In most instances, you can get an appointment within 4 weeks of your referral. By sending in your referral letter as soon as you can, Dr Tan can get some idea of the urgency of your problem and, if she thinks it necessary, arrange to see you within days. If your referral letter does not indicate any need for urgency, but you believe that you should be seen quickly, please leave a message for Dr Tan and she will contact you to discuss the timing of your appointment.
You need to bring:

  • any X-rays, CT or MRI scans that have been performed to investigate the problem that you have been referred to Dr Tan for. Please bring the actual film packets or DVDs, not just the printed reports.
  • your Medicare card and any private health insurance details
  • any Veterans’ Affairs Card
  • if you are a Workcover or TAC patient, a letter from the TAC or Workcover insurer with your claim number
  • a complete list of any medications you are currently taking
  • the contact details for any and all doctors that are treating you
If you are not fluent in English, please bring a relative or friend who can assist in translation. All patients are welcome and encouraged to bring a relative or friend for support but please bring no more than two people with you.
Yes, she will see selected Workcover and TAC patients. Please discuss with her secretary Ellen for more information. Do note that Workcover and TAC patients who consult Dr Tan for treatment are required to pay the consultation fee on the day of consultation unless adequate documentation to show that you or your employer have met the excess on a currently active claim is presented.
Dr Tan recognises that even though our public health system is excellent by world standards, it is stretched to capacity and often does not provide an adequately accessible, timely or satisfactory service from the patient or the general practitioner’s point of view, particularly for those with non-life-threatening diseases. Yet she has also heard that uninsured patients can have a very difficult time obtaining a private clinic appointment with most surgeons, the unspoken reason being that most uninsured patients will not be prepared to pay for surgery in the private system. Dr Tan’s philosophy is that those patients who are prepared to pay that extra bit to be seen privately should not be denied, even if they are do not have private health insurance. Sometimes, surgery may not even be necessary or desired and she is more than happy to offer advice or recommendations for non-surgical treatment. If you do need to investigate the costs of self-funding surgery in the private hospital system, she will do her best to bring the costs down for you.
No, Dr Tan does not bulkbill as she runs a private clinic. However if you are under financial strain, please discuss with Dr Tan or her secretary Ellen and we will try to help you. A satisfactory arrangement can be arrived at for almost all patients.
She most certainly does. Dr Tan welcomes patients from other countries who wish to undergo surgery in Melbourne. In fact, she has previously operated on patients from Africa, China and Mauritius. If you or your relative is resident overseas and considering a neurosurgical operation in Melbourne, she will be more than happy to provide advice and assistance to help to simplify the process.
Unfortunately the answer is no. Private health insurance will only reimburse/cover for these costs if you are an inpatient at the time.
If it is a public holiday or after hours, please call (03) 99458278. If it is during working hours, then please call her rooms on (03) 93422446. Alternatively, you can email her at any time and she will usually answer within 24 hours. If you need urgent medical treatment, please go straight to a hospital emergency department.
She enjoys the challenges of dealing with cerebrovascular problems such as cerebral aneurysms and all tumours of the brain and spine. She also has a particular interest in problems of the craniocervical junction and degenerative diseases of the cervical spine. However, being a general adult neurosurgeon, she is well qualified to deal with the vast majority of adult neurosurgical disorders.
Dr Tan regards your time as just as valuable as hers. She will do her best to start consulting sessions on time but she may run late, due to unexpectedly complicated patients, or being called to theatre for an emergency operation. Her staff will try to notify you if such an emergency occurs and your appointment is likely to be significantly delayed. Please understand that in order to be fair to other patients with appointments that follow yours, she must try to keep fairly strictly to the time allocated for your appointment. If you are a new patient, you can help to ensure that Dr Tan can give you the time you need by getting to your appointment at least fifteen minutes early, in order to complete the new patient registration form. Alternatively, you can save some time at her rooms by downloading and completing the registration form from this website and then either faxing it to my rooms or bringing it along to your appointment.
If you are running late for your appointment or are unable to attend your appointment for whatever reason, please telephone her rooms to notify her staff as soon as possible. Please remember that if you cannot make your appointment, someone else may want to take your place, so it would be considerate of you to let Dr Tan know if you are not coming. In general, Dr Tan’s staff require at least 24 hours notice of appointment cancellations or else you will be charged 50% of the normal fee as a cancellation charge.
MRI is far superior to all other methods of imaging (looking at) your nervous system. Therefore, MRIs are often invaluable in the investigation and management of cranial and spinal disease. Dr Tan understands that it can be unpleasant for some patients to lie in the MRI scanner due to their claustrophobia and/or the discomfort of lying still on a hard surface for many minutes at a time. Please let her know if you think you will have difficulty undergoing the MRI scan. There are some machines in Melbourne that are “wide-bore” or more roomy and you may have less trouble lying in one of these scanners. If Dr Tan flags to the radiologist that you are anxious about the MRI, the MRI radiographers will usually also take extra care to explain things and talk to you during the scan. In many cases, you will manage just fine if you take a light sedative before the scan. If you are extremely claustrophobic, Dr Tan may need to arrange for you to undergo an MRI under a general anaesthetic.
If your lawyer has specifically asked you to obtain a referral to Dr Tan in order to obtain an specialist assessment and written report for legal purposes, then your lawyer must write to her in advance with the details of the request and an undertaking to accept the resulting fees. If this is not done, she reserves the right to decline to write this report. The preparation of medical reports for legal purposes is not covered by Medicare or insurance companies and there will be a special fee for these reports, that is payable in advance.
That depends. Surgery is not something to be taken lightly as there are always risks of major complications, which are rarely catastrophic There are many controversial areas in neurosurgical management and it is not uncommon for neurosurgeons to disagree about what is best for a patient. Before she can make a decision about whether or not to offer you an operation, Dr Tan must meet you, make a careful assessment of your problem and satisfy herself that the benefits of surgery significantly outweigh the risks. Your wishes are definitely mportant but only one of the many considerations that will influence her decision. She will also consider any consensus of opinion among the international neurosurgical community and studies in the international medical literature about the relative benefits of various treatment options, to see whether there is good evidence that surgery is a reasonable and good option for you.
Maintaining the confidentiality of your personal information is important to Dr Tan and all her staff. Any information we hold about you, whether obtained from yourself, your family, your treating doctors, or other health workers, will be treated in accordance with the Victorian Health Records Act 2001, the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 and the National Privacy Principles. Your email address will never be given out without your permission.
Dr Tan firmly believes that prompt and effective communication with your other doctor(s) is vital to your medical care. She will dictate a letter to your usual GP or the doctor who referred you to her, on the day she sees you and aims to have the letter typed and dispatched within 7 working days. Any doctor or health care worker who is treating you is also welcome to contact Dr Tan to discuss any aspects of your care.
Yes you may but if this involves more than a few pages, we will need to charge you a reasonable fee for time and expenses associated with printing, putting together and posting the record to you.