Clinics & services

Physiotherapy referrals

We accept referrals for patients with acute musculoskeletal or orthopaedic conditions.

Clinical service criteria

We accept referrals for patients presenting with acute musculoskeletal and/or orthopaedic surgical presentations from medical or allied health staff via:

  • Austin Health inpatient wards or outpatient clinics
  • other public hospitals (trauma only).

Note: Austin Health catchment considerations may apply to acceptance of referrals and provision of treatment.

When to refer

All referrals meeting the clinical service criteria will be considered.

Note: Patients acute neurological signs and symptoms, or a significant increase in pain or deterioration in function, should be directled to an emergency department for urgent medical assessment.

Information required

Referrals will only be accepted and registered if they contain all of the following information:


  • Minimum Patient Identification Set (name/address/D.O.B/contact no.)
  • Date and source of referral
  • Medicare/DVA or other billing information
  • Need for interpreter and language required


  • Referrer name and contact details for correspondence
  • Patient and/or family consent
  • Reason for referral: working diagnosis / requirements of assessment / treatment
  • Any other relevant current or past medical history and/or investigations
  • Referrals with insufficient information to facilitate registration or triage may be returned with a request for additional information which may delay access to the service.

Note: Referrals with insufficient information to facilitate either registration or triage will be returned with a request for additional information which may delay access to services.

Clinical service overview

Following an initial physiotherapy assessment, the clinician may recommend a course of physiotherapy treatment which will commence in subsequent review sessions.

This will be goal-focused and agreed in collaboration with the patient.

All patient management decisions are based on the best available evidence in the context of the presenting condition.

Depending on the condition and clinical presentation, delivery of physiotherapy services may include:

  • in-clinic, individual physiotherapy treatment
  • in-clinic, group-based physiotherapy programs
  • remote - telehealth or phone-based physiotherapy treatment and/or programs.

Clinic expectations

Our physiotherapy outpatient clinic is limited to providing acute focused, time-limited intervention. Access to long-term, regular physiotherapy treatment is not available.

Transition from physiotherapy outpatient services to community-based services or options at the conclusion of treatment may be either recommended and/or facilitated by physiotherapy staff when clinically indicated.

Clinic exclusions

Referrals not accepted in this clinic include:

  • GP or non-Austin Health medical consultations
  • compensable presentations (for example, Workcover or Transport Accident Commission patients)
  • NDIS clients
  • non-Medicare card holders (some exemptions apply).

Note 1: Patients cannot self-refer to this clinic.

Note 2: Referrals received that do not meet the established clinic service criteria will be declined and returned with acknowledgement. Referrals not accepted by this clinic will not be triaged or on-referred within Austin Health.

Alternative options for referrers

For declined referrals several alternative options exist including:

  • local community health services
  • community rehabilitation programs
  • private physiotherapy providers.

Patients with chronic musculoskeletal conditions are eligible for 5 treatments per year with a private physiotherapy provider via the Medicare funded Chronic Disease Management (CDM) program.