Access to Specialist Advice
Please contact the Ophthalmology registrar on-call if you need urgent advice via the GCUH switchboard on: (07) 5687 0003.
Gold Coast Health Clinicians
Clinics and Services
Medical specialists (VMO/SMO)
- Dr Fraser Imrie (Director)
- Dr Tani Brown
- Dr Anthony Fong
- Dr Stephen Godfrey
- Dr Matthew Green
- Dr Sharon Morris
- Dr Heather Russell
- Dr Nathan Walker
Gold Coast University Hospital Ophthalmology
Hours - Monday to Friday 8am-4pm
The Department of Ophthalmology and Orthoptics is part of the Division of Specialty and Procedural Services (SAPS).
The Department consists of a multi-disciplinary team consisting of four staff Ophthalmologists, four Visiting Ophthalmologists (VMOs) and three Orthoptists.
The team is supported by two RANZCO accredited registrars, one PHO, one SHO and Ophthalmic Nurses with additional Nursing support from Adult Outpatients.
Our service provides General and Emergency eye care with sub-specialties in:
- Retina and Macula
- Vitreo-Retinal Surgery
- Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
- Lacrimal and Orbital Disease
- Eyelid Surgery
Close relations are maintained with other specialties especially endocrinology (diabetic retinopathy, thyroid eye disease), neonatology and paediatrics, plastic surgery, maxillofacial surgery, neurosurgery and neurology.
Referrals are accepted by Optometrists, GPs, and internally.
Orthoptists are eye health professionals who care for patients with eye disorders.
Our Orthoptists work in conjunction with the Ophthalmologists in the Eye Clinic and perform a variety of specialised tests including:
- Visual Fields testing,
- Optical Coherence Tomography,
- Ocular Motility and Strabismus,
- Ultrasound and Photography.
Through a unique set of skills, Orthoptists play a crucial role in the detection, diagnosis and management of eye diseases and promotion of visual health in both adults and children.
Specialist Outpatient Services Performance Information
Gold Coast Health is committed to continually review and improve the performance of its specialist outpatient services.
The links below contains information about the current waiting list times for clinics as well as the number of patients that have been offered appointments by Gold Coast Health.
Number of patients currently waiting for a specialist outpatient appointment
(click ‘Waiting’ tab)
Average length of time (in days) the majority of patients waited for their first appointment
(click ‘Seen’ tab)
More detailed information about Specialist Outpatient Services performance is available to clinicians working in the Gold Coast area. This information can be accessed via the GP only waitlist
which requires an approved General Practitioner login.
Out of Scope Conditions
If any of the following conditions or problems are present or suspected, phone 000 to arrange immediate transfer to the emergency department or seek medical advice if in a remote region.
- Sudden severe visual loss e.g. macular or vitreous haemorrhage, retinal detachment or retinal artery occlusion
- Rubeosis iridis (iris new vessels)
- Angle closure glaucoma (unilateral red eye associated with pain, nausea, loss of vision, photophobia, steamy cornea, hard tender globe, ‘rainbows’ around lights, or sluggish pupil reactions)
- Corneal graft rejection
- Contact lens keratitis, corneal ulcers
- Intra ocular pressure (IOP) > 35 mmHg
- Signs and/or symptoms of retinal detachment
- Acute injury e.g. trauma, burns, chemical exposure, foreign body
- Acutely inflamed eye
- Sudden onset of constant convergent squint (esotropia) or divergent squint (exotropia) and/or double vision at any age
- Preseptal/orbital cellulitis - worsening eyelid oedema, erythema and proptosis
- Ocular signs or symptoms of temporal arteritis
- Ophthalmology conditions associated with sudden onset neurological signs and/or symptoms e.g. third cranial nerve palsy or optic disc swelling
The following conditions are not routinely assessed in a public Ophthalmology service:
- Cataract (patients with best corrected visual acuity in the affected eye of 6/12 or better will not be accepted unless clinical modifiers apply (see general referral information section)
- Diabetic retinopathy (routine referral for screening without evidence of diabetic retinopathy will not be accepted unless in those HHSs without primary photoscreening or optometrist)
- Age related macular degeneration (AMD) (dry AMD is not routinely seen unless the practitioner is concerned about progression to wet AMD)
- Pterygium (pterygium less than 3mm from limbus to apex will not be accepted)
- Lid lesions (patients with minor cosmetic eyelid lesions should not be referred)
- Refractive error - (prescription of spectacles) in patients older than 12 years
- Mild dry eyes
- Mild ptosis
Specific Conditions and Problems
Who should referrals be addressed to?
Referrals can be addressed to the specialist of your choice. However, there is no guarantee that the patient will be offered an appointment with that clinician. By addressing all referrals to the Director of Ophthalmology: Dr Fraser Imrie, your patient will be offered the first available appointment with the most appropriate member of the team.
Are there minimum standards for referrals?
Referrals cannot be safely triaged unless they contain adequate information and, in some instances, certain investigations. Therefore, if the minimum standard of clinical information and/or pre-requisite investigation results is not provided, your referral may be returned to you, to request additional information.
The clinical information and pre-requisite investigation requirements for most specialties are incorporated in existing referral templates. All adult outpatient ophthalmology referrals must have best corrected visual acuity recorded for each eye (using most recent distance spectacles)
Specific conditions have the additional essential information requirements: The clinical information and pre-requisite investigation requirements for most specialties are incorporated in existing referral templates.
All referrals for glaucoma must include an ophthalmologist or optometrist report with visual acuities, intraocular pressure measurements, visual field reports and optic disc assessment.
All referrals for pterygium must include a measurement of the size of pterygium measured from the limbus to the apex of the lesion. Lesions less than 3mm will not be routinely accepted.
Referrals for posterior capsule opacification, keratoconus, macular hole, and Fuch’s corneal endothelial dystrophy must include an ophthalmologist or optometrist report with visual acuity, refraction and impact of symptoms.
Optometrists can deal with some of the eye conditions you may consider sending to the Ophthalmology Clinic such as:
- Annual Diabetic Retinopathy Screening (if minimal or no Retinopathy)
- Review of Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration
- Assessment of Glaucoma risk
- Treatment of Dry Eye/Blepharitis
- Assessment of Red Eyes and treatment of simple eye infections.
Note: Many Optometrists may Bulk Bill their Patients
Therapeutic Endorsed Optometrists
Some Optometrists have undertaken further study to become accredited to administer a number of topical agents such as Antibiotics etc. www.pbs.gov.au/browse/optometrical
If importing templates into your clinical software DO NOT OPEN them outside of your medical software as this will corrupt the medical software coding. Word and PDF files cannot be imported into medical software. For more information on installing referral templates please see Referral Template Installation Guide.
For a full list of referral templates please see the Specialist Outpatient Referral Page, The Non-Gold Coast Health Referral Templates Page or the Community Health Referral Templates Page.
Specialist Outpatient Referrals (Gold Coast Health)
Clinical priority categories and triage guidelines
- Age related macular degeneration
- Allergic eye disease
- Chalazion/meibomian cyst
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Epiphora (watery eyes)
- Epiretinal membrane
- Fuch’s (Endothelial) dystrophy
- Intraocular melanoma
- Lid lesions
- Macular hole
- Posterior capsular opacity
- Retinal artery occlusion
- Retinal vein occlusion
- Strabismus (squint)
- Anisocoria (unequal pupil size)
- Chalazion/meibomian cyst
- Congenital glaucoma
- Epiphora (watery eyes/blocked tear ducts)
- Strabismus (squint)