Appointments

Making Appointments and Other Information.

John Weiner mostly treats asthma, hay fever, sinusitis, skin problems such as hives and eczema, food allergy, allergies to medicines and drugs, chronic fatigue, immunodeficiency, allergies insect stings, and eye allergies. He also sees other problems where the referring doctor has asked “could this be allergy?”

John sees children who are in high school (year 7 onwards) and adults. If your child is younger, then please ask your referring doctor for a referral to a paediatric allergist.

Referrals
You must be referred by your family doctor or by a medical specialist. Your doctor will write a referral letter. This will be given to you or posted directly. If you have the letter then please bring it with you.

Appointments
Appointments can be made at the following clinics:

MELBOURNE: 517 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004. Please call (03) 9866 1790 to make an appointment. We will need your name, contact phone number for daytime, and the referring doctor.

ROSEBUD: Rosebud SurgiCentre, 1537 Point Nepean Road, Rosebud West, VIC 3940. Please call (03) 5986 0500 to make an appointment. We will need your name, contact phone number for daytime, and the referring doctor.

Certain medication can interfere with allergy skin tests. You should stop antihistamines (such as Telfast, Claratyne, Claramax, Clarinase, Zyrtec, Polaramine, Periactin, Phenergan, Demazin and there are many others) for four days before your appointment.

Many cough and cold remedies contain antihistamines and these should also be stopped. Of course, if your medical condition is very severe then you might not be able to stop these tablets. Discuss with your doctor. Any drops or sprays can be continued. In particular, DO NOT STOP any asthma medication, or cortisone medication, or treatment for other conditions, such as diabetes or blood pressure.

If you are in doubt whether a medication you are taking contains an antihistamine, ask your pharmacist.

Skin tests are done on the arms, very occasionally on the back. Please do not use any moisturisers on your skin on the day of the appointment.

What to Bring

Please bring your referral letter, if you have one, and any X-rays. It always helps to write down a list of medication, including doses, that you are taking. If you are taking sprays for asthma, please note down the strength of the spray, such as Pulmicort 200 or Pulmicort 400. If you use a peak flow meter for asthma, then please bring it with you. If you have tried different medication for your allergies, write down the names and note whether these medications helped you or not.

Where to Go In Melbourne:

517 St Kilda Road, Melbourne.

This is on the corner of Commercial Road, opposite the Chevron Apartments. There is a small car park next to the building (Commercial Road entrance), but if this is full or you don’t want to use it, then you have to find a park in the area. This is usually not to difficult but you should allow 15 minutes. If coming by public transport, there are trams from the city along St Kilda Road, and from the eastern suburbs along Malvern Road.

Where to go in Rosebud:

1537 Point Nepean Road, Rosebud West

The Rosebud rooms are easy to find with parking available.

What to Expect

Consultations start within ten minutes of the appointment in 90% of cases. Delays occur if an earlier patient was late, or if an urgent patient had to be seen. We apologise in advance if you have to wait more than ten minutes, but this only happens in 10% of appointments. You will be asked some questions, sometimes fairly detailed. After an examination, you will usually have some allergy tests, called skin prick tests.

These do not hurt, and consist of small drops placed on the skin and then a tiny prick is made through the drop and just into the top layer of skin. There are no injections. Over the next 5 to 20 minutes you might experience some itchy lumps just like mosquito bites. You might also have a breathing test. Sometimes patches are applied to the back. After sitting in the waiting room for about 15 to 20 minutes, John will see you again, check the results of the tests, and then talk to you about your problem.

How Long Does it Take?

A first appointment can take anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes, usually about 45 minutes. Consultant physicians do not charge according to the time taken. You are paying for an assessment and plan of treatment which is given to your referring doctor at his or her request. It doesn’t matter how long the consultation, your out-of-pocket costs are the same.

Will there be any after effects of the tests?

The answer is no in almost all cases. If you get itchy positive skin tests then they usually settle down within about an hour. One in about two hundred people get a lump at the site of the test several hours later. This may take a couple of days to go away. How many visits will it take About one third of people need only one visit, one third need a second visit, and one third require more than two visits.

Allergy Treatments

The aim is to use as few drugs as possible, often no drugs. Many allergies can be avoided. You will get information to try and avoid the allergy triggers. Sometimes allergy injections (not drugs) can be prescribed. These are usually done by your local doctor. Of course, certain conditions, such as severe asthma or severe eczema, may need medicines until other allergy treatment takes effect. Diets are often useful in food allergy.

Fees

Fees are payable at the time of consultation. After claiming from Medicare there will be an out-of-pocket cost.

If you feel that you cannot afford the out-of-pocket fees, then you can ask your doctor for a referral to an Allergy Clinic at a public hospital.

Paying the Account

Payment is expected on the day of your visit. You can then claim from Medicare and receive the rebate immediately, provided we have a referral letter. Payment can be made by EFTPOS, Bankcard, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Cash or Cheque.

Complaints

We take complaints very seriously. Please write to John Weiner and he will reply quickly.

Urgent Problems

Because of the waiting list, it can take a while before you are seen. If you have an urgent problem, such as a life-threatening allergy or severe asthma, speak to your doctor and he or she will contact the clinic for an urgent appointment.