View Full Version : Assessment in Melbourne - What is 'normal' ?


Kelly777
11-25-12, 04:57 PM
Is this common / uncommon / normal ? ...

31 year old female here, who the other month was randomly reading some things about ADD when the penny dropped.

Anyhow, I found a place in Frankston (Melbourne) that has a psychologist and a psychiatrist specialising in adult ADD/ADHD..
So I got a referral from my GP, waited about 3 weeks for my first appointment with the psychiatrist.

I had two appointments a week apart with the psychiatrist, who would not really tell me much. He asked for my mum to come down for the 2nd appointment in which he asked her all about her childhood and how she went in school. After the end of the 2nd session I'm like "so what's wrong with me" and he replied "everyone's different" and then told me I now need to be assessed by the psychologist.
So luckily I get an appointment the next day as someone cancelled.
(lucky as mum traveled half a day to do this for me)
So I get to bring mum in again, and the psychologist asked my mum about how I was as a child.
He goes on to explain the diagnosis process and that this is the start of an assessment which will cost $1100 that is not claimable with medicare!
I sh*t myself for a bit, as I had no idea I was up for all this, but mum suggested it was not that expensive considering the help I may get.
So now I have my 2nd session with the psychologist next week, then 2 more after that (4 x 1h session with psychologist for assessment)
Then the psychologist has to write up this massive assessment of me that is pages and pages, that could take a week, that he then gives to the psychologist.
Then the psychiatrist matches his notes with the psychologist to see if it all matches up, and goes from there.
I asked what the deal was with the stuffing around, and the psychologist said that the psychiatrist will not treat ADD until an assessment is done due to the medications prescribed being S8.

/
Here is my out of pocket expenses so far before I even get near to getting diagnosed (rebate already calculated)

$79 psychiatrist
$124 psychiatrist
$1100 psychologist assessment
$124 psychiatrist
------
$1427

And the time it will take, going every week, will be at least 8 weeks before I know anything, probably longer as they will be on holidays over xmas.

Is this normal? WTF am I doing! Some docs diagnose in 2 sessions so I hear?
This service better be A+! :umm1:

Crazygirl79
11-25-12, 07:38 PM
That's pretty much the norm unless you want to use the public health system where it's free (but you'd be on a nice long waiting list) but if you're looking for a better quality service I'd pay the money!!

It's not much different here in Brisbane...

Selena

amberwillow
11-25-12, 07:47 PM
I'm in Melbourne too.
I didn't see a psychologist at all... My GP referred me to a specialist GP in Toorak who took my history and I did a Global Mindscreen test (which he helped design).

I had 2 sessions with the psychiatrist he recommended as well since only the psychiatrist can actually prescribe most ADHD medications.

I'm happy for you to PM me.
It's nice to have another forum member closer to me as well.

Welcome :)

amberwillow
11-25-12, 08:16 PM
I forgot... I also had a full range of bloodwork done to rule out thyroid issues or hormonal factors.

Kelly777
11-25-12, 10:05 PM
Hi, thanks Selena and Amber.
I just found out after some research... 2 other people that have had the same doc I'm currently seeing, in the end, after spending $1300+ he only put them on Prozac.
Iím not fricken depressed!
One of them said it was just a waste of lots of money.
What have I done!
I am already a third of the way into this (cost wise) so I may as well slug it out and get the assessment finished. It would feel like such a waste of effort and time to quit now, seeing my mum traveled down from the border just for the first visits at the request of the doc.

What do you mean by 'use the public health system' - as in bulk billing?
Do any ADD/ADHD psychiatrists bulk bill?

Psychological assessments are not covered by Medicare (so I hear) so even low income earners cannot get out of paying around $1000 for an assessment. Unless they are somehow lucky enough to skip that part.

So these comments around the forums about people getting diagnosed in Oz in 2 sessions is not the norm?
I know I am impatient, but jeeez!

Thanks Amber, I will contact you.

