FAQs

Some frequently asked questions that you may  have relating to medical imaging in general. If you don't find the information you need, please feel free to contact us.

Do I need a doctor’s referral to have an x-ray, CT, MRI or ultrasound?

Yes! Global Diagnostics require a referral from an authorised referrer before we can perform any medical imaging study. Authorised referrers are usually doctors or dentist, but chiropractors, osteopaths physiotherapists and podiatrists are authorised to send patients for certain examinations.

Will Global Diagnostics accept another radiology company’s referral?

Yes we accept any radiology referral. Unless the referral is specifically addressed to an individual doctor, for example Dear Dr Jones, Global Diagnostics will accept a referral for medical imaging at any practice. As not all examinations are performed at all locations, we've listed which examinations are performed at each location. Find your nearest location.

Do I need to make an appointment?

For general and dental x-rays you do not need to make an appointment, but will need to schedule an appointment for all other examinations such as CT, MRI, nuclear medicine, mammogram and ultrasound.

You can contact your nearest location to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

How do I make an appointment?

If you have a Global Diagnostics referral, the practice locations, opening times and phone numbers are printed on the referral, along with the examinations available at each practice. Simply phone the practice that’s most convenient for you and one of our staff will schedule a time that suits you and provide further details about your examination, parking, directions and any costs. .

General and dental x-rays do not require an appointment. You can contact your nearest location to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Can I wait for my results?

One of our Radiologists will interpret your imaging study and provide your doctor or health professional with a comprehensive report about the findings. You will need to return to the person who referred you to discuss your results. Processing and reporting of your images could take up three to five working days.

Are X-rays safe?

X-ray images enable doctors to look inside the body to diagnose injury or illness. Different tissues within the body attenuate the beam of X-rays to different degrees. When clinically warranted, the benefits of having an X-ray test outweigh any harm from a small dose of radiation. During a person’s lifetime the effect of each radiation dose is cumulative and so doctors consider the benefit of each X-ray test beforehand. If you have any concerns about the amount of radiation you’ve been exposed to you should discuss this with your doctor.

If you are pregnant or suspect you might be pregnant be sure to tell your doctor before having any X-ray testing. Also advise Global Diagnostics staff before your x-ray test. There are risks to a developing child, especially during the first three months of pregnancy. If your doctor believes the benefits of the test outweigh any risk an X-ray can be performed when you are pregnant. If the area of interest is not your abdomen or pelvis a lead gown can be placed over your abdomen to reduce the risk to the foetus.

Are X-ray and MRI contrast agents safe?

Radiology contrast agents are among the safest pharmaceutical products available today. 

Radiology contrast agents permit visualisation of internal structure or organs that would not otherwise be demonstrable. Successive developments in pharmacology mean that today’s contrast agents are well tolerated. X-ray contrast is cleared from the system rapidly and naturally, usually with no adverse effects at all. Some people are allergic to iodine. Before a person is given any contrast agent he or she is asked a series of relevant questions to determine the likelihood of an adverse reaction.

Most contrast media reactions are minor and need no treatment. Moderate reactions are encountered rarely (about 1%) and severe reactions very rarely (about 0.1%), but all moderate and severe reactions require adequate treatment. Our staff are trained to promptly treat any adverse reactions, like any other anaphylactic reactions, with intramuscular adrenaline.

Most contrast agents are water-soluble solutions, but barium studies use a barium sulphate suspension to outline the intestine because of better coating properties. The choice of contrast agent is the radiologist’s responsibility. A few of the most common radiology examinations that use contrast agents are angiography, CT, IVP, CT, interventional tests, barium studies and MRI.

Can I have MRI after a hip or knee replacement?

Although orthopaedic and dental implants are metal, they are not magnetic (ferrous). These include hip and knee replacements, plates, screws, and rods to treat limb fractures, and dental fillings. While non-ferrous surgical metal can distort an MRI image, the majority are safe within the strong magnetic field of an MRI machine.

Anyone having an MRI must answer a series of questions to determine the likelihood of any safety problems. The types of metal implants that could be affected by the strong magnetic forces include:

  • Pacemakers or heart valves
  • Metal implants in a patient's brain
  • Metal implants in a patient's eye or ears
  • Infusion catheters

You can discuss any concerns you have with the radiographer before the MRI test.

Will my health insurance cover any of the costs?

To obtain direct admission and choice of doctor that you wish, you have chosen to be treated as a private patient at this hospital.
During your treatment here your doctor may request that you have some medical imaging investigations (e.g. X-rays, ultrasound, CT scan).

Global Diagnostics is a private radiology practice that is contracted to provide these services to the hospital. As such we charge private fees appropriate to the service provided by our practice.

You will not have a co-payment cost when admitted under:

  • HBF
  • Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Health department of WA
  • Compensable third party insurer

You will have a co-payment if admitted under:

  • Private health funds other than HBF (Medicare will pay 75% of the schedule fee and your health fund will pay an amount, variable dependent on which fund, and the balance to be paid by you)
  • Uninsured patients (Medicare will pay 75% of the schedule fee and the balance to be paid by you)
  • Please be aware that if you are liable for a co-payment you will receive an account from Global Diagnostics for services rendered by our practice during your stay in hospital.

We would ask that you pay the account and then take your receipt to Medicare and your health fund for their reimbursement amounts.

What happens if I’m not eligible for Medicare?

If you are not eligible for cover through Medicare you will be charged a fee for services, but you will be given a quote beforehand. If you have travel insurance, check your policy to see if your medical expenses, such as radiology tests, are covered by that insurance.