'It's Ok To Ask' Doctors For Referral To PDH

Friday, 17 April 2015
Portland residents are being encouraged to ask their doctors for referrals to their local hospital.

Portland District Health has launched a new `It's OK to Ask' campaign highlighting the wide range of elective surgery options in Portland, the impressive PDH safety record and the low local waiting lists.

CEO Chris Giles said some patients might feel reluctant to ask about referrals to PDH but she urged people to consider the local option as their first choice.

We have a comprehensive range of services and a safe operating environment, and it’s ok to ask your GP if you can be referred to PDH, Ms Giles said.

It's also OK to ring us to cross check if there is a suitable surgeon or specialist who comes to PDH.

Ms Giles said she was prompted to make the comments by ongoing referrals of Portland residents out of town for procedures that could be done quickly and in a safe environment in Portland.

I'm still hearing that people are being referred to Ballarat and Geelong for procedures that can happen here, Ms Giles said.

Ms Giles said most of the operations being referred out of town were for orthopaedic surgery. I find this surprising because we have a plethora of orthopaedic procedures happening here.

While surgery numbers have been increasing in recent years, PDH has capacity to handle more.

Ms Giles said a busy surgical department contributed to improved financial outcomes for the hospital and more convenient outcomes for patients.

We have a very low infection rate and we are a very safe hospital with highly qualified staff, including a full roster of anaesthetists. It is a well-managed surgical department that local people can feel confident in.

There have been no surgical infections for many years; the hospital continues to have one of the best cleanliness records in Australia and patient satisfaction ratings are in line with or better than other similar hospitals.

PDH is developing a waiting list for procedures but waiting times are generally much shorter than at other hospitals.

The health service has also recently introduced a world class medication management program that has led to a reduction in the already low of medication errors.

For further information, please contact the PDH Specialist Centre on PH: 5522 1410.

The weekly roster of visiting and staff specialists is published each Wednesday in an advertisement in the Portland Observer.

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