Frequently asked questions2024-02-23T12:50:08+10:00

Frequently asked questions

On this page

    When contacting GHQ, by phone or email, please always provide your (or your child’s) full name and date of birth.

    General questions

    What does your service do?2024-02-22T15:15:42+10:00
    • Genetic Health Queensland (GHQ) is the state-wide public genetics service in Queensland.
    • We provide diagnosis, assessment, counselling and management advice for people and families with genetic conditions, or who are at risk of genetic conditions.
    • Our clinical team consists of doctors (clinical geneticists) and genetic counsellors.
    • We see people across the lifespan including children, adults and individuals or couples who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy.
    I have been contacted by GHQ: what is this about?2024-02-23T08:49:00+10:00
    • In most cases our team will contact you if your doctor (GP or specialist) has referred you to our service. Usually your doctor will have discussed this with you first.
    • If you are unsure why you have been referred to Genetic Health Queensland, please contact your doctor.
    • Less commonly, we may contact you if you are listed as a next of kin for a relative who is a patient of ours, and that relative cannot be contacted.
    Do you see patients with any genetic condition?2024-02-23T08:52:49+10:00
    • We are a specialist service. Many genetic conditions are common and can be managed by your GP or relevant specialist. If you are not sure, please ask your treating doctor first.
    • Our clinicians are available to help answer a specific clinical question or support your doctor in making a diagnosis or developing a management plan. They also provide advice and support regarding family and reproductive implications of your diagnosis.
    • We do not manage day-to-day patient care or provide long-term follow-up or screening. Once your assessment is complete, you will be discharged back to your referring clinician with a letter detailing your assessment and any advice provided.
    Will there be a cost for my appointment / testing?2024-02-23T08:57:47+10:00
    • If you have a QLD residential address, a Medicare card, and a valid referral, then your appointment with GHQ will be free. There are no out-of-pocket costs for patients/families in this instance.
    • If genetic testing is offered, in most cases this is paid for by our service or by Medicare.

    Referrals and waitlist

    How can I be referred to your service?2024-02-23T09:06:49+10:00
    • GHQ accepts referrals from GPs or specialists. Please discuss your concerns with your treating doctor. Please note that not all referrals are accepted.
    How do I know when you have received my referral?2024-02-23T09:11:09+10:00
    • You and your referring doctor will receive a letter advising that your referral has been received and what triage category has been assigned. This is typically sent by post within a few weeks of your referral being received.
    • If you wish to clarify, or if you have not received this letter after 8 weeks, please contact Metro North Central Patient Intake on 1300 364 938.
    My referral has been accepted. I received a letter advising of my triage category. How long is the wait?2024-02-23T09:19:44+10:00
    • Waiting lists vary depending on the number of referrals and the clinic/location.
    • Recommended QLD Health waitlist times are:
      • Category 1 referrals seen within 30 days
      • Category 2 referrals seen within 90 days
      • Category 3 referrals seen within 365 days.
    • While every effort is made to see patients within recommend waitlist times, please note that wait times may be longer than indicated.
    I would like to be seen sooner. What can I do?2024-02-23T09:15:04+10:00
    • GHQ is a public health service and sees a large volume of patients. While we would like to see all patients as soon as possible, in most cases a waiting period will apply.
    • GHQ clinicians triage referrals based on clinical urgency and the information provided in the referral. If your health or situation has changed, please discuss this with your treating doctor. If appropriate, an updated referral can be made or your doctor can contact GHQ directly. This does not guarantee that your triage category will change.
    • You may also choose to see a private clinical geneticist or genetic counsellor. Please discuss this option with your treating doctor.
    I have / my child has been referred and am waiting for an appointment with Genetic Health Queensland, but I am now pregnant. What should I do?2024-02-23T09:19:18+10:00
    • Please contact us by telephone (07 3646 1686) during business hours or email (
    • Please ask your GP or obstetrician to arrange an updated referral, highlighting details of your pregnancy.
    Why was my referral rejected?2024-02-23T09:24:13+10:00
    • Not all conditions or health concerns need specialist input from GHQ, and sometimes a referral may contain insufficient information for us to accept it. If your referral is not accepted, your referring doctor will receive a letter providing an explanation. If you have further questions, please contact your referring doctor.
    • You may also choose to see a private clinical geneticist or genetic counsellor. Please discuss this option with your treating doctor.
    I have been sent a Family Cancer Questionnaire: You should already have this information from other family members. Do I still need to complete this?2024-02-23T09:26:40+10:00
    • Yes. Information and family history may change with time, and it is important that we have up-to-date information regarding your family history. It is also important that we clarify your own understanding of your family history.

