Specialist Outpatient Clinics

On this page:

What are specialist clinics?
How do I get an appointment at a specialist clinic?
Referral instructions for health professionals
How long do I wait for an appointment?
Are there alternatives to Specialist Outpatient Services?
How long is my referral valid for?
How will I be notified of my appointment?
How do I change my appointment?
What do I do if I no longer need or want my appointment?
What do I do before my appointment?
What do I bring to my appointment?
What can I do if I have special needs?
Parking
Am I entitled to transport and accommodation assistance?
How should I give feedback about my appointment?
Can medicare ineligible patients attend the specialist clinics?





What are specialist clinics?

Specialist clinics are for assessment and care of patients by specialist doctors and healthcare professionals. These clinics are sometimes called ‘outpatients’. They are for patients who are not admitted to hospital or in an Emergency Department setting at the time of the appointment.

There is no fee for eligible patients to attend at a hospital specialist clinic. Fees may be charged by a specialist clinic for aids and appliances or prostheses. A fee for attendance may apply to patients who are not eligible for Medicare, or for attendance through other programs as agreed between the Commonwealth and Victoria (i.e. HACCPYP, CHSP and CH programs).

At West Gippsland Healthcare Group, we have the following specialist outpatient clinics:  

Consulting Suite 1


Phone: (03) 5623 0810
Fax: (03) 5623 0823
Letter: Post to 41 Landsborough Street, Warragul VIC 3820

  • Gynaecology– please use HealthPathways to determine eligibility before referring to our service from 01/02/2020
  • Maternity (obstetric) care - please use HealthPathways to determine eligibility before referring to our service from 01/06/2020
  • Urology Nurse - please use HealthPathways to determine eligibility before referring to our service from 01/11/2019

Consulting Suite 1, also hosts a range of visiting specialists who conduct surgery at West Gippsland Hospital. These include orthopaedic, general, breast and vascular surgeons, urologists and ENT specialists. Appointments are made for these visiting specialists via the surgeons main rooms and private fees apply.

Private Consulting Suites (2 and 3) are located within the grounds of the West Gippsland Hospital. These suites are managed by private providers and private fees apply.


Preadmission Clinic


Phone: (03) 5623 0745
Fax: (03) 5622 6404
Letter: Post to 41 Landsborough Street, Warragul VIC 3820

  • Preadmission assessment prior to elective surgery
  • Anaesthetic assessment prior to elective surgery

Allied Health


First Call intake service
Phone: (03) 5624 3548
Fax: (03) 5623 0856
Electronic Referral: S2S direct to the required clinic.
Letter: Post to 41 Landsborough Street, Warragul VIC 3820

  • Diabetes Education - please use HealthPathways to determine eligibility before referring to our service from 01/06/2020
  • Dietetics
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy

Oncology


Referrals coordinated by Latrobe Regional Hospital Oncology Unit.
Phone: (03) 5173 8845


How do I get an appointment at a specialist clinic?

Patients are referred to a specialist clinic by a general practitioner (GP), another specialist or a healthcare professional. Some clinics will accept a referral from the patient or a relative.

When your referral arrives at our service, we will view the content to ensure that the referral meets Statewide Referral Criteria as well as local eligibility criteria.

You will receive a phone call or letter from us to confirm that we have your referral. You might receive an appointment date straight away or be placed on a waiting list to receive an appointment at a later date. The clinic will contact you and the referrer with information about the outcome of your referral.


Referral instructions for health professionals

When making a referral, it is essential that the content you provide meets Statewide Referral Criteria as well as local eligibility criteria. Please check this before completing the referral.

When a referral arrives at our service, we will view the content to ensure that it meets both criteria.

It is a requirement that hospital specialist clinics refer back, or reject referrals that do not contain essential information. We will send correspondence to the referrer explaining why the referral has not been accepted. The referral must then be re-submitted with the complete information.

To view or download the minimum referral requirements go to:
https://src.health.vic.gov.au
https://vtphna.org.au/care-pathways-and-referral/

How long do I wait for an appointment?

Waiting times for appointments will vary across the clinics. If you do not receive a phone call or letter from us within 30 days of being referred, please contact your GP or referrer to ensure that the referral was accepted by our service. If you are worried about your condition while you wait for an appointment, you should speak to the doctor who referred you and talk about the options available to you.

Your GP may be able to suggest treatments to assist you while you are waiting to see the specialist.


Are there alternatives to Specialist Outpatient Services?

Referrals to private specialists are an alternative to attending the Allied Health clinics. There are some private allied health services for which a referral is not required. Please note, however, that there may be out of pocket costs involved.


