Frequently Asked Questions

Reference: Australian Rheumatology Association

Rheumatologists are trained in treating musculoskeletal conditions including:

  • Osteoarthritis, commonly causing pain in the hands, feet, knees
  • Gout, often seen in the big toe but can also affect the hands and knees. Is curable with the correct treatment plan.
  • Osteoporosis, causing fractures
  • Pain including affecting the low back, neck, shoulder, hip, and foot
  • Generalised pain conditions (e.g. fibromyalgia)

They also diagnose and treat autoimmune diseases including:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis, often associated with the flaky/scaly skin rash psoriasis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis, causing stiffness in the back
  • Reactive Arthritis, often seen after infection
  • Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, SLE)
  • Scleroderma, which can affect the skin causing thickening, blood vessels (Raynaud’s phenomenon) and may affect the kid-
  • neys, lungs and other organs
  • Sjogren’s syndrome with dry eyes and dry mouth
  • Myositis, with weakness caused by inflammation in the muscles

Please contact Dr. Kumar’s secretary via telephone or email on the CONTACT page of the website.

Appointments are allocated according to clinical need, as triaged from your referral. We have priority appointments for urgent patients. Please ask your GP to speak to Dr. Kumar via contact page regarding any urgent or unclear cases for advice.

A valid referral is required to allow you to get a Medicare rebate for the consultation. This can be obtained by your GP. The referral must be addressed to a Rheumatologist, it does not have to specifically be addressed to Dr. Shweta Kumar for it to be a valid referral for Medicare purposes. However, it must be a new referral (cannot be already used by another Rheumatologist).

  • a valid letter of referral (usually from your GP). This is necessary to claim a medicare rebate
  • Investigation results i.e. blood tests, X-rays, CT scans (bring your own copies)
  • Completed patient history and patient registration forms/questionnaire (these will be sent to you when making the appointment)
  • Medicare card
  • Pensioner concession card (if you have one)

An initial consultation is scheduled for 45minutes. During this time Dr. Kumar will take a detailed history of your symptoms and medical conditions. She will conduct a physical examination and review the results of your blood tests and scans. Dr. Kumar has specialist training necessary to diagnose your medical condition. She may organise additional investigations such as blood tests, ultrasounds and other scans.

Once a diagnosis is made, she will explain the nature of your illness including the cause and what you might expect in the future. Dr. Kumar will work with you towards a holistic management plan incorporating all your medical conditions to help improve your quality of life. She will liaise with your GP, other specialists and allied health professionals to maximise your function. She will discuss different options and what may be best for you. She will offer dietary and lifestyle advice to help supplement medical therapy.

The cost of the consultation will depend on the length and complexity of the consult. There will be an out of pocket fee after the medicare rebate has been applied. Please call the individual practice for details. Please bring your pensioner or health care card to your appointment.

Urgent appointments can be arranged within a few weeks (please ask your GP to ring Dr. Kumar directly).

Dr. Kumar may be able to offer earlier initial appointments at one practice with subsequent follow-ups at a different practice of your choice.

Telehealth is available via video – Skype or telephone for those in Telehealth eligible remote areas (indefinitely) or those concerned about their risk of COVID 19 (during time of pandemic). Please discuss this with the secretary at time of appointment.

Geographic eligibility for telehealth services is determined by the Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Area (RA) classification, which is a numerical system between 1 and 5. A telehealth eligible area is outside of a major city (RA1).

You can check if a location is telehealth eligible by using Search the map on the Department of Health DoctorConnect website. Choose the ‘Australian Statistical Geographic Standard Remoteness Areas’ and enter the address.

*telehealth Medicare eligibility map