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Statewide Specialist Clinic Referral Criteria

Health services often have different referral guidelines to access specialist clinics, leading to confusion regarding requirements and suitability of access. The Victorian Department of Health (DH) has developed statewide referral criteria to provide clear and consistent guidance about which patients are appropriate for referral to public specialist clinics and what information and diagnostics are required to support accurate prioritisation.

The Victorian statewide referral criteria strive to ensure patients receive the right care in the right place and at the right time.

NWMPHN as part of the Victorian and Tasmanian PHN Alliance (VTPHNA) is working with the Victorian Department of Health (DH) to support an integrated approach to the adoption of statewide referral criteria (SRC) for acute adult specialist clinics.

Statewide referral criteria are now available for select conditions in the following 15 specialties:

  • Cardiology
  • Chronic pain (Health Independence Program services)
  • Endocrinology
  • ENT
  • Gastroenterology (including endoscopic procedures)
  • General Surgery (including breast surgery)
  • Gynaecology
  • Joint Pain
  • Long COVID
  • Neurology
  • Obstetrics
  • Ophthalmology
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Rheumatology
  • Urology
  • Vascular

Where to find statewide referral criteria

Referring clinicians will find the statewide referral criteria on the relevant speciality referral pages of HealthPathways Melbourne or

What happens when a referral is incomplete or declined?

Referrals that do not meet the statewide referral criteria are expected to be declined by all Victorian public hospitals. When a referral is declined, referring clinicians should receive correspondence from the health service explaining why the referral has not been accepted.

If a referral is declined due to being incomplete – that is, it is missing essential information – the referring clinician must resubmit the referral again in full. Patients will not receive an appointment or be placed on an appropriate waitlist until a complete specialist clinic referral has been received.

More Information: