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What is a haematologist?

4-minute read

What does a haematologist do?

A haematologist is a specialist doctor who treats conditions that affect the blood, and the organs that make the blood.

What training has a haematologist had?

A haematologist has completed at least 5 years of specialist training after becoming a doctor.

In Australia, most haematologists are fellows of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, with the initials FRCPA after their name.

Many are also fellows of the Royal Australian College of Physicians, with the initials FRACP after their name.

What conditions do haematologists treat?

Haematologists treat conditions of the blood and the lymphoid glands, including:

Haematologists also treat people with blood clots, bone marrow disorders and those who need bone marrow transplants.

They can play an active role at every stage of caring for a patient, from their first visit to a clinic, through diagnosis and during treatment.

Where do they work?

Haematologists work in clinics and laboratories. You can find them in public and private hospitals. They also manage blood transfusion services.

How to find a haematologist?

Ask your general practitioner (GP), close friends or family to recommend a good haematologist. You can also find them by using healthdirect’s online service finder.

How much will a haematologist cost?

A haematologist's costs can vary a lot, depending on the type of care you receive, whether it’s in hospital, whether you have private health insurance, and on how much the haematologist charges.

Out of hospital care

If you see a haematologist in their rooms, then Medicare will cover:

  • all of the costs if they bulkbill
  • some of the costs if they don't bulkbill

You can't use private health insurance for out of hospital care.

Treatment in a public hospital using Medicare

If you are treated in a public hospital or clinic and use Medicare, it is free. Medicare covers all costs.

Treatment in any hospital using private health insurance

If you use private health insurance to be treated in either a public hospital or a private hospital or clinic, you will be charged by the haematologist and by the hospital. You might also be charged for pathology tests, x-rays and other forms of imaging, and by other doctors you see. Your private health insurance will cover some of these costs.

Asking about costs

It can be expensive to see specialists.

Before you go for the first time, ask the haematologist of their staff about the costs. You can also ask what Medicare will cover.

If you plan to use private health insurance, you can also contact your health fund.

If the costs are too high, your options are:

  • to ask the haematologist or their staff about a reduction
  • to consider another haematologist or health service
  • to talk to your GP about options such as a different type of treatment

It’s a good idea to get a referral from your GP to see the haematologist. That way, your GP can pass on useful information, and the haematologist can later tell your GP about your visit. Also, if you don’t have a referral, neither Medicare nor private health insurance will contribute to the cost of your care.

More information

Last reviewed: August 2018

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