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Specialist Outpatient Clinics

“Specialist Outpatient Clinics is important for the continuum of your care”

Ballarat Health Services provides a variety of specialist outpatient services, as well as allied health, pre-admission and post-discharge services.

Clinic List

  • Antenatal
  • Cardiology
  • Continence
  • Diabetes
  • Endocrinology
  • Ear, Nose & Throat
  • Gastroenterology & Liver
  • General Medicine (including Home Oxygen)
  • Gynaecology
  • Haematology
  • Iron Infusion
  • Neurology
  • Oncology (all services are provided at the Ballarat Integrated Cancer Centre)
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Paediatrics
  • Pain Management
  • Palliative Care
  • Surgical
  • Urology
  • Vascular

Most of our specialist outpatient clinics are open Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm and are closed on public holidays. Particular clinics may run on a specific day and time of the week.

FAQ's

How do I get an appointment with a Specialist?

Referrals are accepted for patients requiring specialist consultation for elective and non-emergency treatment.

Your GP or health care provider is required to provide a written referral to the Ballarat Health Services Specialist outpatient clinics. Once this is received one of our Specialist will review your referral.

How long is my referral to the specialist outpatient clinic valid?

General Practitioner referrals to our specialists may be written for a 12 month or indefinite period and referring specialists for 3 months. If your referral has expired the specialist clinic staff will ask you to go back to your GP or referring specialist to get your referral renewed.

Do I need a GP, and how do I obtain one?

All patients are encouraged to have a GP. While specialists deal with a specific aspect of your health, usually for a limited period of time, it is important to have someone who knows about all of your health needs.

The GP is usually the first person you see when you want help or advice about a health condition, and the person who will help you to manage your health when you either no longer need specialist care or are in-between visits to a specialist. This can be very important in helping you stay well and making sure any new health problems or complications are diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

Click here to find a GP in your area, it is comprehensive list of the GP’s and Practices in the Ballarat region.

BHS recommends registering for “My Health Record”, it contains a summary of your health information. If you tend to move around “My health record” is good way to keep your medical information together to present information to your non-regular GP’s. Having information in your My Health Record will allow other healthcare providers participating in the “My Health Record” system to view this information when they provide you with healthcare.

How will I be notified of my appointment?

There is a waiting list for Specialist Outpatient Clinics, appointments are allocated booked by priority, this ensures patients are seen in a timely manner for their condition.

Once an appointment is allocated you will be notified by SMS, letter or telephone.  You may also receive other letters relating to your appointment; for example some doctors may request that you have tests completed prior to your appointment, such as X-rays or blood tests.

Referrals to outpatient clinics are declined when patient data and medical information is incorrect, mismatched or is inadequate to ascertain the service need. In all circumstances, contact will be made with your GP or yourself from the contact information BHS has on file.

Please assist us by contacting us as soon as possible when receiving correspondence from Outpatient services that requires additional information. Alternatively, contact your GP, your information can then be forwarded to us from there.

The demand for public hospital outpatient services is growing and waiting lists for most specialties are lengthy. BHS will prioritise urgent patients and endeavours to see routine ailments as quickly as possible. You may want to discuss waiting times with your GP and discuss alternative options.

If you have been placed on a waiting list and your condition worsens, please contact your GP or go to emergency.

There will be clinical reasons for your referral is removed from the waiting list. If you have concerns please speak with your GP.

If your circumstances change, let us know. To cancel your referral from the waiting list click here.

Before your appointment, please ensure that you:

  • obtain any test results needed for your appointment
  • make a list of any medications or dietary supplements that you take
  • write down any questions that you have for the doctor (it is often helpful to do this beforehand).

Importantly, please arrange to let us know if you require an interpreter before your appointment.

What do I need to do on the day of the appointment?

On the day of your appointment, please bring:

  • the appointment letter you received from the specialist outpatient clinics
  • any relevant X-rays, scans (CT or ultrasound), blood tests or other test results
  • the list of current medications you are taking
  • your Medicare card, DVA card, pension card (if you have one) or any other concession cards you hold
  • TAC or Work Cover claim number and case manager details
  • your GPs address and phone number
  • any medication or dietary supplements you may require during your visit
  • toys or books for children who are attending the clinic with you.

Should I bring anyone with me to the specialist appointment?

You are welcome to bring a friend, relative or carer with you to your specialist appointment.

If you need someone to care for you at home, it is important that your carer comes with you to the appointment.

If you are cared for in a nursing home, it is preferred that a member of the nursing home staff attends the specialist outpatient clinic appointment with you.

