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Outpatient (hospital day visit) clinics

Outpatient clinics provide specialist medical and surgical services that do not require hospital admission.

Costs

Clinics are free to public patients who have a Medicare card. You need your card at each appointment.

Fees may be charged for some items provided as part of your treatment, such as:

  • dental services
  • spectacles
  • hearing aids
  • surgical supplies
  • prostheses
  • pharmaceuticals
  • home oxygen
  • other aids and appliances.

If you are not eligible for Medicare, you have to pay for all outpatient services provided.

Some specialist services at public hospitals are provided as private clinics. For these services, you are responsible for the full cost of your treatment, however Medicare and private health insurance rebates may apply. You should ask the specialist for their fees and rebates before you have treatment.

Your visit

Booking an appointment

You will need an appointment to visit an outpatient clinic. To book an appointment you must have a referral from your doctor. The hospital will determine if you need an outpatient appointment based on an assessment of your clinical condition.

Before your appointment

  • Confirm the location of the specialist outpatient or private practice clinic.
  • Plan your trip—how to get to the hospital, parking locations and public transport schedule, if needed. Check if you are eligible for the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme.
  • Call the hospital or clinic at least 2 weeks before your appointment if you require an interpreter.
  • Prepare all test results, medical scans or reports related to your treatment. If you are unsure what to bring, ask your doctor.
  • Plan the questions you need to ask your specialist and write them down.

Ambulance transport to your appointment

  • Ask your doctor to fill out a Medically Authorised Ambulance Transport form if you need an ambulance to take you to and from your appointment.
  • Book the ambulance at least 1 week before your appointment.

What to bring

On the day of your appointment bring:

  • the appointment letter from the clinic
  • test results, reports and medical scans such as X-rays, bone scans or ultrasounds related to your treatment
  • list of all current medications including vitamins
  • medications and dietary supplements required during your visit
  • medicare card, pension card or any other concession card you may hold
  • your doctor’s address and phone number (if you have changed your doctor recently)
  • something to read while you wait, in case there are delays.

At the specialist outpatient clinic

Arrive about 10 minutes before your appointment to check-in at the reception desk. Staff will check your details, ask to see your Medicare or pension card and direct you to the waiting area.

While appointments are for a set time, delays can occur, particularly if the doctor has to discuss a complicated treatment or diagnosis with another patient. If there are any delays, clinic staff will keep you informed. Other arrangements can be made if you are unable to wait for your appointment.

When you see the doctor, other medical staff may be in your room. Queensland Health hospitals are teaching facilities, and doctors and nurses in training may be present. Your doctor should introduce them to you. If you don’t want to have these medical staff present please tell the doctor.

You can ask the doctor questions at any time. If you don’t understand anything the doctor tells you, ask them to explain it again.

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
22 April 2013

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