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, ultrasound, mammography or nuclear medicine exam?
Yes! Apex Radiology 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 Apex Radiology 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, Apex Radiology 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 Apex Radiology 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 specialist doctors called 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 to 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 Apex Radiology 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, 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, 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 consist of:
You can discuss any concerns you have with the radiographer before the MRI test.
Will my health insurance cover any of the costs?
If you are admitted to hospital, to obtain direct admission and choice of doctor that you wish, you may have chosen to be treated as a private patient.
During your treatment as a hospital inpatient, your doctor may request that you have some medical imaging investigations (e.g. X-rays, ultrasound, CT scan).
Apex Radiology 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:
You will have a co-payment if admitted under:
If you are an Australian citizen with Medicare entitlements, there are currently no private health funds that provide payments for outpatient medical imaging services. Some international students or residents may have health insurance entitlements that cover these services. Please contact your health fund for more information.
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.
My Health Record
On the 1st July 2016, My Health Record was introduced by the Australian Government. This new facility brings together health information from you, your healthcare providers and Medicare so patients can keep all of their health records in a central location.
If you have a scan with Apex Radiology (and you haven’t already opted out of the My Health Record) your scan will be forwarded to your account. If you don’t want this to occur, please notify one of our staff.
Any issues about My Health Record you’ll need to contact the My Health Record helpline direct on 1800 723 471. For more information, you can visit the My Health Record website.
Do i need to pay for my appointment?
Apex Radiology is a private diagnostic imaging practice. As a private provider, you may incur a Gap payment for your examination.
Full payment is required on the day of your exam. We accept cash, cheques and eftpos.
If you have any queries, please discuss with one of our reception staff.