Referrals to medical specialists (such as gynaecologists and orthopaedic surgeons) are required in order to claim full Medicare benefits for a consultation. Referrals from your GP generally last 12 months.
Ongoing referrals for a particular condition are also sometimes issued where long term care of that condition is needed.
It is a good idea to check that your referral is still valid before you see your specialist. It is illegal for your GP to give you a backdated referral after the consultation.
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.