There are two ways that you may see a surgeon at TSS.
Your doctor can do a direct referral, requesting a surgeon by name. This will be most appropriate when your condition clearly requires a surgical assessment, and all the preliminary workup for that assessment is in place.
The second way is via a referral to the Tasmanian Spine Service, where you will be assessed by a doctor trained in the assessment of spinal disorders.
You may be recommended to trial non-surgical treatment such as specialist spinal physiotherapy prior to having a surgical assessment, or to consult with a clinician such as a pain medicine physician or a rheumatologist, who may be more relevant to your treatment than a surgeon.
Currently, your GP cannot order a Medicare rebateable lumbar MRI scan, which is usually necessary for a surgical assessment.
80% of patients referred for spinal surgical assessment will be better treated in other non-surgical ways, and this avenue will efficiently commence the assessment process. It is likely that your appointment will be significantly earlier via this option.
If surgery is required, this will be prioritised within the internal clinic referral pathways.