Tasmanian Clinical Genetic Service
The Tasmanian Clinical Genetics Service (TCGS) provides a clinical service for the diagnosis, management, counselling and support of individuals and families with a wide range of genetic disorders including:
- Familial cancer (e.g. breast cancer and bowel cancer);
- Babies with birth defects;
- Undiagnosed intellectual disability;
- Chromosome disorders;
- Familial neurological and muscle disorders;
- Skeletal and connective tissue disorders;
- Rare genetic syndromes; and
- Metabolic disorders.
The TCGS also provides a range of services to people who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy - including:
- Counselling and carrier testing to clarify risk of genetic conditions;
- Prenatal diagnosis for various genetic conditions;
- Counselling regarding genetic issues of infertility and in-vitro fertilization;
- Counselling regarding screening tests before or during pregnancy; and
- Diagnosis and counselling when a birth defect is detected during pregnancy
The TCGS is based at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Genetics Clinics are held regularly at:
- Royal Hobart Hospital
- Launceston General Hospital
- Mersey Hospital, Latrobe
The TCGS is staffed by Genetic Counsellors, who are based at the Royal Hobart Hospital, and by Clinical Geneticists, contracted from the Royal Children's Hospital and the Peter MacCalum Hospital in Melbourne, who visit Tasmania to conduct monthly clinics in conjunction with the genetic counsellors.
9am to 5pm weekdays
Genetic Counsellors can be contacted by health professionals or patients to discuss genetic issues or to arrange clinic appointments. Phone (03) 6166 8296
How to make an appointment (information for patients)
Most patients are referred to the TCGS by their GP or specialist who sends a referral letter by mail or fax. On receipt of the referral letter a genetic counsellor will contact the patient by phone to discuss the issue of concern, collect relevant family history information, and arrange an appointment at a clinic in Hobart, Launceston or Latrobe, if needed. In some cases the issue of concern may be resolved by phone without the need for an appointment - in these cases a letter is usually sent to both the patient and referring doctor, summarising the advice or information given.
If the issue of concern is a personal or family history of cancer, a genetic counsellor will generally mail to the patient a family history questionnaire before making contact by phone. It is requested that the patient completes the questionnaire and mails it back to the TCGS so that the relevant information is available prior to a genetic counsellor phoning the patient.
In some cases (usually where other family members have already been seen by the service) patients may self-refer by phoning and speaking to a genetic counsellor.
Referrals (information for referring doctors)
Referrals should be addressed to:Tasmanian Clinical Genetics Service
C/- The Royal Hobart Hospital
GPO BOX 1061
HOBART Tasmania 7001
And may be mailed or faxed to (03) 6222 7961
To avoid delays, please do not send your referral to specialist clinics at the RHH, LGH or Mersey Hospital, but send it directly to the TCGS.
Please include patient's name, address, telephone number/s, date of birth and the reason for the referral. If you have any relevant test results it would be helpful if you could include them.
The TCGS is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services. Genetic Counselling is provided free of charge to the people of Tasmania.
Although genetic testing is expensive, most genetic tests are currently free of charge to patients referred to the TCGS.