Sapphire11
11-25-12, 10:20 PM
All up its cost me over 5k or more in and out of a private hospital in Perth attending group therapy, blood work done to check for thyroid problems and hormone problems aggressively treating my depression, treating my anxiety, treating my sleep problems but 2 years later were finally treating the ADD/ADHD and it was absolute desperation hell but finally here now and im hopefull now, lifes going to change im confident were finally on the right track.

I think being diagnosed later in life sometimes takes a little while especially for females as we have all the female stuff going on too.

You will get there just hang in there

tudorose
11-26-12, 06:42 AM
I didn't have to go through all that but I did get drug tested about 3 times even though I've never taken illegal drugs in my life. This was over 12 years ago and I was the poster child for ADHD with a paper trail a mile long. Also by the time I got to the Pdoc I'd already had 2 opinions and been told to go and get formally diagnosed. The previous 2 opinions had been given by a child psychologist at my kids school and then a psychotherapist. I'm not sure if things have changed but apparently I was so blatantly obviously ADHD that I didn't need to get sent for a psychological assessment. Was the same for my daughter. My son was a different story though. We had to go through a lengthy costly process for him because the pediatrician suspected some sort of autism from the outset which I'm grateful that he did because he was right.

Kelly777
11-26-12, 06:47 PM
The more I think about, the more I feel upset that I was pretty much tricked into doing this $1100 assessment.
I was only informed about the process by the psychologist on my first assessment session with him (after two sessions with psychiatrist in the same building).
He was surprised that I was not informed when he got me to sign the paperwork stating it will cost $1100.
I will be calling up at lunchtime to express my disappointment in their practices and to state that I would like to have my remaining sessions cancelled. So far I'm 'only' out of pocket $370.

I am going to see the recommended Adult ADHD GP in Toorak.
I feel happy about the fresh start :-)
I should have done my research first, damn my impulsiveness, I hate it!

Keywords so others can be warned: Dr Ronald Barry - Silvan Lodge Frankston (used to be in Caulfield North)

Kelly777
12-12-12, 11:34 PM
Just an update, I'll be quick as I should be working (I am at work lol).

As recommended, I saw Dr Christopher Mulroney, then the mental health nurse at the same place who got all my history, then Dr Mulroney again just yesterday. Got my report/referral all written up and dropped it off at his recommended psychiatrist down the road.
The psychiatrists clinic called me this morning to say that they can get me in anytime next week after 3pm! None of these weeks of waiting!
So I see him in only 5 days and begin proper treatment very soon.
I asked why so quick and they said that the psychiatrist wants to see me very soon as my ADHD is severe and he wants to help me ASAP. (I don't think I'm that bad compared to others on this forum, but we ADD's are supposed to have bad personal insight or something aren't we?)

:thankyou:
Thank you to all those who recommended me to Dr Mulroney, he really listens and understands what ADHD is, and most of all, he really wants to help.
I feel so happy and refreshed that my life and brain is going to be better soon. And without a hefty price tag of $1500+ (as the experience mentioned above with another ADHD 'clinic')

hahaha, that thankyou icon is so ADHD! little funny smiley man running/spinning around in circles!
:thankyou:

r4nx77
11-26-15, 03:10 AM
Sorry to revive a really old thread! However, this thread has helped me significantly. I am also from Melbourne, VIC (Australia) & I have had trouble trying to find help for ADHD. So I hope this thread can also help others..

I'm a male in the mid 20's, and self diagnosed myself with Inattentive ADHD some time ago. After I realised that it was affecting my daily life I finally came around to seeing my local GP regarding the issue, he pretty much told me that the medication (amphetamines) will ruin my life, and he does not recommend I take this route at all (kind of made me feel like ADHD does not exist). He tried to push me into thinking about anti-depressants and asked if I wanted to be referred to a psych. I disagreed (since my issue is not depression, most people with ADHD form depression due to the ADHD and feeling down about not accomplishing or performing well and many other factors such as social issues that all revolve around ADHD).

