Preparing for your hospital visit
Your doctor will arrange the date of your admission, explain your procedure and guide you through the consent form. You will then need to complete and send us your pre-admission forms at least seven days before your admission date.
You can complete these forms online, or fill in a paper version and send us the forms by email, post or fax. Please bring the original with you on the day of admission if you send us your pre-admission form by fax or email.
Once we have this information we can register your details, confirm your place on the operating theatre list, and check your health fund status.
Please read through the information below to properly prepare for your surgery.
Before your surgery
What you need to do to prepare for your surgery:
- Complete your pre-admission forms at least 7 days before surgery
- Contact your private health fund to check your level of cover
- Make a note of your admission time and fasting instructions, which we will send you via SMS the business day before your surgery
- Advise us of any special dietary needs
- If you are having day surgery, arrange for a responsible adult to accompany you home and stay with you for 24 hours. We cannot discharge you following an anaesthetic unless you have a designated carer, so please contact us as soon as possible if you are having difficulty finding someone.
- Please contact your doctor prior to surgery if your health has deteriorated, as we may need to postpone the procedure until you’re feeling better
For 24 hours after an anaesthetic, you will not be able to:
- Drive a vehicle
- Drink alcohol
- Operate machinery
- Make important decisions
- Sign legal documents
What to bring
- Please bring your Medicare card, and where applicable your Health Insurance membership card, Veterans’ Affairs card, or Pensioner Concession card
- Any medications you are currently taking including supplements, in their original packaging
- All recent and relevant X-rays, scans, test results and medical paperwork (such as forms and doctor admission letter)
- Any personal aids you need (glasses, walking aids, or crutches for lower limb operations)
- If you are staying overnight, please bring night attire, toiletries and slippers
- Payment to settle your account
- Power of Attorney, Enduring Guardianship and Advanced Care Directive documentation (if applicable)
You will also need to wear loose comfortable clothing.
What not to bring
- Leave valuables at home (including jewellery and large sums of cash)
- Do not wear make-up or nail polish
Before you undergo an anaesthetic, you will need to avoid eating or drinking anything for a specific period of time, as this will protect your airway and lungs while you are asleep. We’ll get in touch via SMS or phone to let you know when this fasting period should begin.
Do not chew gum, eat lollies or have any milk-based drinks during the fasting period.
We will give you some light food and refreshments when you are in the recovery room after your surgery. If you are staying with us overnight, we will bring this to you when you have been admitted to your room.
Check with your doctor, anaesthetist or GP whether you should take your prescribed medications on the morning of your procedure. You can take them with a sip of water if fasting.
Do not smoke on the day of your procedure. This includes vaping products. Canberra Private Hospital is a smoke-free environment, so if you are staying with us, you may want to discuss a nicotine replacement therapy with your doctor.
Getting here and parking
There is time-limited paid parking in the Wilson car park in the Equinox Business Park.
When you arrive, please head straight to the reception desk on Level 3, where our friendly staff will guide you through the admission process. We will confirm your name, date of birth, admitting details and doctor. These standard identification procedures will be repeated throughout the day to ensure your safety.
An admission nurse will then take you to a private consulting room to review your medical history. You will then be seen by your anaesthetist and surgeon, and wait in a comfortable bed before heading into the operating theatre.
Every effort will be made to ensure you aren’t kept waiting before your procedure, but there are times when other patients require longer periods in theatre than we anticipate. We’ll keep you (and your carer) informed of any delays, and whether it will impact your discharge time.
Billing & health insurance
Canberra Private has contracts with all private health funds. If you have private health insurance, we will check your level of cover and inform you of any excess amount you will need to pay as soon as possible.
It’s a good idea to contact your private health fund to check any exclusions or restrictions on specific treatments. They can answer any questions, and may be able to upgrade your policy if needed. If you have a compensation claim (such as Worker’s Compensation) please confirm with your insurer that they will cover your procedure with us.
Before you are admitted, any outstanding amount not covered by your health fund (co-payment or excess) will need to be paid. We accept Visa, MasterCard, EFTPOS, cash and bank cheques.
If you do not have private health insurance, you will be required to pay the full amount for your hospital admission before your surgery.
You will also receive a separate account from the surgeon, surgical assistant and anaesthetist involved in your treatment. Please note there may be additional charges for pharmacy (medications), pathology, imaging and x-rays.
Third party claims
If you are a Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) patient, we will lodge a claim with the DVA for you. If your surgery is part of a WorkCover or Third Party (TAC) claim, you will need to make the full payment (apart from ancillary charges) on admission – unless we have received written approval for admission from WorkCover or TAC.
Questions to ask your private health insurer
Before you have surgery, we recommend you contact your private health insurer and check whether you are covered for surgery. We have provided a guide to the questions you should ask.
After your surgery
Following your procedure, you will be brought into the post-anaesthesia care unit where we will give you some light food and refreshments.
