Frequently Asked Questions

Who can access medicinal cannabis in Australia?

If you have a diagnosed chronic medical condition, and have trialled other medications and therapies which have been ineffective, partially effective or had intolerable side effects, you may be able to access medicinal cannabis through the Therapeutic Goods Australia (TGA) Special Access Scheme or Authorised Prescriber Scheme.

What medical conditions can I access medicinal cannabis for?

There is a very broad range of indications that medicinal cannabis can be accessed for. Dr Shu has experience in managing symptoms associated with the below conditions:

  • Mental health disorders including: Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, ADHD

  • Insomnia

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder and behavioural difficulties

  • Chronic non-cancer pain: including Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Polymyalgia Rheumatica, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

  • Migraine/Headache Disorder

  • Symptoms from Cancer/Cancer Treatment e.g. Neuropathy/Pain/Nausea/Vomiting​

  • Multiple Sclerosis

  • Parkinson's Disease

  • Epilepsy/Seizure Disorder

  • Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome/ Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • Endometriosis/Adenomyosis

  • Dermatitis

  • Asthma

What can I expect in a consultation?

Dr Shu or Nurse Liv will discuss your medical history including previous and medications trialled, and give an overview about medicinal cannabis and medications. If eligible and suitable to trial medicinal cannabis, Dr Shu will discuss the process and tailor personalised treatment and medications to suit individual needs. Dr Shu has no financial interest in medications or companies and will prescribe medications based on clinical needs and individual preferences.

How will I receive my medications after the consultation?

When application for medications are approved by TGA's Special Access Scheme or if prescribed through Authorised Prescriber Scheme, the prescription will be sent to either a recommended pharmacy or patient-nominated pharmacy if preferred. Dr Shu recommends going through specialty pharmacies as they provide excellent education and support for patients in relation to medicinal cannabis products and medications.

I have a referral, how do I make an appointment?

If you have a referral from your GP or specialist, or have completed the eligibility screening by Astrid Dispensary, please book "Initial Consultation" to make an appointment (Book Online Here)

I do not have a referral, can I still make an appointment?

If you do not have a referral, you are still welcome to book an Initial Consultation. It is not necessary but would be helpful if you could obtain a Health Summary from your GP clinic to upload with the patient registration section.

Please complete the Patient Registration and Consent Form​ prior to the consultation.

I have been prescribed medicinal cannabis by a different doctor, but would like to change services. Can I make an appointment with Dr Shu?

It is not advisable for patients to have multiple prescribers of medicinal cannabis. However, if patients would like to transfer care from a different clinic to Dr Shu, you are welcome to book an initial appointment (Book Online Here).

Do you conduct in-person/face to face consultations?

All consultations are currently conducted by telehealth through telephone or video by request. In-person/face to face consultations may be implemented in the future if there is increased demand for this service.

Are the consultations covered by Medicare?

No, consultations are private billing only. Some private health funds may reimburse cost of consultations, however it is best to enquire with the individual health fund about the process.

Are medications covered by Medicare?

Medicinal cannabis medications are currently not offered under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Patients will need to pay out-of-pocket costs for medications. Some third party organisations (Private Health Funds, DVA, Workcover, NDIS) may reimburse the cost of medications, however it is best to enquire with them about the process.

What are the costs of medication?

This varies greatly between patients depending on type of medication and dosage needed. The average costs are between $3 to $15 a day.

What medicinal cannabis medications can Dr Shu prescribe?

Dr Shu is not restricted by certain medicinal cannabis brands or products and is able to prescribe any medication available through TGA, and can compound medications for selected patients.

Do you see patients covered by DVA, TAC or Workcover?

Yes, patients covered by DVA, TAC or Workcover are welcome for consultations and Dr Shu will help with documents required. Some insurance documents may require additional fees for time and effort. Dr Shu does not do third party billings and any invoices must be paid upfront.

Are there TGA application fees?

All fees are included in the initial consultation fees.