    Appointment and Follow-up

    How will I be notified of my appointment?2024-02-23T09:41:05+10:00
    • If your appointment is more than 4 weeks away, you will be notified by letter.
    • If your appointment is within 4 weeks, you will be notified by SMS or email.
    • If any of your contact details have changed, please let us know by telephone (07 3646 1686) or email (
    I have been offered a face-to-face appointment. Can it be by telehealth or telephone instead?2024-02-23T09:42:30+10:00
    • For many genetic conditions it is necessary for our clinicians to physically examine you/your child and a complete assessment cannot be provided by telehealth or telephone.
    • Our clinicians travel to regional centres to provide face-to-face clinics where needed. If you are likely to experience hardship by attending your local centre, please contact our team by telephone (07 3646 1686) or email ( to discuss your options.
    • Our clinicians are happy to provide you with a medical certificate to support your attendance. You may be eligible for the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme (PTSS) if you need to travel to your face-to-face appointment.
    My child has been referred and I have been offered a face-to-face appointment. Does my child need to attend the appointment?2024-02-23T09:43:28+10:00
    • Yes. Please bring your child to the appointment, unless our team has specifically advised you otherwise. This is a Medicare requirement and face-to-face assessment is necessary for our clinicians to meaningfully assess your child.
    I need to reschedule my appointment. How do I do this?2024-02-23T09:45:01+10:00
    • Please contact our office by telephone (07 3646 1686) during business hours or email (
    • Allow at least 48 hours’ notice so that we can offer the appointment to other patients on our waiting list.
    • Please be sure to contact GHQ directly and not the local hospital or health service where your clinic appointment might be located.
    • While we will do our best to accommodate your availability, please note that many of our clinics occur on specific days at specific locations. All GHQ clinics occur on weekdays during business hours. We cannot accommodate requests for school holidays.
    • Our clinicians can provide you with a medical certificate if required for work or school.
    What happens if I am late for my appointment?2024-02-23T09:46:04+10:00
    • Hospitals can be busy places, so please allow sufficient time for travel, traffic and parking. In order to be fair to other patients, if you are more than 15 minutes late to your appointment you may not be seen and the appointment will be rescheduled.
    I have missed my appointment: How can I reschedule?2024-02-23T09:47:14+10:00
    • There is a high demand for our services, and we encourage you to attend your offered appointment.
    • If you/your child misses an appointment without notice, you will not automatically be rebooked. You will receive a letter or SMS asking you to contact our office to reschedule (07 3646 1686 or
    • If there is no response, you/your child will be removed from our waitlist and returned to the care of your referring doctor. Should you wish to visit with us in the future, a new referral will be required, and the usual waiting times will apply.
    I have not received a link for my telehealth appointment.2024-02-23T09:48:42+10:00
    • Please check your spam folder in your email account.
    • If you cannot find the email containing your telehealth appointment details, please contact us on (07) 3646 1686 or by email

    Genetic Testing

    I want genetic testing. Does Genetic Health QLD do this?2024-02-23T09:51:36+10:00
    • We are a clinical service, not a testing laboratory. Our clinical team provide assessment and may organise genetic testing if appropriate.
    • Please discuss your health concerns with your treating doctor. In many cases, your doctor will organise genetic testing themselves if required.
    • If your doctor is not able to do this, or requires support, then your doctor can contact GHQ to see if a referral could be useful.
    • If your referral is accepted, when you are seen in clinic an assessment will be made. Genetic testing is not always required, and our clinicians will determine this at your appointment.
    A family member has a genetic condition. How do I get testing done?2024-02-23T09:53:41+10:00
    • This depends on whether or not your family member has a genetic condition which has been confirmed on a genetic test:
      • If a family member has a confirmed genetic diagnosis (based on a genetic test) and you would like to discuss genetic testing for yourself / your child, then please ask your GP/specialist to arrange a referral. It is helpful if you can provide your doctor with supporting information regarding your family diagnosis. This can include a family reference number, genetic test report or letter from another genetics service. If this information is not supplied, we may not be able to provide helpful counselling or arrange genetic testing.
      • If your family member does not have a confirmed diagnosis (based on a genetic test), then we may not be able to provide meaningful assessment or counselling, and may not have a test available for you. In this instance, it is best that your relative who is suspected of having a genetic condition is referred to their local genetics service first.
    • If you have received a ‘Family Letter’ from GHQ advising that a family member has a genetic condition, and would like to discuss this further, you can ask your GP to refer you to your local genetics service. If you are living in Queensland, this will be GHQ.
    Do you do paternity testing?2024-02-23T11:41:16+10:00
    • No. GHQ is a public health service and does not provide genetic testing to confirm paternity. This testing is only available privately, and an internet search can provide options.
    I would like to discuss my Direct to Consumer (DTC) genetic test results (eg 23andMe)2024-02-23T11:42:55+10:00
    • Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests are purchased by individuals without involvement of a medical doctor. They are typically requested over the internet with reports issued directly to the individual.
    • GHQ is a public clinical service and we are unable to accept referrals to discuss DTC test results. In most cases, the company offering the test provides genetic counselling. Please contact the test provider in the first instance.
    • You may also choose to see a private clinical geneticist or genetic counsellor. Please discuss this option with your treating doctor.
    • If you have a personal and/or family history, a referral to a genetics service is recommended for clinical assessment, counselling, and consideration of a clinical genetic test.
    How long will test results take / I haven’t heard about my results?2024-02-23T11:48:51+10:00
    • Our clinicians will advise you in your appointment how long testing is likely to take. This will also usually be indicated in your patient letter, which you will receive in the weeks following your appointment. We will contact you when your results are available.
    • We will do our best to give you an accurate timeframe, but please note that timeframes can vary widely, depending on the test and the laboratory that is doing the testing.
    • If you have not received contact within the timeframe indicated in your patient letter, please contact us on (07) 3646 1686 or by email

    Block 7


    Contact us

    Genetic Health Queensland Outpatients Location: Level 6, Block 7 Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital Campus HERSTON QLD 4029 Phone: (07) 3646 1686 Email: 

    In an emergency call 000.

    Refer a patient

    To refer your patient, view the

    Information for referrers

    Genetics General Referral Guidelines

    Genetics Cancer Referral Guidelines

    GP and Specialist Referral Hotline: 1300 364 938

    Need help outside hours?

    For non-urgent medical issues call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or visit your GP.

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