Christmas – New Year holiday period.

If your child needs after-hours medical care but it is not a medical emergency:

Phone Nurse Oncall 1300 60 60 24 for health advice from a registered nurse 24 hours 7 days.

Phone 13 74 25 to request a bulk billed home visit from a local GP in Geelong and the Bellarine / Surf Coast region; this service is available overnight on weekdays from 6pm – 8am, from midday Saturday through Sunday until 8am Monday, and also on public holidays.

Or attend your nearest hospital emergency department.

2. How do I make an appointment for my child to see a paediatrician at Geelong Children’s Clinic?

We must receive a valid referral from your child’s GP before we can offer an appointment time for your child to see one of our paediatricians. The referral must include the following information:

  • the child’s name, date of birth and home address
  • the name and phone number of the child’s legal guardian
  • the ‘referring concerns’: the medical symptoms and reasons why the GP wants a specialist to be involved in the patient’s care
  • the GP’s name, signature, Medicare provider number
  • the current date, and the duration of how long the referral will remain valid – usually 12 months.

Referrals can be posted, emailed or faxed to us from your child’s GP, or sent to us through the encrypted medical correspondence system ReferralNet.  Sometimes parents will bring a referral letter to us in person during our opening hours; we regret we are unable to arrange an appointment time for your child straight away, but we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

All incoming referrals are triaged by one of our general paediatricians, and an appointment is then offered to the patient within an appropriate timeframe. The ‘waiting list’ to see a paediatrician will depend on the age of the child and the urgency of the medical situation.

3. My child has a difficult skin condition. Do we need a referral to see the nurse specialist at your clinic?

Mr Tim Gartland is a nurse practitioner in paediatric dermatology, specialising in diagnosis and care of skin conditions affecting babies, children and young adults from birth to 24years of age. Tim works with us every two weeks and has a collaborative arrangement with our paediatricians for shared patient care if required. Tim’s skin clinics for kids do not require a GP referral.

If your child has a tricky skin condition that is not responding to simple skin care strategies at home, please contact our clinic directly on 5271 8667 to arrange an appointment for your child to see Tim.

4. Waiting list for paediatricians

Over the last 10 – 20 years there’s been huge population growth in the Geelong / Bellarine / Surf Coast regions, but there have not been many new general paediatricians who have moved here to live and work. There are long waiting lists to see a paediatrician in Geelong, for example: 1 – 2 months for an urgent medical problem that has needed treatment in hospital, and 6 – 9 months for problems related to long-term learning delays or difficult behaviours. As of October 2019, there are no public hospital clinics in Geelong where children can see a paediatrician for free.

The waiting time to see a paediatrician at the Geelong Children’s Clinic varies according to the doctor’s clinical caseload and the urgency of the medical problem that’s been described in the GP referral letter.

If you have received an appointment letter from us and you believe your child can’t wait that long to see a paediatrician, please contact us on 5271 8667 and ask to be put on the cancellation list. We will offer you a more urgent appointment if one becomes available.

Some families will also return to the GP with the child and ask if there is a different paediatrician locally who has a shorter waiting list. Here are the contact details for other local paediatrician clinics:

Geelong Paediatric Group on Ryrie Street: 5222 2222

Dr Bernie Jenner and associates on Malop Street: 5222 2199

Dr Peter Goss at the Granada Medical Centre on Myers Street: 5222 7721.

5. What if I need to reschedule an appointment?

If you need to change the time of a booked appointment, please phone us on 5271 8667.

Please give us at least 24 hours’ notice if you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment for your child, so we can offer the empty time to another patient who is waiting to be seen.

We routinely send out an automated text message 2 – 4 days before each booked appointment, to remind parents of the correct time and date. To confirm that you will bring your child to the planned appointment, please reply ‘Yes’ to this text message. If you can’t guarantee that you will bring your child to the appointment, please reply ‘No - reschedule’ and we will call you to arrange another appointment time that suits you better.

If parents reply ‘Yes’ to our reminder text message and then do not bring the child to the appointment on time, we charge a $50 cancellation penalty that is payable at the child’s next appointment here. This penalty fee helps keep our clinic diary working smoothly and helps encourage families to value the doctor’s time.

6. What should we bring to my child’s appointment?

Please bring the completed information forms for the Geelong Children’s Clinic - these forms are posted to you along with the letter confirming the appointment details.