Is car parking available?

Patient set down/pick-up zones are situated on Sturt Street and Drummond Street. BHS information about car parking and parking charges are available on Ballarat Health Services website. We recommend using our multistorey car park as most street parking around the hospital is restricted to two hours or less.

Am I entitled to transport assistance?

The Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS) assists rural Victorians who need to travel long distances from home for specialist medical or dental treatment from approved specialist doctors. To be eligible for assistance, patients must reside in a rural region and travel 100 kilometres or more one way, or an average of 500 kilometres per week for five weeks or more, to receive treatment from a recognised specialist.

The VPTAS provides some financial assistance for both travel and accommodation. While it subsidises these costs, it does not provide full reimbursement.

To ensure assistance is provided where it is most needed, patients who are eligible to claim assistance under other registered benefit organisations, including the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, are ineligible to claim under VPTAS.

VPTAS assistance does not apply to:

  • patient travel by road ambulance, air ambulance or emergency support vehicles
  • the cost incurred by family members visiting patients at a treatment destination
  • other costs incurred such as car parking or e-tags.

For information on how to contact your local VPTAS office, speak with your GP or visit the website at:

http://www.health.vic.gov.au/ruralhealth/vptas/index.htm

Alternatively BHS rolling out Telehealth in 2018, please ask our booking staff if a telehealth appointment is an option for you.

How long will my appointment take?

It is recommended that you allow up to two hours for your appointment. All patients are given a specific appointment time. There may be more than one patient with a particular appointment time because there will be more than one staff member working in the clinic at that time.

Although appointments are for a set time, delays can occur. The staff may be delayed by needing to discuss a complicated treatment or diagnosis with a patient, or they may be required urgently in other parts of the hospital. Should any such delays occur, you will be kept informed by the clinic staff. Another appointment can be arranged for you in the event that you are unable to wait for your appointment.

Plan to arrive ten minutes before your allocated appointment to allow time to complete any necessary paperwork, especially at your first visit.

If your circumstances change, let us know. To change or cancel your appointment click here

What if things change?

Always let us know if your contact details change

If your circumstances change and you don’t need the appointment, please let us know so that we can book another patient in. Staff will be able to move your appointment to a date or time more suitable to you, although this might mean a longer wait. 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. Every year patients receive 10,000 appointments and do not show, whilst many patients have lengthy waits for an appointment. Please consider others, give us the opportunity to offer valuable appointments to someone who needs the appointment. Contact us at least three days before your appointment by calling the number or fill in the contact form below.

Contact us

Contact our Call Centre on 5320 4221

OR

You can fill out our contact form here

What do I need to do when I arrive at the specialist clinic?

When you arrive, please go to the reception check-in desk. Staff will check your details and may ask to see your Medicare or pension card. They will then direct you to the waiting area for your clinic.

You should ask the doctor during your appointment for a medical certificate if you require one.

If you don’t understand anything that is discussed with you during your appointment, ask for it to be explained to you again. You may ask the doctor, nurse, or allied health staff questions at any time.

How many times will I need to attend the specialist clinic?

The number of appointments you will need will depend on the reason for your referral. From your appointment you may need to have additional tests or a procedure as an outpatient or as inpatient which will require a hospital stay. Specialist outpatient clinics are usually provided only for the amount of time that you need the expert care or opinion of a specialist doctor. The doctor you see in the clinic will discuss how many times you will need to attend the clinic.

You may be discharged back to the care of your GP or another community service when you no longer need to attend the specialist outpatient clinic.

When will I be discharged?

Throughout your journey with BHS specialist outpatient clinics, the aim is discharge to your primary care provider such as your GP as soon as it clinically appropriate. It is important to ask questions throughout your care, giving you the confidence in your own health management. As part of your discharge process your GP will be sent your discharge letter for ongoing treatment.

If your circumstances change, let us know. To change or cancel your appointment, or cancel your referral click here.

Ballarat Health Services has a “non-attendance” policy, if you do not attendance two consecutive appointments without letting us know your referral will be closed. If you wish to use BHS specialist outpatient clinics a new referral will be required from your GP to organise another appointment.

We will exercise discretion on a case-by-case basis to avoid disadvantaging patients in genuine hardship, and unavoidable circumstances.

You can give your opinion about the care or service you receive in any part of the hospital. This may be in the form of a compliment or a complaint. You may contact our consumer liaison on 03 5320 4014 or email feedback@bhs.org.au

Click here to view the Victorian Public Hospital Patient Charter, it outlines your rights and responsibilities as a patient.

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