Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a Dietitian and Nutritionist?

This is a question we get asked a lot. With so many people offering nutrition advice out there, it is incredibly difficult to discern what is right.

The key difference between a Nutritionist and Dietitian is the level of education attained. In Australia, there is no regulation on the title ‘Nutritionist’ so anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. A number of health practitioners such as naturopaths or personal trainers can call themselves nutritionists when they have completed as little as a 6-week nutrition course.

On the contrary, Dietitians are regarded as trusted nutrition experts because they undergo extensive university training and continuing education to stay on top of the rapidly evolving research in nutrition science. Dietitians undertake a Bachelor degree in Science (3 years), followed by a Masters in Dietetics (18-24 months), or a 4 year undergraduate Dietetics degree. During the final year, they complete supervised professional placements in clinical nutrition, public health and food service management. Dietitians are trained to prescribe medical nutrition therapy for the management of diet-related diseases.

The terms ‘Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD)’ and ‘Accredited Nutritionist (AN)’ are strictly regulated by the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA). On the other hand, nutritionists, health coaches and wellness warriors are not regulated. Dietitians need to meet a range of accreditation and competency standards to achieve credentialling. This involves completing professional development hours every year to maintain and expand professional knowledge. APDs are the only nutrition credentials recognised by Medicare, Department of Veterans’ Affair and the majority of private health funds. This means that eligible patients will be able to access rebates for Dietitian services.

So in a nutshell, Dietitians are your go-to health professional for expert nutrition advice. At Specialist Dietitian Consultancy, our dietitian is an APD and AN. You can therefore be assured that you are under the care of a highly qualified nutrition specialist.

Do I need a GP referral to see you?

To see a dietitian at SDC, you do not require a referral from your doctor. However, we also do not accept any Enhanced Primary Care Plan (EPC) & Team Care Arrangement (TCA). 

Do you offer online consultations?

Yes! We have clients from all around the world and we would love to help you no matter where you are located. We offer online consultations via the Zoom App.

Am I eligible for Medicare rebates?

Medicare rebates may be available through the Enhanced Primary Care Plan (EPC) arrangement with your GP, please discuss with your doctor to find out if you are eligible. EPC is otherwise known as the Chronic Disease Management Plan. You can access rebates for up to 5 visits to any allied health professionals per calendar year.

The current rebate provided by Medicare is $53.80 per consultation. In order to be eligible for the rebate, you will need to bring a copy of your EPC to your appointment. Alternatively, your GP can fax a copy of your EPC to us on (08) 9467 6267 prior to your appointment. Please note that the Medicare rebate does not cover the full cost of your consultation so there will be an out-of-pocket expense.

Do you bulk bill?

At SDC, we pride ourselves on providing a premium specialist service by giving our patients the time that they deserve. We are therefore unable to offer bulk billing for our patients and there will be an out-of-pocket expense for your consultation. However, you may be eligible for rebates from Medicare, DVA or your private health fund.

Can I claim a rebate from my private health fund?

We are a registered Dietitian provider with private health funds. You will need to contact your health fund to find out if you are eligible for a rebate for consultations with a dietitian. Rebates will vary according to your level of cover so it is recommended that you speak to your health fund to check your exact entitlements. 

Is it possible to claim from Medicare and my private health fund?

If you are eligible, rebates can only be claimed from either your private health fund or Medicare, not both.

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