After that encounter, I let it go... 6 months later, I pretty much hit rock bottom (my ADHD symptoms were getting worse, the brain fog made it feel like my brain was deteriorating, procrastination was ruining my business and life, as well as social issues).

At this stage, I went to a different (still local, bulk-billed (free)) medical center to see the psychiatrist there. They told me I need a referral. So I went back to the local GP that I usually go to (random doctor each time), and I explained my symptoms. He said he doesn't think I have ADHD. He then wrote me the referral, and in the description he wrote "does not have symptoms of ADHD, but still wants to check" (even though the symptoms I told him are actually very much apart of ADHD - he must have thought ADHD is only "hyperactive kids"). I obviously did not use his referral paper.

Probably a month or two later, I decided to try and get help again. I went back to the other local medical center (the one with the psyc), to see their GP so they can just refer me directly. When i went in to see the GP, as soon as he asked why I was here, and I said ADHD, he immediately told me that he does not have experience in this field (which I respect him for being honest, unlike the doctors at the other clinic who pretend to know and give false info), and told me to make an appointment with another GP in the same clinic who does. He also told me I will need to see a psychiatrist (which is something I already knew). I told him if its possible to skip the other GP and book me in with the psychiatrist directly (refer me), he said yes, and done that. I handed my papers to the front, and they said the psychiatrist will call me on Saturday to make an appointment. I felt relieved, that I had finally taken the first step, which has been very hard to do.. Saturday passed.. no call. Then towards the end of the next week I went in to see whats going on, they said they have no control over it, but gave me the direct number of the psychiatrist . So I called and left a message, he returned my call the next day and apologized for not calling back, stating that he does not deal with ADHD (the reason for not calling me to make an appointment).

Then I pretty much gave up on getting help for ADHD (keep in mind this is making my mental situation worse). I was reading about ADHD everyday for hours (lurking different forums and articles etc). I pretty much knew that there was no medication that can fully help ADHD other than those specifically prescribed for it (ie; dexamphetamine). So I started searching for "ADHD melbourne" and found a place (wont mention the name) on google. I called up and said I want to see someone for ADHD. She said so do you want to see a psychiatrist or a psychologist. I said I dont know, whats the difference? I want to see someone for ADHD. She began to say that the first appointment will cost me $440 (once I heard the first app is $440 I just zoned out and began saying yep, yep, yep until I was able to get off the phone). I got the vibe that this place will be setting me back thousands and the receptionist didnt seem very nice or caring. I just didnt feel comfortable about the place. I thought that a place who advertises "ADHD treatment" will be able to decide whether I need to see a psychiatrist or psychologist. Again, I gave up.

I then randomly found this thread, and I tried finding the Toorak place mentioned, specifically Dr Christopher Mulroney.
Turns out he is no longer at the Toorak place mentioned in this thread. Luckily though I found him, and he is now at One Point Medical Centre in Prahran (a very nice and friendly place). I called to make an appointment, and the receptionist was very friendly and explained the whole process to me before booking as well as all costs involved. I was very comfortable in going ahead. When it came to choose a time for the appointment, she began by saying that 'we have 9am available' (i was about to say that afternoon time would be better), but before I did she giggled and said that usually people coming for ADHD miss their early appointments, did you want to make it in the afternoon? and i laughed and said yes please, and we booked for 2PM. She made my day, because for once I felt that someone understood me / ADHD instead of making me feel like I was someone looking for drugs or for something that doesnt exist/ is not possible. (I was still 10-15mins late to that 2PM appointment, even while speeding on the CityLink).

Dr Christopher Mulroney, from beginning to end, was professional, understanding and very educated in ADHD. He drew explanations on paper for me to help understand ADHD, we done the global mindscreen test, as well as a mental health plan. After all the tests done he told me he thinks I have ADHD Type 2 (inattentive) and is comfortable in referring me to the psych for an official diagnosis (unlike the other docs who just refer you to anywhere, even to the wrong psych, just so they can hurry and get another patient in after you). He noted all my past history that we discussed and made a 'profile' for me which contained my life history, which I then had to hand to the psychiatrist a few doors down. I am now waiting for an appointment to see that psyc.

