Frequently asked questions
What is the cost of consultation?
Genetic consultations are free of charge for all Medicare eligible patients.
What will happen after the referral?
After receiving your referral we will contact you to book a telephone intake with one of our genetic counsellors. During the phone intake, we will ask about your personal and family history, and address any questions you may have about a genetic assessment.
With your permission, we may chase your medical record and investigation results. The purpose of the intake is to ensure that all relevant information is gathered before the clinic appointment, so that you will get the most benefit out of the initial consultation.
After the telephone intake, we will arrange for you to have an in-person or telehealth clinic appointment with a Clinical Geneticist and/or a Genetic Counsellor.
How long is the clinic appointment and who/what should I bring?
As genetic assessment is often complex, the initial clinic appointment usually takes approximately 60 minutes. You are welcome to bring an adult support person, but it is generally not advisable to bring young children with you.
If relevant to your condition, it will be helpful if you bring along your X-ray films, other imaging reports, as well as your doctor’s/specialist’s letters.
Where are our clinics?
Our clinics are located in the Translational Research Centre, 97-105 Boundary Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010, which is just behind the main hospital. A location map can be accessed here, parking information here, and public transport information here.
What happens at my appointment?
The initial appointment usually involves:
- confirming and collecting personal and family history
- physical examination
- discussion on genetic risk that is relevant to your family
- if needed, discussion on genetic/genomic testing, and pro and cons of testing
- addressing any concerns and questions you may have
- during follow-up appointment if any testing is arranged, discussion on genetic test results and what the results mean to you and your family.
What is the cost of genetic testing?
After a comprehensive assessment in the clinic, if genetic or genomic testing is clinically indicated (e.g. if the result of testing will change the management of the patient and/or their families), testing may be offered free of charge to you.
What does genetic/genomic testing involve?
It usually involves a blood sample taken, which can be done on the same day of your appointment. Alternatively, if a blood sample cannot be taken, saliva or buccal swab may be used as a sample.
Why do you need to collect my health history and family history and what is your policy on patient privacy and confidentiality?
Due to the nature of genetics and inheritance, a patient’s personal health information is assessed in the context of their family history information, in order to provide a genetic risk assessment for patients, their genetic relatives, or future children. Privacy and confidentiality of patients and their relatives are ensured at all times, although their personal health information may be used anonymously in the risk assessment of a genetic relative. Patient’s genetic records, which often contain sensitive information, such as genetic test results, relating to not only individual patients but also their relatives, are kept securely within our department and separately from their paper and electronic hospital medical records. This practice is in accordance with the Human Genetics Society of Australasia (HGSA) guideline on Protection of Human Genetic Information held in the Clinical Setting.
What if I cannot make it to my appointment?
It is greatly appreciated if you can contact us to cancel or reschedule the appointment with advanced notice, so that we can free up the spot for other patients in need.
Can I make a donation?
Philanthropic donations are welcome and allow the SVCG to be able to offer testing free of charge to those in need. Donations can be made via the St Vincent’s Curran Foundation at https://www.supportstvincents.com.au/