What is a podiatrist?
When it comes to looking after your health, it’s easy to forget about your feet. But given you could walk about 128,000 km in your lifetime, healthy feet are an important part of your overall wellbeing. Foot problems can have a huge impact on your quality of life. If they occur, podiatrists can help.
What does a podiatrist do?
Podiatrists are experts in foot, ankle and lower limb health. They can help to prevent, diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions including:
- ingrown toenails
- heel and arch pain
- skin problems
- balance issues
They can also treat foot problems that arise from underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and arthritis.
Your podiatrist’s recommendations might include specific exercises, the use of custom-made inserts for your shoes, or medications to treat skin conditions.
Some podiatrists specialise in different areas of practice, including sports, children and workplace health.
Where to find a podiatrist
Podiatrists work in private practice or public health clinics, for example in community health services or public hospitals.
You can talk to your doctor about your options.
We have a podiatrist in-house at Prahran Health Care Clinic who will be practicing from the rooms, so if you are interested please ask at reception or speak to your doctor.
Before going to a podiatrist
You don’t usually need a referral from a GP to see a podiatrist. However, in certain situations, if your GP prepares a care plan, also referred to as a Team Care Agreement (TCA) he can give you a referral under the Enhanced Primary Care system, which may entitle you to medicare rebates on some podiatry visits. Also, some funding schemes, for example those under the Department of Veterans Affairs or Workers Compensation, need you to have a referral. If you’re under ones of those schemes, check with your GP before making your appointment.
The cost of seeing a podiatrist varies between practices and for different treatments. It is a good idea to ask about the likely cost when you call to make an appointment. If you have private health insurance, check whether it is covered by your plan.
Our costs to see the podiatrist at Prahran Health Care Clinic start at $95 for the initial appointment and $85 for every subsequent visit. Check with your Private Health Insurer to see how much you get back on Podiatry by quoting the following item numbers: F002 is the initial consultation and F012 is the subsequent visit.
Phone reception to make an appointment on (03) 9521 7040.
It’s a good idea to take the shoes you normally wear to your first visit.
It’s also a good idea to have a list of questions to ask, for example:
- what are the best shoes for me to wear?
- what changes can I make to help my foot problem?
Visit the Australian Podiatry Association website to learn more about podiatry and for information on common foot problems.
Australian Podiatry Association (What is podiatry?), Raising Children Network (Podiatrist), Australian Podiatry Association (Vic) (Frequently asked questions), WA Health (Podiatry)