Please also bring:

  • your child’s Medicare card
  • your family Pension card and / or Health Care card (if you have one)
  • your child’s Maternal Child Health Nurse record (a green A5 folder or blue floppy book) called ‘My Health, Learning and Development record’ for children born in Victoria
  • important letters or reports about your child from other doctors or therapists
  • results from recent health tests, for example: blood test results from GP clinic, hearing / audiology results, speech therapist reports, discharge summaries from hospital admissions.

7. Car parking

There is a car park available at the front of the hospital using a ticket system. This is charged at $2 per hour and is payable as you leave the hospital using a ticket machine that is located just outside the front entrance.

8. How do I find out the results of blood test and medical imaging investigations?

If your paediatrician has arranged blood tests or medical imaging for your child (x-rays, ultrasound, MRI or kidney scans), the paediatrician will usually plan for your child to come back to clinic for a follow-up appointment to discuss the results with you in person. This helps us provide optimal medical care and patient safety for your child, and optimal communication with you.

Sometimes the paediatrician will arrange to phone you with the results when the results become available in clinic. If you have not heard back from us when you were expecting to, or if you have concerns that your child’s symptoms are worsening, please call our clinic and we will follow this up as quickly as possible.

9. How can we arrange repeat prescriptions?

Patients needing long-term medication management by the paediatrician will normally have appointments booked regularly, so that the paediatrician can check the child’s progress, growth measurements, sleep and general health and then make any treatment adjustments required.

It is likely that new and repeat prescriptions will not be provided unless your child can attend clinic in person for a medical check up and discussion with the doctor.

If you have missed an appointment with us and your child’s script might run out, or if there is a problem with the prescription, please contact us as soon as possible.

10. Appointment costs

The Geelong Children’s Clinic is a private specialist medical practice. All fees must be paid in full on the day of the appointment. We accept EFTPOS, credit card and cash. Please call us in advance if you'd like to know what the appointment costs will be, so that you can be prepared on the day.

As of October 2019, there are no clinics in Geelong where children can see a paediatrician for free or ‘bulk-billed’. Paying for specialist health care in Australia is complicated: patients require a valid Medicare card and a valid GP referral letter, and will need to supplement the amount covered by Medicare payments with their own savings, so that the specialist fees are paid in full.

Our paediatrician fees are determined individually and vary depending on the service provided to your child on the day. The full fee for each appointment will be between $50 - $460, depending on who the child is seeing, how complex the problems are, and whether the appointment involves a ‘standard’ or prolonged consultation. Fees are reviewed every 12 months.

Our clinic payments system is integrated with Medicare claims online, so Medicare can pay the rebate for your child’s consultation directly into your registered bank account within 2 business days, as long as you have registered your correct bank details and home address with Medicare.

If your family is in a situation of financial hardship, please tell our front desk reception staff before you see the doctor. Sometimes the doctor will approve a ‘reduced gap’ fee of $30 over the Medicare rebate, so it will cost $80 – 240 to see the doctor on the day, then Medicare will pay you back all but $30 into your account within 48 hours.

If your child does not have current Medicare eligibility (for example, if you are a visitor from overseas, or if your newborn baby has not been added to your family Medicare card yet), please contact us by phone to discuss this. It is likely that the consultation costs will be much higher without the Medicare rebate.

Overdue accounts: the Geelong Children’s Clinic doctors cannot continue providing medical care for patients when the family have not paid the fees. If you know that you have unpaid fees here, please contact us to confirm the total amount that is overdue, and to arrange a payment plan by credit card.

11. We used Medicare cheques to help pay for medical appointments in the past. Why can’t we do this anymore?

Geelong Children's Clinic is no longer able to accept Medicare cheques. All accounts must be paid in full on the day of the appointment with either EFTPOS, credit card or cash.

Over the last two years we have found that many families have forgotten to post the Medicare cheques back to us, even if we provided a stamped self-addressed envelope for this purpose. Some families have accidentally deposited Medicare cheque funds into their own family account by mistake, when the cheque should have been posted to the doctor as payment for a past appointment.

When the clinic does not receive the Medicare cheques for medical appointments that have already happened, the doctors do not get paid for 3 - 6 months and the clinic business becomes non-viable. We cannot accept Medicare cheques anymore.

Please make sure that your correct bank account details and home address are registered with Medicare. This is the easiest way to arrange a quick Medicare rebate. Families who have their correct bank account and address registered with Medicare will usually have 50-90% of their medical appointment costs refunded directly into their bank account within 48 hours.

Many families are also using the Medicare app to claim the rebate online.

12. Do the paediatricians make home visits?

Our doctors do not provide a home visiting service.

The Geelong Children’s Clinic is open 9am – 4pm Mondays – Thursdays.

We are usually closed for ten days over the Christmas – New Year holiday period.

