Making an appointment
Our clinic is a private specialist clinic offering appointments at Cairns Paediatrics on Barr St Monday to Friday 08:00 – 17:00 and Dr Arno Ebner also works Saturday 12:00 – 16:00 (twice monthly). Cairns Paediatrics on Barr St does not offer bulk bill clinics.
Please note that our Paediatrician’s only see children accompanied by their long-term legal guardian.
Children under the care of a Government agency e.g. Child Safety or other should be seen through the public health system. Our Paediatrician’s can see patients requiring paediatric care but requires approval from the agency prior to the appointment being made. Referrals for children under Child Safety will only be accepted if Child Safety has the long-term guardianship and the Child Safety Officer (CSO) is able to attend the initial appointment. The CSO can attend by video link if required.
They see children from newborn age to adolescence until their 18th birthday.
If you would like to see one of our Paediatrician’s, please ask your GP for a referral to the Paediatrician you would like to visit. They will only see children with a valid GP referral.
A regular GP referral is usually valid for one year after the first appointment. You need to obtain a new referral after the year as otherwise Medicare will not rebate you for your appointment. If you are unsure when your referral is due to expire, please contact us to clarify.
Once your referral is received our friendly receptionist will call to arrange an appointment. Please make sure that we have your correct contact phone number and that you are available or that we have the option to leave a voice message. After the appointment is booked, we will send you a letter with the appointment confirmation, general information about your visit and the ‘Registration Form Paediatrician’. Please take your time to complete the registration form as detailed as possible and bring it to the appointment. We send a reminder text message 72 hours prior to the appointment. This is a NO REPLY message service that is not monitored by us, please call us directly if you need to reschedule. The reminder text message is a courtesy service only and not receiving a reminder text message is not an excuse to miss an appointment. Depending on your phone and provider setting, the automatic text message reminders sometimes may not work.
What happens at the first visit
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your first appointment time to allow for your child to be fully set up and registered. If you have not completed the registration form, please come even earlier as it will take you around 10 minutes to fill in the details. For all subsequent visits it will be enough if you arrive for the check-in just 5 minutes prior the appointment.
During the appointment our Paediatrician’s will listen to you and your child, and we will talk about your concerns. Depending on the history they may do a physical examination focusing on your child’s symptoms or just observe, chat, and play with your child. They will then discuss their opinion and managing options with you and your child and together you will both create a therapy plan.
After the appointment, they will write a detailed clinic letter with their assessment, impression and management and a follow up plan as agreed with you to your referring GP, usually within 2-3 weeks. A copy of the letter will be sent to you. Please feel free to share their clinic letter with all allied health and other services as you deem appropriate. If there are shared care arrangements for your child, please provide a copy of the letter to the other parent / carer.
If required, most procedures such as a blood test, a lung function test or an ECG are bulk billed at no additional costs to you. They can often be done on the spot either directly after the appointment or at a time convenient to you.
Info requirements / What else to bring
To get the right diagnosis and give the best possible care for your child, please bring copies of supporting documents to your visit. Even better send them to us a few days before the appointment as the clinics are set up and prepared one day prior the appointment.
These may include:
- Previous reports of any relevant assessments and interventions your child had in the past from:
- Specialist doctors (e.g. former Paediatricians, Psychiatrist, others)
- Psychology, Speech and Occupational Therapy, Hospital and Community Health Services
- Hearing and Vision tests
- Cognitive / Development / Behavioural assessment reports
- Letters from Day care, Kindergarten, School with observations from the teachers
Please also bring:
- All medications and nutritional supplements your child is taking or pictures of the packaging
- Your child’s ‘Personal Health Record’ book (‘The Red Book’)
If the child is under Child Safety Queensland or other Government Agency or if you are separated and there are restrictions on either parent to access the child’s information or to provide consent, please provide
- Care arrangements
- Relevant sections of the court order, if there is a family court order in place
- Child Safety Involvement
- Contact details of case workers
- Court order and care and guardianship arrangements
- Social and medical background history
- Child Safety approval and agreement to see Dr Arno
Please consider bringing your Child Safety or Agency case worker with you. They must be able to attend the first appointment.
Children under Child Safety or other Government Agency – Foster carers
Our Paediatrician’s only see children accompanied by a legal guardian with the exception of children under Child Safety when Child Safety has long-term guardianship and the relevant court documents are provided.
If you are a foster carer, they need written evidence of legal guardianship to provide medical services to your child.
Children with separated parents policy
Their focus is on the child’s medical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Conflict and communication breakdown between parents can significantly impact optimal health management.
It is an expectation that separated parents work together respectfully and cooperatively regarding the care of their child.
If one parent makes an appointment, we do not provide information regarding the appointment to the other parent. We will send a copy of the clinic letter to the attending parent / carer. The information about appointments and providing feedback must be communicated directly between the parents. We do not have the capacity to provide separate feedback to each parent. Both parents are welcome to attend the appointment jointly.
They will share their clinic letter with both parents if requested and if there is no court order against it.
If there is disagreement between parents about treatment and both have legal guardianship, they will only provide an opinion and advise but not pursue a decision and they will not prescribe non-essential medications. Their consult is for medical interventions directed at the child’s well-being and they will not support either parent’s case.
If there are any relevant court orders or legal documents, it is the parent’s obligation to provide this to us.
When there is significant conflict, they reserve the right to discharge a family if the conflict is disruptive to the clinic or impeding the care of the child.
They do not accept referral where the purpose of the assessment is to generate information for legal decision making around custody issues of parental separation.
Preparing your child
It is a good idea to talk your child before you see our Paediatrician’s and explain why you are coming to them. Reassure your child the Paediatrician’s room is a friendly and fun place to visit. If your child needs a lot of reassurance, feel welcome to make an informal appointment where you can just come and visit me and my place, so your child becomes familiar with the environment.
While there are usually no needles involved, sometimes they will ask for a blood test e.g. for allergy or nutritional testing. Please do not promise there won’t be any needles, if there is a chance it is recommended. However, if required you can always decide to do the blood test on another day.
Please see this link for information on how to reduce stress before and during procedures. www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Reducing_your_childs_discomfort_during_procedures
A great way to reduce needle pain is a numbing cream you can buy over the counter at your pharmacy. The cream will take an hour to work. Comfort positioning like sitting on the parent’s lap and distraction like soap bubbles or videos on the smartphone, can work wonders to make the poke much more pleasant.