How long is my referral valid for?

Unless a timeframe is specified, referrals from GPs are valid for 12 months from your first appointment.
Referrals from a specialist to another specialist are valid for 3 months from your first appointment.


How will I be notified of my appointment?

We will send you a letter or phone you with an appointment date. You may receive other letters about your appointment, for example your doctors may want you to have special tests before your first appointment, such as X-rays or blood tests.

Appointments are made according to the referral priority.  These are:

  • URGENT (Sometimes called Category 1): Once we have received all of the information we require to appropriately triage your referral, we will contact you to arrange an appointment. You will generally be seen within 30 days of us receiving the required information.
  • ROUTINE: Some of our services separate routine referrals in to further categories: Category 2 and Category 3.
    In both instances we will contact you in regard to an appointment time. Your referring doctor will be sent a letter with the expected time frame for your appointment.
    Our ability to see patients who are prioritised as Category 2 and 3 depends on the demand for our services. On some occasions for Category 3, due to significant waiting times, we may direct you back to your referring doctor to discuss an alternative plan.


How do I change my appointment?

If you need to change your appointment please contact the clinic as soon as possible. We will make every effort to move your appointment to a date or time more suitable to you and when the specialist is available, although this might mean a longer wait.

Please notify the clinic as soon as you are aware that you are unable to attend.

If you miss appointments without notifying the clinic, you may have to start over by getting a new referral from your GP and return to the waiting list.


What do I do if I no longer need or want my appointment?

If you are unable to attend or no longer need your appointment, please contact the clinic. You can help to reduce waiting times for other patients by making sure you let the clinic know if you can’t attend your appointment.
If you decide that you no longer want to attend, a letter will be sent to the referrer to communicate that you have been discharged from our service.


What do I do before my appointment?

  • Obtain any test results needed for your appointment
  • Make a list of any medications or dietary supplements that you take
  • Write down any questions you may have for the specialist
  • Check your confirmation letter for the location of your clinic appointment
  • Check our map to find the location of your clinic


What do I bring to my appointment?

On the day of your appointment please bring:

  • Medicare card, pension card or any other concession card you hold (your Medicare card must be presented each time you attend clinic)
  • Your appointment confirmation letter
  • Your GP details: name, address and phone number
  • List of current medications
  • Any medication or supplements you may require during your hospital visit.

What can I do if I have special needs?

We are able to assist patients with special needs when attending clinic appointments. If you are hearing or visually impaired or need an interpreter, it is important that you notify the clinic prior to your appointment so that assistance can be arranged for you.


Parking

Free parking is available close to each of the entrances to the clinics.  There are also drop off zones outside each entrance.


Am I entitled to transport and accommodation assistance?

If you live in rural and regional Victoria, seeing a medical specialist can require a lot of travel and you may also require accommodation. The Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS) may provide financial help for costs involved. VPTAS provides financial subsidies to eligible patients living in rural and regional Victoria who need to travel long distances to access medical specialist services.
You may be eligible for subsidies if you meet all three of the following requirements:
  • You live in rural Victoria.
  • Your treatment is included in the list of eligible medical specialist treatments.
  • You need to travel 100 kilometres or more one way or you need to travel (on average) 500 kilometres per week for five or more weeks in a row.

For information on how to contact your local VPTAS office contact:


How should I give feedback about my appointment?

You can give your opinion about the care or the service you receive in any part of the hospital.  This may be in the form of a compliment or a complaint.  

The various feedback options are noted below
  • On our website:  www.wghg.com.au  
  • Compliments and Complaints pamphlets are available in any part of the hospital
  • Phone our feedback line on (03) 5623 0615
For details on your rights and responsibilities as a patient, please visit the Victorian Public Hospital Patient Charter website at: www.health.vic.gov.au/patientcharter


Can medicare ineligible patients attend the specialist clinics?

If you are an overseas visitor from a country which Australia does not have a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with, you will be treated as a Medicare Ineligible Patient.  This means you will have to pay for all medical care and treatment.

A Medicare ineligible person is any visitor to Australia who does not hold a valid Medicare card, or is not included under one of the classifications below:
  • Reciprocal Rights
  • Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Reciprocal Rights

  • The Australian Government has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) with the governments of the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Slovenia, Malta* and Italy*.
    *Covered for Medicare for a period of six months from the date of arrival in Australia.
  • These agreements may entitle you to limited subsidised health services whilst visiting Australia.

For more information, please go to our website at:  www.wghg.com.au
You can also contact Finance Department on phone number (03) 5623 0794 between 8am and 4.30 pm Monday to Friday for more information.