Health Care


Acute Care

Clients presenting with acute, short term conditions that require hospitalisation can be admitted to our Acute Care Unit. This unit is located in the Barham Wing, and is attended by approved Visiting Medical Officers and qualified nursing staff

Eligibility: Acute Care is offered (depending on bed availability) to all residents and visitors to the Otway Health catchment area. The Visiting Medical Officer will assess the client and discuss planned admissions with nursing staff to ensure a bed is available and appropriate care can be provided.

Fees: On admission you will be requested to provide Medicare details and to advise if you are a public or private client.

Private Patients: On admission we require the name of your Health Insurance Company, the level of cover and your policy number. All fees and charges for clients who elect to use their private health care cover assist Otway Health in delivering high quality services.

Public Patients: We do not charge public patients Your doctor will invoice Otway Health for your care and we will pay your medical charges.

Advanced Care Planning

Advance Care Planning is a process of discussion with family, friends and your doctor regarding your future health care wishes. This entail’s documenting your wishes so that your loved ones and the health care professionals involved in your care are aware of your choices. Otway Health have specially trained Advanced Care Planning Consultants who can assist in facilitating this process   Through discussion with the people, who are important to you, and with your doctor, we can help you to write down your preferences in an Advance Care Plan.

If you are interested in developing an Advanced Care Plan, make an appointment to talk to your GP, who can refer you to an Advanced Care Plan Consultant at Otway Health.

Chronic Disease Management

Chronic diseases can be extremely challenging. Our Community Health Nurse aims to assist care and empower people living with chronic and complex health conditions. This care is delivered through individual consultation, group education and community based programs, and is available to everyone throughout the Otway Health catchment. Individual consultations are available to discuss the best ways to manage or prevent conditions such as asthma and diabetes. Examples include parents may want to better understand asthma and how to manage their child’s condition and treatment; a person living with diabetes may want assistance with monitoring and understanding their condition. Clients can either seek support for themselves or can be referred to the service by their GP or other health care provider.

Programs include:

  • Diabetes Education
  • Respiratory Education
  • Better Health Self-Management – to help people improve their management of ongoing illness
  • Work health – enabling employees to improve their wellbeing in their workplace
  • Group Information – open discussions and education sessions on common health concerns.

Eligibility & Access: You, or anyone acting on your behalf, can request an appointment with the Community Health Nurse. Referrals are also accepted from your doctor, specialist or other health care worker.

Community Nursing

This service is offered to all ages within our catchment. We offer a range of services (Mon-Fri) including the following:

  • Assessment and care co-ordination of health needs. In consultation with the client, the Community Nurse will make all appropriate referrals for community or hospital based services.
  • Assistance with medication and advice on alternative treatments.
  • Specialised health care knowledge to enable you to make informed choices regarding your health care.
  • Clinical care and support following illness or discharge from hospital
  • Wound care, which may involve dressing and treatment
  • Palliative care: supporting people in the community with a terminal illness by providing nursing support.

Eligibility & Access: You, or anyone acting on your behalf, can request an appointment with the Community Nurse.  Referrals are also accepted from your doctor, specialist or other health care worker. To make an appointment, call us on 5237 8500.

Fees: There is a minimal charge for the service, and the cost will be determined and discussed with you, on the initial visit.

Exercise Classes

Strength for Life
Strength for life is a professionally designed program that increases strength and agility in a supportive and friendly atmosphere. This is an ongoing weekly program run three times a week that you are welcome to join at any time.

No Falls
The ‘No Falls’ program is an exercise program designed to improve strength and balance for daily living for older community clients who may not have participated in exercise for some time or may find the other exercise programs too challenging. Each class runs for about an hour, followed by a presentation from a health expert. A light lunch is provided. Transport is provided for those who do not have their own means of transport.

Eligibility: Everyone is welcome! Call Customer Services for details of ongoing courses on 5237 8500

Call Customer Services for details of ongoing courses on 5237 8500

Equipment Hire

When you are recovering from a fracture or a fall, or when caring for a relative, you may need some special medical equipment. Such equipment may only be needed for a short time, so to avoid unnecessary expense Otway Health has a range of medical and other types of equipment available for hire. Please contact Customer Services for a current price list. All the equipment is designed to:

  • maximise your level of independence
  • assist your recovery
  • help to make the environment safer for you and your carer

The following equipment is available to hire on a weekly basis:

  • Bath bench
  • Bath boards
  • Bed overhead grip & bar
  • Bed pan
  • Bed sticks
  • Breast pump
  • Commode
  • Crutches
  • Dressing Aids
  • Four point sticks
  • Joyce lounge chair
  • Kingston chair
  • Kylie blanket
  • Male urinal
  • Nebuliser
  • Over toilet seat
  • Shower chair
  • Shower stool
  • Single point sticks
  • Slide boards
  • Spenco mattress
  • Ventolin spacer
  • Walking frame
  • Wheelchair
  • Wheelie frame

Eligibility: Any person may hire our equipment, subject to an assessment by a Doctor, Nurse, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist or other health professional. Please contact our Occupational Therapist or the Nurses’ Station to discuss your needs.

