How do I "attend" an online consultation?
Online consultations are delivered via Halaxy Telehealth, a secure, web-based platform used to deliver health services online.
Two days prior to your consultation, you will receive an email remainder with a link to join the online appointment. At the time of your scheduled appointment, simply click on the link provided in your reminder email to join.
You can find more information on attending a Telehealth appointment here.
How should I prepare for my initial consultation?
Please have the following available for your initial consultation, where possible:
A list of your regular medications and any dietary supplements you are currently taking; including vitamins, minerals and herbal preparations.
A copy of any recent (within the last 12 months) blood tests.
A completed food diary for 2-3 days prior to your scheduled consultation. This will be helpful in identifying what you are usually eating day-to-day. A convenient way to do this is using the free Easy Diet Diary app - which is available for both iOS and Android devices.
If you have been referred by your GP, and hold a Chronic Disease Management / Enhanced Primary Care plan, please have a copy of your plan available.
What can I expect from a dietetic consultation?
Feeling a little anxious about seeing a Dietitian, especially if you have never worked with one before, is completely normal.
Please be assured that I work in a respectful and non-judgement way.
An initial consultation typically runs from 45-60 minutes. During this time, you will be asked a number of questions to develop a picture of your overall health and nutritional status (this forms the basis of a nutritional assessment). We will discuss your current lifestyle, weight history, medical and family history, usual eating pattern/s, and activity level; as well as your current knowledge about any medical conditions you have, and their treatment/s. If there are particular aspects of your health you would rather not discuss, please just let me know.
As a Dietitian, my role is to assess your nutrition education needs, and identify the changes that may help you in meeting your individual nutritional requirements and improve the quality of your diet. Therefore, we will work together to develop a realistic and meaningful goal (or set of goals), aimed at getting you from where you are, to where you want to be. If you are seeing me in relation to a particular medical condition, I will also provide education regarding this condition and the role of nutrition and lifestyle changes in its management.
I may also provide you with relevant nutrition and/or health-related information and resources that I think may be helpful. Generally, these are in PDF format, and will be sent to you via email at the end of each consultation.
When should I see a Dietitian?
There are a wide range of factors that may lead to a person benefiting from the support of an Accredited Dietitian.
Some common reasons why someone may be referred, or independently choose, to consult with a dietitian include:
A newly diagnosed chronic health condition;
Signs that a chronic illness is not being managed effectively;
Assistance with a therapeutic (e.g. renal, low salicylate, gluten-free) or specialised diet (e.g. whole food plant-based, vegan, vegetarian);
Optimising nutritional status prior to, and during, pregnancy;
Intuitive eating advice and recovery from chronic dieting;
Recent poor food intake, poor appetite, or difficulty preparing or eating food;
Changes in medication/s; and/or
Periodic review of medical nutrition therapy.
How does a Dietitian differ from a Nutritionist or Naturopath?
In Australia, the distinctions between a Dietitian, Nutritionist, and Naturopath are significant. Dietitians are rigorously trained healthcare professionals with accredited qualifications, holding Bachelor's or Master's degrees in dietetics and recognised by Dietitians Australia (DA). They provide evidence-based dietary advice and focus on medical nutrition therapy in clinical and healthcare settings.
In contrast, there is no legal protection over the terms ‘Nutritionist’ – anyone can call themselves a Nutritionist. Although some nutritionists may have completed tertiary qualifications in nutrition, this is not regulated in Australia. As a result, there are varying levels of expertise amoung those referring to themself as Nutritionist. It is therefore essential to verify their qualifications and credentials.
Naturopaths take a holistic and alternative approach to healthcare, incorporating herbal medicine, supplements, and lifestyle recommendations. However, the qualifications of naturopaths can also differ widely, and regulations are evolving.
To make informed choices, it's crucial to select a practitioner with recognised qualifications aligned with your specific health needs.
You can find a more detailed dicussion of the difference between a Dietitian, Nutritionist and Naturopath here.
Can I claim a rebate with my health fund?
Most private health funds provide rebates for consultations with a Dietitian as part of 'Extras' cover. You will be provided with a receipt to submit to your fund.
The rebate amount may vary, depending on your fund and level of cover, and whether it is an initial or review consultation. Many health funds now provide rebates for telephone and video consultation. Please contact your health insurance provider to confirm your personal entitlements.
Can I claim a rebate from Medicare?
You may be eligible to claim a rebate from Medicare if you have been referred to a Dietitian by your GP on a Chronic Disease Management (CDM) or Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) plan.
CDM / EPC plans are designed to help patients access a range of health services - including dietetics - to assist with the management of chronic (ongoing) health conditions.
Examples of chronic conditions eligible for a CDM plan include:
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) provides a rebate of $58.00 per consultation, for up to 5 sessions per calendar year. Your doctor must develop the plan prior to your appointment for you to be eligible for this rebate.
Please have a copy of your plan available during your appointment and note that you have been referred by your GP on a CDM / EPC plan when making a booking.
What is your cancellation policy?
Please try to provide as much notice as possible if you wish to cancel or reschedule your appointment.
If less than 24 hours notice is provided, 50% of the full fee is payable.
If you fail to attend your appointment without notifying us of a cancellation, the full fee is payable.
Please note, this cancellation fee will only be waived in exceptional circumstances, and is not claimable through your private health insurance or Medicare.
I recognise the importance of protecting your privacy. and am committed to complying with the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles.
Any personal information you provide in any correspondence, or disclose during your scheduled consultation, will be kept private and confidential. All electronic records that are created will be encrypted and stored securely.
Any contact details you provide will only be used for the purpose of forwarding information relating to your dietetic treatment. Your details will be treated as strictly confidential and are not sold or passed on to any other parties. I will also not send you any unsolicited advertising information ("spam").