Even though I havent really been treated/diagnosed yet, I feel like this is an accomplishment, and I can really see that I will be getting the help i need. I am looking forward to a brighter future.

For anyone else in Melbourne, please dont bother looking elsewhere or messing about with different GP's and clinics. As you can see from my post, its been very hard trying to get help. Dr Christopher Mulroney is an asset to the ADHD community. He is a specialist for ADHD (not just a regular GP) who truly cares and will properly assess you to find out whether you have ADHD or not, and if you do, he will help.


On a side note: "Kelly777", if you see this message, can you update us on whats been happening with you (or what happened with you). I am really interested to see how you are doing, and the changes in your life. Are you still taking the medication?
Any other users are also welcome to post, with your experiences on life with medication :)

Jerry888
01-18-16, 04:42 AM
Hey r4nx77,

How much does is cost to have an appointment with Dr Christopher Mulroney @ One Point Medical Centre?

and the appointment with psychiatrist?

thanks

r4nx77
02-13-16, 05:00 AM
Hi Jerry,
From memory, these are the costs;

1st consultation with the doc & mental health plan; $260
See the psychiatrist (once a year); $650 (approx)
Back to see the doc after seeing the pysch; $175
(we have now obtained a prescription for dexamphetamine)
Buy dexamphetamine from chemist; $13

After that, you need to see the doc every month to get a new prescription,
which is always $175 because its classed as 'mental' not general.

Keep in mind: you will pay less than these prices (through the medicare rebate), although it is still expensive.
They refund you on the spot.

For the $175 payment, you will pay $175, then they will refund you around $71 to your debit card on the spot.
I forget what the % of discount is, but you can contact medicare for that info.

r4nx77
02-15-16, 01:15 AM
I forgot to mention above, before you go to the first consultation, they will request that you do the 'global mindscreen test' (they will give you the details for it). From memory it costs $59 or around that. Its pretty much a questionnaire that in the end will send the results to the doc and will show you if you have ADHD and how severe, as well as depression and other things.

So pretty much after all the start up costs, it will cost you $175 + $13 - $71 (rebate) = $117 per month for a bottle of 100 x5mg dexamphetamine.

So it is an expensive ordeal, and you should only consider if ADHD is really affecting your life. (not if you are thinking hmm I may have ADHD, should I get prescribed?).

Affecting your life means your quality of life is poor due to the symptoms of ADHD. Then it is worth getting help.

I would suggest first trialing a Vitamin B complex, aswell as a EPA/DHA rich fish oil, and possibly L-Tyrosine in the morning, to see if they can assist with your symptoms before taking the jump to stimulants.

If you do decide to take the jump, please research adderall/dexamphetamine neurotoxicity , and take low dosages to protect yourself from any possible long-term damage. Magnesium is a good supplement to take at night before you sleep.

archie1234
05-08-16, 08:19 PM
Hey r4nx77

Would you please give us an update on how you are doing.

Thank you so much.

Jazzhands90
08-01-16, 08:32 AM
26. Female. Also melbourne resident. Diagnosed at 12 years old. On and off rittalin participant since then.

Re: costs.
Today i paid $150, this was a 20min consult, no prescriptions. Medicare gave me $75 back. The first inital consult i had with this doc was around $300. This was medical history etc. Again medicare gave some back but you know, not much at all.
I was seeing Dr. Barry since i was 12 years old till about 18 years old. He was good then but as you can imagine i was not footing the bill. The average cost back then was around $300 odd for half an hour, in saying that it was a childs consult. I cant imagine he would be charging that now when medicare can cover part of it?
Im currently going to delmont consulting suites, there are around 3/4 doctors who specialise in add/adhd.
Due to the fact i was diagnosed at such an early age i can get meds on PBS as its a "childhood condition".
So rittalin costs me around $7 a month. In saying that i only found this out at the start of the year.