A deposit is required at the time of hire, and hirers are required to enter into a hire agreement with Otway Health, which will stipulate the costs involved, and the condition in which the equipment should be returned.


Needle Exchange Program

Otway Health offers a free, confidential, 24/7 needle exchange program to assist in making both prescription and recreational drug use safer for the client and the community. Used needles can be placed in the bin outside the door to the Urgent Care Unit at 75 McLachlan Street, Apollo Bay. A pack containing clean needles, syringes and a safe disposal container can be collected from the office just inside the door – ring the Nurse Call bell for admission.

Eligibility: This service is available free to all residents of and visitors to the Otway Health catchment area.

Nurse Clinic

Otway Health offers acute and chronic wound care. A comprehensive wound assessment is undertaken by a registered nurse and a plan of care is made for each client. This plan may include any further appointments for review or further treatment of the wound. This service incurs an attendance charge and cost of materials used. For appointments please contact Customer Services on 5237 8500.

Occupational Therapy

The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the activities they want to or need to do. It may mean assisting to modify the activity or the environment. Occupational Therapy services include:

  • assessment and rehabilitation of skills in self-care, home duties, performance at school or work, driving and leisure.
  • home or work assessment and modifications.
  • prescription, and education in use of, adapted equipment, hand therapy and splinting
  • teaching ways to adapt to age related changes
  • assisting children with any condition or disability that affects their ability to perform everyday activities at home, school or the community.

Eligibility: This service is available to all residents of and visitors to the Otway Health catchment area.  Please contact Customer Services Officer on 5237 8500 for any enquiries and associated fees.

Palliative Care

Palliative Care is the relief and treatment of mental and physical pain, without curing the causes, in patients suffering from a terminal illness. Palliative Care:

  • Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
  • Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process
  • Intends neither to hasten nor postpone death
  • Integrates psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care
  • Offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death
  • Offers a support system to help the family cope during the patient’s illness and in bereavement.
  • Uses a team approach to address the needs of the patients and their families – this can include Bereavement  Support

Otway Health Aged Care residents with a life-limiting illness are offered Palliative Care that improves their quality of life through:

  • The prevention of suffering
  • The treatment of pain
  • The identification of physical, social and spiritual needs

The unique needs of dying patients are considered, their comfort maximised and their dignity preserved. Appropriate cultural resources (including interpreter services) are used to help clients and their family to express their needs in culturally safe and individually relevant ways.


Physiotherapy is available at Otway Health on Mondays and Thursdays and is delivered by Mark Zampatti and Frances Gray from the Corio Bay Sports Treatment Clinic.

Physiotherapy can help put you back in action by carefully treating your painful joints and muscles, showing you how to manage your condition, advising on how you can avoid further injuries and designing a special exercise program. People of all ages can be helped by physiotherapy, including children, elderly people, athletes, people with neurological or cardiothoracic complaints and clients recovering from surgery. On your first visit you will be given a thorough assessment. Our Physiotherapist will explain what is causing the problem and help you to choose the best options for treatment.

Treatment may include any or all of these techniques:

  • joint mobilisation or manipulation
  • soft tissue massage
  • stretches
  • supervised exercises
  • home exercise program

We can provide sessions in your own home if you are unable to attend appointments or require assistance with exercises.

Eligibility: This service is available to all residents of and visitors to the Otway Health catchment area. For more information call our Customer Services Officer on 5237 8500 for a fee schedule.

Podiatry Services

Podiatry services are delivered bi-monthly by Choice Podiatry. For more information or bookings call 1300 793 628

Eligibility: Available to all residents and visitors to the area.

Urgent Care

Otway Health provides 24 hour, seven day a week Urgent Care. On presenting to our Urgent Care Unit you will be assessed (‘triaged’) by a Nurse who will determine the urgency of your clinical condition.

Larger health services in the city and big regional towns have Emergency Departments. Smaller rural health services, such as Otway Health, have Urgent Care Units that provide care for minor injuries and illness. In an emergency, Urgent Care Units can provide resuscitation and limited life support to patients in a critical condition, before the patient is transferred to a larger hospital.

  • Always call triple zero (000) in the event of an emergency
  • Keep up-to-date ambulance cover for you and/or your family
  • A bulk billing fee is charged for emergency patients, however additional fees may be incurred for non-urgent patients
  • Patients transferred by ambulance for further medical treatment are responsible for all ambulance fees
  • Patients attending for non-urgent care may be charged for dressings and bandages or supplies

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