You must be assessed by your GP before you can be referred to the Orthopaedic Department at the Auckland Hospital (Greenlane site). As there is only a certain amount of money and a limited number of specialists working at the hospital, it is not possible for the Orthopaedic Department to see every patient who is referred.
There are currently more requests for appointments than we have the capacity to see. This means we must see the most urgent and the most disabled patients. Patients with lesser levels of disability will need to see a doctor outside the public hospital system.
Many minor orthopaedic conditions are treated well by GPs and they may judge that you will receive swifter and more effective treatment by referring you to a sports medicine doctor, a rheumatologist, or a physiotherapist. For many minor orthopaedic conditions these are exactly the same health professionals that the orthopaedic surgeon uses to assist in your recovery.
However there are some conditions that only an orthopaedic surgeon can treat and if your GP refers you to the Orthopaedic Department, you may be given an appointment to see a specialist surgeon. In this case the hospital will write to you giving you an appointment time and date. These appointments are scarce and there is competition for them so there may be some delay before you receive one. If you do receive one, please turn up on the day because, if you do not turn up, you will deprive another patient of this valuable appointment.
When you come please bring with you:
1. Any letters or reports from your doctor or other hospital.
2. Any X-Rays, CT or MRI films and reports.
3. All medicines you are taking including herbal and natural remedies.
4. Your pharmaceutical entitlement card.
5. Your ACC number, if you have one.
If you have an urgent orthopaedic condition such as a bone infection or a malignant bone tumour, your doctor will phone the hospital and you will receive an appointment very promptly.
If you have a condition that was caused by an accident, you will receive swifter attention and treatment by seeing an orthopaedic surgeon outside the hospital under the cover of the Accident Compensation Corporation.