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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.
Your referring doctor will write a referral letter to the clinic and post or fax the referral to the clinic.
The referral letter will be to an individual specialist or a group of specialists. For example, your GP may ask for a specialist assessment of your medical problem. Sometimes patients are referred for follow-up after treatment in the emergency department; or after being an inpatient in Hospital; or after having a baby.
For some allied health outpatient services, your referral will be sent to “First Call” which is an administrative intake referral service. You will receive a phone call from First Call, who will do an initial screening assessment and provide you with more information about the allied health services provided.
When your referral is received we will prioritise your appointment based on the information the referring doctor has provided about your condition. 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 your doctor with information about the outcome of your referral.
How long do I wait for an appointment?
Waiting times for appointments will vary across the clinics. 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 is usually the best person to manage your health until you are seen at the clinic. Please contact your GP if you are worried about your condition. Your GP will advise the clinic staff if your condition is deteriorating. In an emergency, you should dial 000 for an ambulance or attend an emergency department.
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 a specialist clinic. There are some private allied health services for which a referral is not required. There may be out of pocket costs involved. A list of private medical specialists is available through the Australian Health Directory Online.
How long is my referral valid for?
How do I change my appointment?
What do I bring to my appointment?
On the day of your appointment please bring:
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.
For information on how to contact your local VPTAS office contact:
How should I give feedback about my appointment?
The Director of Medical Services, or representative, will work with you to find a resolution to any complaint or, if necessary, investigate the matter further.
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?
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.