Jazz.

acatlow
09-04-16, 02:00 PM
Is this common / uncommon / normal ? ...

31 year old female here, who the other month was randomly reading some things about ADD when the penny dropped.

Anyhow, I found a place in Frankston (Melbourne) that has a psychologist and a psychiatrist specialising in adult ADD/ADHD..
So I got a referral from my GP, waited about 3 weeks for my first appointment with the psychiatrist.

I had two appointments a week apart with the psychiatrist, who would not really tell me much. He asked for my mum to come down for the 2nd appointment in which he asked her all about her childhood and how she went in school. After the end of the 2nd session I'm like "so what's wrong with me" and he replied "everyone's different" and then told me I now need to be assessed by the psychologist.
So luckily I get an appointment the next day as someone cancelled.
(lucky as mum traveled half a day to do this for me)
So I get to bring mum in again, and the psychologist asked my mum about how I was as a child.
He goes on to explain the diagnosis process and that this is the start of an assessment which will cost $1100 that is not claimable with medicare!
I sh*t myself for a bit, as I had no idea I was up for all this, but mum suggested it was not that expensive considering the help I may get.
So now I have my 2nd session with the psychologist next week, then 2 more after that (4 x 1h session with psychologist for assessment)
Then the psychologist has to write up this massive assessment of me that is pages and pages, that could take a week, that he then gives to the psychologist.
Then the psychiatrist matches his notes with the psychologist to see if it all matches up, and goes from there.
I asked what the deal was with the stuffing around, and the psychologist said that the psychiatrist will not treat ADD until an assessment is done due to the medications prescribed being S8.

/
Here is my out of pocket expenses so far before I even get near to getting diagnosed (rebate already calculated)

$79 psychiatrist
$124 psychiatrist
$1100 psychologist assessment
$124 psychiatrist
------
$1427

And the time it will take, going every week, will be at least 8 weeks before I know anything, probably longer as they will be on holidays over xmas.

Is this normal? WTF am I doing! Some docs diagnose in 2 sessions so I hear?
This service better be A+! :umm1:

Kelly, I noticed you are in SE Suburbs. you should stop right away with spending that much and go to my medical clinic.

I wrote my "biography" somewhere else but it is;
St Mina Medical Centre
54 Saffron Drive, HALLAM

My doctor was Dr Solimon Ghobriel, he did the mental health plan. and i see a NP and not a psychiatrist which is covered under medicare.
I also have 12 months (thats 12 months at once a fortnight) that i can see my Nurse Practitioner and she is absolutely amazing (Dr Elzbieta Hodgins) and her "boss" for a better term is Dr Samir Ibrahim who also looks into my progress and discusses with my Doctors about the best treatment plan.

if you are concerned about the cost, which I would be if that were myself, try the way i went forward.

Good luck

Marella
11-09-16, 07:06 PM
After going to see various people and making various appointments I went to see Dr Reshma Saseendren at One Point Medical and am finally on my way to some actual help. Don't go to see psychologists, they can't prescribe and they often charge a fortune for fancy diagnostic tools, and then want to treat you with fish oil. Getting help for an adult ADHD diagnosis is difficult, because the government doesn't want to admit it exists, so you need a doctor and psychiatrist team who know how to make the system work for you. Thanks for this thread, without which I would not have One Point Medical and (I hope) be getting the help I need. My kids will be going along too.

Scott123awd
08-22-17, 01:59 PM
Hi I wanted to see how the people who went to One point medical are going? I have been seeing Chris for 1.5 years now and has put me in a lot worse situation than I was already in. After reading their website I was offered almost nothing none of the brain scans etc.

Honestly seems they just over prescribe (as I was with other things) and don't offer any real help. I have read and known others who say the same thing and wanted to see how everyone is doing.

I was trying to find a doctor who was helpful but am still out of luck.