Patient Information

What to bring, and our most commonly asked questions.

Our patient Information

If you have been referred to Dr Hutabarat and would like to explore some of the frequently asked questions or items you should bring to your appointment.

First Appointment

Please bring the following items to your appointment.

  • The referral from your doctor
  • Your x-rays, ultrasounds and pathology results.
  • A list of other illnesses and/or medications.
  • Any specific questions you would like answered.
  • Your Medicare, DVA or Pension card as applicable.
  • Your Health Fund details.

If you are covered by Worker’s Compensation please bring the following particulars:

1. Date of injury
2. Claim Number
3. Workcover insurer, contact no. and address

Please let us know how you will be paying at the time you book your appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of some of the common questions that Dr Simon Hutabarat is asked during consultations. Hope the answers are helpful!

  • How much does it cost?

    The practice billing policy for pensioners is a Known Gap of $500. People in special circumstances are considered for compassionate reasons on an ad-hoc basis. In general, with surgery across the board your cost will depend upon what is done, as well as how much you stand to get back from Medicare and your private health fund. Surgeons charge different fees for many different reasons, so it pays to ask around. A higher fee does not necessarily mean that you get a better job done. Do not forget there is an anaesthetist and a surgical assistant too, and operating theatre fees and disposables can be expensive.

  • Why has a surgeon charged this?

    I love this question. It is a study of the human psyche. The answer is a discussion of business, supply and demand, ego, lifestyle, values, desire to help others, how we measure self-worth and what we want for our efforts. Surgeons are people too and they are all different. Find a couple of Orthopaedic surgeons who are knowledgeable, humble, good with their hands, communicate and who will take the time and effort to produce a quality result. Get to know them (a bit) because you may be back over and over. Get some quotes. A more expensive quote does not necessarily equate to a better surgeon but may just reflect the surgeon’s greater business costs and possibly his or her lifestyle.

  • I don’t have private health insurance and I can't wait on the public hospital. Can I still get my procedure done in the private hospital?

    Yes, just ask for a quote. In addition to the surgeon, assistant and anaesthetic fee, there will be hospital cost that will include theatre and implant costs. In general, before we see patients who want to be treated as insured patients in the private hospital, we will give you a ballpark figure of the approximate cost of the procedure you might be having and we will take a deposit before booking you in for your first appointment.

  • What about robots?

    Wikipedia says robots are used for 5 things: 

    1. Jobs that are too dangerous for humans
    2. Areas that are difficult to access
    3. To reduce labour costs
    4. To provide labour when there is a shortage
    5. To do mundane activity

    Robots have been used to make cars since the 1960’s for several of these reasons. It was generally the cheaper, less reliable car brands that utilized robotic plants initially. Incidentally, high quality manufacturing of high end products like timepieces and high end motor vehicles still use humans with technological assistance. 

    Orthopaedic surgery doesn’t really fall into any of the above 5 categories. Therefore Dr Hutabarat employs the latest technological assistance, medical treatment with time and care to optimize his performance of your surgery and the overall experience.

  • What about complications?

    Complications can occur with any surgery even with the best of care and control of as many factors as possible. Of the things in our control, some are patient factors, some are surgeon factors and some relate to things beyond our control.

    As a patient, you can do your best to get yourself in the best shape possible. It is very important to address obesity as there are clear correlations with adverse outcomes and obesity. Discuss ways of addressing other aspects of your health such as obesity with Dr Hutabarat.

    As a surgeon, our medicolegal insurers advise us that more errors occur when the surgeon is tired or rushing. This is not rocket science. Choose a surgeon who is not inclined to rush and cut corners for whatever reason.

    There are of course general and specific risks to surgery that vary depending upon the specific surgery and the patient. It is best to discuss the specific risks of surgery directly with the surgeon.

  • What is the implant made of? Is it titanium?

    Once again this depends upon the specific implant and its application. Most implants are made of either a titanium alloy (like Ti6Al7Nb), a cobalt chrome alloy or stainless steel. Bearing surfaces vary and can be polyethylene or ceramic. There are pros and cons of the different materials. Feel free to discuss the reasoning behind what is chosen for you.

  • Do you gap cover?

    Dr Hutabarat charges a Known Gap to pensioners and we consider those who are struggling to make ends meet. People in special circumstances are considered on compassionate reasons on an ad-hoc basis. In general, with surgery across the board your cost will depend upon what is done and how much Medicare and your health fund gives back. Surgeons charge different fees for many different reasons, so it pays to ask around. A higher fee does not necessarily mean that you get a better job done. Do not forget there is an anaesthetist and a surgical assistant too and operating theatre fees and disposables can be expensive.

    At CCBJ we do a quote for all our patients.

  • Where does your name come from? Is it Dutch?

    I’m half Indonesian and half English but born and bred in Australia. The name is an Indonesian one. I’ve been lucky enough to have learnt Orthopaedics in Australia. This country has long been recognized as having probably the world’s best Orthopaedic training scheme. During my years I’ve spent a lot of time in the UK and Europe developing my expertise and am a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons as well as being a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the Australian Orthopaedic Association.

  • You consult in so many locations. Why is that?

    Orthopaedic patients often struggle with their mobility. It’s often easier for me to go to them than it is for them to come to me. Aside from that, it fun working in a few different locations.

  • How often are you in Tamworth?

    I’ve been going to Tamworth since 2007. It all started after a patient’s mother heard I had resigned from the Public Hospital. Her son had had a great result and she made the arrangements for me to use my extra time to start up there. At the moment I’m in Tamworth once a month but its best to check with the rooms as it may change.

  • Are you at any public hospitals?

    I started back in the public system in 2019. I have a public operating list at Gosford Public Hospital once a fortnight. It is fun being back teaching registrars and working with peers. The work that comes through the emergency door is always new and interesting.

  • I couldn’t find your website online [in 2020] why is that?

    Well hopefully now you have! 

    This practice has been built by word of mouth as a result of care and a quality personal service. Result have followed. The reality however, is that we live in a digital marketplace and people need to find what they need online, without being fleeced! The period of coronavirus isolation gave Dr Hutabarat the time off work to catch up with other things that hadn’t kept pace when you are a busy practice. As one of his mentors says, “Never waste a good crisis!”