If your child needs after-hours medical care: 

phone Nurse Oncall 1300 60 60 24 for around-the-clock health advice from a registered nurse;

phone 13 74 25 to request a bulk billed home visit from a local GP: from 6pm – 8am weeknights, 12 midday Saturday until 8am Monday, all day Sundays and public holidays;

or attend your nearest hospital emergency department.

13. I have been asked to arrange a new GP referral for my child, who has already had 3 or 4 appointments with the paediatrician in the last year. Why is a new GP referral required?

Under Medicare rules, a GP referral letter to a specialist medical doctor is valid for only 12 months. The 12 months of validity begins on the date that the child's referral is first activated by the specialist. Once the patient has had a few appointments with the specialist and a clear diagnosis and treatment plan has been put together, often the child’s GP is happy to take over ongoing medical care and further paediatrician appointments are not necessary.

Sometimes GPs will want the child to have additional appointments with the specialist over a longer period of time, so a new referral may be required to make sure that the Medicare rebate is still appropriate, and to signal to Medicare that both the GP and the specialist are providing care for this patient.

Sometimes a GP will ask a medical specialist to take over the treatment of the patient’s medical problem ‘indefinitely’. This is not our preferred way of providing health care for children. The Medicare rebate for appointments with medical specialists are quite different to those for GPs. Sometimes there will be increased out-of-pocket costs for appointments provided under an ‘indefinite’ referral, compared to the patient having regular appointments with both the family GP and the medical specialist over time.

14. How do I make an appointment for Philippa to see my child at Barwon Valley School outreach clinic?

Philippa is only able to see patients at the Barwon Valley School outreach clinics:

  • if the patient is a current student at Barwon Valley School
  • if the patient does not have a current paediatrician
  • if the patient is likely to experience significant transport difficulties and / or emotional distress due to attending normal appointments with Philippa at the Geelong Children’s Clinic
  • if the parents are able to attend the appointments at the school as planned (normally Fridays)
  • if there is a valid GP referral.

Dr Philippa Shilson attends the Barwon Valley School in Belmont every 3 – 4 weeks during school term, providing bulk-billed appointments for those of her patients who attend Barwon Valley School. If your child attends the Barwon Valley School and does not have a general paediatrician, and your GP would like your child to see a general paediatrician regularly, please contact our clinic for further information on 5271 8667.

Barwon Valley School is a specialised education facility for Prep – Yr 12 students who have severe physical and / or intellectual disabilities. Philippa has found over time that some of her patients who attend Barwon Valley School have great difficulty accessing private clinics for regular appointments. These patients also benefit from multidisciplinary team work: when the parents + family doctor + general paediatrician + allied health therapy staff + school teachers and educational assistant aides are ‘all on the same page’ for the child’s health and learning needs. Philippa will normally seek feedback in person from the child’s teaching and therapy staff during the Barwon Valley School clinic appointments, if the parents agree.

15. General enquires and feedback

Please feel free to call our clinic, send an email or leave a message on our answering machine if you have a query. Our reception staff will be happy to provide assistance and follow up any enquiries during normal clinic hours.

This clinic is dedicated to providing a high level of patient care and we will always do our best to assist or resolve any concerns you have. If you have any feedback you would like to share, please email us directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

16. Our privacy and confidentiality policy - current as of October 2019

All patient information is private and confidentiality of patient information must be maintained at all times. The rights of every patient are to be respected. All information collected by this practice in providing a health service is deemed to be private and confidential.

This practice complies with Federal and State privacy regulations including the Privacy Act 1988, the Privacy Amendment Act 2014 and Victorian Health Records Act 2001.

Under no circumstances are employees of this practice to discuss or in any way reveal patient conditions or documentation to unauthorised staff, colleagues, other patients, family or friends, whether at the practice or outside it, such as in the home or at social occasions. This includes patient’s accounts, referral letters or other clinical documentation.

Medical practitioners and staff are aware of confidentiality requirements for all patient encounters and recognise that significant breaches of confidentiality may provide grounds for disciplinary action or dismissal.

Every employee of this practice is aware of the practice privacy policy and has signed a confidentiality statement as part of their terms and conditions of employment. This confidentiality statement continues to be binding on employees even after their employment has terminated.

Privacy Procedure

All employees of this practice are issued with the privacy policy and sign a confidentiality statement as part of their terms and conditions of employment. The policies and procedures of the practice are further explained during the induction of new staff members, and the induction form is signed by the new employee as confirmation that they understand and accept their obligations in relation to patient privacy and the confidentiality of medical information.