Choosing a Specialist

Do you need to see a specialist? While many skin cancers are managed by your GP, if you need specialist input for treatment or ongoing monitoring, you may need to see a specialist.

Depending on the nature of your lesion, your GP will be able to recommend and refer you to a dermatologist (skin specialist), and/or a plastic surgeon.

You may be happy to accept the advice of your GP or you may like to investigate your choices. Either option is safe and valid.

In Australia, each medical speciality has a governing body to which the consultants belong. These are often good organisations to turn to for information about what you can expect from your medical specialist and how to locate one in your area.

You can access the Australian College of Dermatologists at and the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons at

Questions for your specialist may help you to understand your treatment, and, if necessary, decide on a doctor. Practical issues you may also like to consider are which hospital(s) a particular doctor operates from and what their fees are.

To find out which dermatologists and plastic surgeons participate in our Medicover No Gap or Known Gap* arrangement:

Can you use your referral on any specialist?

Your referral can be transferred to any specialist you choose, as long as they’re in the same medical field. Alternatively, you can ask your GP to write an ‘open referral’ where they don’t specify a particular specialist. A valid referral needs to include:

  • relevant clinical information about your condition for investigation, opinion, treatment and/or management
  • date of the referral
  • signature of your referring doctor.

*Participation in HCF’s medical gap initiative is at the doctor’s discretion. We can’t guarantee all doctors will participate in our gap arrangements for all members or services. Where you will incur any out-of-pocket costs the doctor(s) should advise you of these costs and obtain your consent to charge you so you can make an informed decision before going ahead with the procedure. Members are encouraged to confirm with their doctor(s) whether they will use HCF’s medical gap initiatives for their treatment.

Questions for your specialist

What you should be asking before going ahead with surgery.


Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.