Request for outpatient appointment (MR15)
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All referrals received by outpatient clinics will be reviewed to determine the clinical urgency of the patient’s condition. All appointments are scheduled based on patient clinical need.
Wait times for an outpatient appointment will be varied depending on the level of demand for the service.
Referrals must be submitted in writing and should contain the required minimum data to ensure timely and appropriate decision making. To assist this process a statewide referral form has been developed (in long and short versions) and is available to download below.
Additional formats of the form, compatible with clinical management software, are also available. Instructions on how to import these forms into clinical management applications are provided.
Services in country hospitals may differ from those in metropolitan hospitals. For more information about country outpatient services, country patients should contact their general practitioner or local hospital or community health service.
All patients require a valid referral prior to receiving treatment in an outpatient clinic.
In some instances additional clinical information may be required to supplement the information requested in the Statewide Standard Outpatients Referral Form. Where specific referral criteria or specific clinical pathways have been developed by Local Health Networks (LHNs) and/or published on the live HealthPathways SA (HPSA) portal, this additional referral information will be located on the respective LHN and/or HPSA portal HPSA portal. Referrers are encouraged to include this additional information in the referral request to SA Health outpatient services.
Incomplete referrals may be returned to referrers for completion.
Patients have the choice of seeing a doctor of the hospital’s choice within metropolitan public hospitals free of charge as a public patient.
Patients referred from the hospital emergency department must be seen free of charge as public patients.
Public patients do not require a named referral and will see a doctor chosen by the hospital.
The income from Medicare bulk billing helps the doctor and the hospital provide better services and equipment.
To be treated as a private patient in an outpatient clinic and see a specialist doctor of choice, the patient will need to:
All outpatients are seen on the basis of clinical need.
A minority of specialist doctors may not bulk bill for private services. The doctor must ensure that the patient is fully informed about any gaps before the patient chooses to be private.
Doctors who do not bulk bill for private services are listed on the relevant clinic list.
Referrals for children may require additional information, such as whether the child is under the guardianship of the Minister. For particular information about referring children see the Women’s and Children’s Health Network website.
For clinic locations, contact details and appointments, see our outpatient clinics page.
Although some outpatient services are provided in locations outside of metropolitan Adelaide, country patients may be required to travel to attend an outpatient service based in metropolitan Adelaide.
Should there be a change in a patient’s medical condition while they are waiting for an appointment, the patient should return to their GP for a review.
Updated information resulting from this review should be sent to the outpatient clinic and, where appropriate, contact made with the clinic to discuss the patient’s condition.
All patients referred to an outpatient clinic will generally need to wait for an appointment. How long patients will have to wait will depend on the patient's clinical urgency and the level of demand for the service.
The following factors are generally considered when determining how urgent the patient’s condition is:
General practitioners are able to seek urgent/same day advice about a patient by calling the outpatient clinic directly.