General Patient Information

» How is my privacy protected?
» What is Medical Imaging?
» The History of Medical Imaging
» Why do we need Medical Imaging?
» What is an X-Ray?
» Is it safe to have an X-Ray?
» What types of Medical Imaging tests are available?
» How long will my test take?
» What preparation is required?
» How long does it take to get the results?
» How much will these tests cost?
» Your Rights and Responsibilities


How is my privacy protected?
In order to provide services to you we must collect and store information about you, your clinical details and studies performed. We also provide reports on imaging to your referring practitioner and any listed copy doctors. We have legal obligations around what we must collect and how we deal with your personal information. Our Privacy Statement documents this information.
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What is Medical Imaging?
Medical Imaging used to be known as Radiology. This is a speciality within medicine concerned with the diagnosis of disease by using various imaging methods. The most common of these uses x-rays (conventional x-ray, fluoroscopy, computerised tomography (CT)) but also sometimes using other physical processes such as ultrasound, nuclear medicine and MRI.
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The History of Medical Imaging
Xrays were discovered by Wilhelm Roentgen in 1895. The following year, radioactivity was discovered by Becquerel and radium was isolated by Pierre and Marie Curie in 1898. Within months, these discoveries were being used to diagnose and treat diseases.
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Why do we need Medical Imaging?
Doctors diagnose conditions or diseases by taking a thorough history and examination of the patient. This is the cornerstone of providing quality medical care. However, sometimes more information is required by the Doctor to rule out or confirm a suspected condition. X-rays, CT, Ultrasound, Mammography or Nuclear Medicine tests can often demonstrate features that cannot be assessed by clinical examination alone.
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What is an X-Ray?
The X-ray is a test performed by a Medical Imaging Technologist (Radiographer). The MIT has undergone four years of university training as well as having considerable experience working in public hospitals and private medical imaging departments. The MIT takes these x-rays then gives them to the Radiologist who is a Doctor specialising in the use and interpretation of medical imaging studies. A Nuclear Medicine Technologist (NMT) performs the studies in the nuclear medicine department and also gives them to the Radiologist for reporting.

Occasionally with difficult or intricate x-ray tests, the Radiologist may be present within the room or may actually perform the examination. Even if you do not see the Radiologist, you can be assured they will play a vital role in assisting your referring doctor with the diagnosis of your condition. The Radiologist reports all studies and if a significant abnormality is present, the your referring doctor will be contacted with the results.
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Is it safe to have an X-Ray?
Some medical imaging studies produce a very small amount of radiation. The radiation results in the production of an image that may show the abnormality responsible for your symptoms. In the medical setting, the amount of radiation used to produce an x-ray image has not been proven to cause harmful effects. The amount of radiation absorbed by the body in most diagnostic x-ray examinations is comparable to the amount of radiation obtained during a commercial air flight.
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What types of Medical Imaging tests are available?
Geelong Medical Imaging uses the latest equipment available to provide the best quality images. Digital xray, fluoroscopy, ultrasound, digital mammography, computerised tomography (CT) scanning, nuclear medicine, and biopsies/injections are performed.
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How long will my test take?
Procedure times vary quite considerably as some take only a few minutes and others will require you to visit the practice several times during the day. Please ask the GMI reception staff what to expect when making your appointment.

Occasionally, urgent cases will require immediate attention and can cause slight delays for patients with appointments. Depending on the type of test being performed, some patients will spend less time in the waiting room than others.
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What preparation is required?
Most medical imaging procedures require little or no preparation. However, some tests do require preparation such as fasting or drinking prior to the study. The GMI reception staff will give you details regarding the necessary preparation. Please view the specific information regarding the imaging modalities on this website.
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How long does it take to get the results?
The results are sent to the referring medical practitioner within 24 hours and are usually available on the day of the test. Some referring doctors do not ask for copies of the films as they prefer to view the test via secure internet access. Others require their patients to have films and these are given to the patient as they leave GMI. The amount of time taken to process the film results depends on the complexity of the test.
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How much will these tests cost?
As a private practice, most GMI patients are charged a gap payment that varies according to the complexity of the test being performed. We are now able to lodge your Medicare rebate claim on line. Your rebate is deposited into the bank account you have on file with Medicare.

Where possible, pensioners, DVA and Health Card holders will be “bulk-billed” and as such, will not be charged in most instances. This is not possible for all services due to Medicare rebate rules. If you have private medical insurance, your insurer will only contribute to the cost of your test if you are a hospital in-patient.

Please note that MRI studies at GMI do not attract a Medicare rebate. As such patient fees are due on the day of service and you will not be able to claim a rebate. This also applies to patients with a concession card. If your study relates to a WorkCover or TAC claim, a letter from the insurer approving an MRI study for payment is required.
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Your Rights and Responsibilities
Any person who uses our service, has the right and the responsibility to make decisions about their own health care. GMI will give the patient all the information possible to protect their rights and allow them to make informed choices about their health and well-being.

You should let our staff know if there is any chance that you may be pregnant, have significant/relevant allergies or have other specific concerns relating to the test being performed.
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