Consultation Process

Dr Caroline Tan does her best to provide an efficient and considerate service to all her patients. Anyone who asks to be seen quickly because of genuine pain or distress is assured of a compassionate response and the earliest possible appointment.  You will never be rushed through a consultation with her as she always takes the time to listen to her patients and to explain things on their level.

Anyone can request an appointment with Dr Tan. Overseas patients are most welcome to make enquiries if they have a condition that is appropriately treated by a neurosurgeon. Australian patients will require a referral letter from either their GP or medical specialist in order to claim Medicare benefits. This referral letter should be sent to her main rooms in Carlton (please look under contact information)  before making an appointment, if only so that  Dr Tan can determine the urgency of the problem and allocate the time and duration of the appointment accordingly. The best way of making sure the referral is sent ahead of your appointment is to fax the letter to (03) 8677 3356 or email it to  If you do not have access to a fax machine, you could ask your local doctor’s receptionist to fax your referral letter to Dr Tan. Alternatively you can post the referral letter to PO Box 648, East Melbourne 8002, Australia. Once this referral letter is received, Dr Tan’s receptionist will be in contact with you as soon as possible to arrange your appointment. If you have provided a mobile telephone number, your appointment will typically be confirmed one or two business days before by SMS text message. If you find that you cannot keep your appointment, please advise as soon as possible to allow another patient to take the appointment. Failure to do so with a minimum of 24 hours notice will unfortunately incur a 50% cancellation fee.

All new patients attending Dr Tan’s rooms are asked to fill out a new patient registration form. New patients must also read and sign the privacy statement. Both forms can be downloaded and printed from this website so that you can prepare for your first appointment by completing them and bringing them both along to your appointment. Alternatively you should arrive for your first appointment at least 10 minutes early in order to complete these forms in the patient lounge on the day.

Other things you must bring with you are:

  • Copies of all relevant scans/Xrays, on film or DVD, including the reports, if you have them
  • Your Medicare card and private health insurance details
  • a letter stating that you have an accepted workcover or TAC claim, if you are a Workcover or TAC patient
  • Your Department of Veterans’ Affairs card, if you have one
  • a full list of any medications that you are currently taking and
  • contact details for all the medical professionals who are currently involved in your care.

Dr Caroline Tan routinely spends a minimum of 30 minutes with each of her new patients in order to conduct a detailed assessment and gain an understanding of each patient’s needs. On your return visits, 15-30 minute appointments are typical but complex problems may need more time.

This is a private clinic and all consultation fees must be paid at the time of consultation regardless of whether you have an existing claim for medical treatment with a third party eg. TAC or a Worksafe insurer. You will be provided with a receipt that you can take to Medicare, TAC or your Worksafe insurer to get back the money you have paid. The fee for the first or initial consultation is the same for everyone, regardless of the length of consultation. However, please note that the fees for return visits are time-dependent- so the more time you spend with Dr Tan, the higher the fee will be.

A letter will be sent to your referring doctor soon after each appointment you attend, explaining Dr Tan’s assessment of your problems and the management outcome agreed upon. Patients may request a copy of this letter if they wish. Third parties cannot receive copies of the letter except with the consent of the patient concerned.