If you are discharged on the same day as your surgery, you must have a responsible adult to collect you from Canberra Private Hospital, and stay with you for 24 hours. We will provide your carer with contact details and discharge procedures, and call them 30 minutes before you are ready to be picked up.
We will also give them your post-operative care instructions. It is important you follow these to ensure the best outcome from your procedure. Your anaesthetist will give you a prescription for any pain relief and/or antibiotics required after surgery. These may be required soon after being discharged, so pick this medication up on your way home.
One of our nurses will call you a day or two after your surgery to check how you are recovering. You should also ensure you contact your surgeons rooms and make a post-operative appointment.
If you are staying with us overnight (or longer), we will make you comfortable in one of our private patient rooms once you have recovered from the anaesthetic.
You can have visitors between 10am and 8pm, but we do suggest you keep visits to a minimum so you can rest. If you have special needs and require a carer to stay with you, or would like your infant to stay with you, please discuss this with us before admission.
As an inpatient, you will also enjoy:
- A choice of delicious meals, which can be tailored to your special dietary requirements
- Free WiFi and Foxtel
- Views across the Canberra skyline
Discharge time is 10am. You are welcome to wait in our patient lounge after this time if you’re waiting to be picked up.
This is less common with modern anaesthetics. If it does occur, it should only be temporary. If nausea persists, avoid food but maintain fluids. If it does not resolve within 24 hours, it is important that you contact your doctor.
This may occur due to your anaesthetist assisting with your breathing. It usually disappears within 24 hours. Simple pain relief may help relieve this.
Tender arm or hand at injection site
This may occur due to irritation of the vein or slight bruising from the needle or the drugs injected, and can persist for several days. If your arm or hand look red or inflamed consult your doctor and notify Canberra Private Hospital on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should any redness, swelling, pain or discharge be noticed from your wound, please contact Canberra Private Hospital and speak with a member of the nursing team, or contact your specialist or usual GP. If you visit a doctor and are prescribed antibiotics for an associated infection within 30 days of your procedure, please notify the Canberra Private Hospital General Manager/Director of Nursing at email@example.com.
Canberra Private Hospital offers rehabilitation services to maximise your recovery outcomes following your surgery, and we also provide rehabilitation services to assist recovery from medical illness. Detailed information on our rehabilitation services can be found in our Patient Guide which can be downloaded here.
We advise patients and carers to wash hands prior to attending wound care or administering eye drops (as per doctor’s instructions).
After your procedure and anaesthetic, you may be at risk of falling or tripping. Take care when moving around and we encourage you to rest and let your carer assist you for the remainder of the day.
Preventing pressure injuries
Pressure injuries can occur when you are unable to move for a period of time and present as a wound or reddened area of skin. To prevent a pressure injury whilst in hospital it is important to regularly change position in bed and walk or move around as much as possible.
We assess all of our patients on admission and throughout their stay to identify those patients who are at risk of getting a pressure injury. We then provide these patients with a range of pressure injury prevention and management strategies whilst in hospital and when they go home.
For more information about your stay at Canberra Private Hospital, please download our Patient Guide here.
As a patient of Canberra Private Hospital your privacy and dignity will be maintained at all times. We hold medical records relating to your treatment, and the content of these records will only be divulged with your consent or where permitted or authorised by law.
We will handle your personal information in accordance with Australian Privacy Principles and legislation that governs how hospitals handle your personal and health information. For more information, read our Patient Information & Pre-Admission Booklet, and download tthe Australian Privacy Principles fact sheet.
Quality & safety
Canberra Private Hospital adheres to all statutory and relevant body guidelines and Australian Standards. Our management systems aim to provide the highest level of care to our patients in a safe and supportive environment.
We work as a team under the management of the Board of Directors, Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) and General Manager/Director of Nursing, with the following programs in place:
Quality management – We continually monitor, assess and improve the quality of patient care. The MAC conducts peer-reviewed activities and we publish information about clinical performance, health outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Risk management – We proactively work to mitigate risks to provide the safest possible environment for patients, visitors and staff.
Workforce checks – Our dedicated specialist clinical staff have their credentials checked, and are assessed to ensure they can perform their roles so that you receive the highest standard of care and comfort.
Clinical handover – If your care is transferred from one person to another, our systems ensure there is effective continuity. This includes your involvement in your discharge instructions as a patient or carer.
Infection control – We aim to prevent and limit the spread of infection through evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.
Hand Hygiene – Canberra Private Hospital is committed to the Hand Hygiene Australia program and conducts regular audits to ensure compliance. You can find more information on this program here.
Consumer involvement – Patients are at the centre of our care model, and we welcome your participation in reviewing our Quality & Safety reports, and feedback on how we can continue to improve.
Open Disclosure – The Canberra Private Hospital Governing Body (Board of Directors), Staff and Accredited Medical Practitioners (AMPs) support the practice and principles of Open Disclosure.
Canberra Private Hospital has a clear and consistent approach to open communication and disclosure with consumers and their carers, with a view to fairness, transparency and accountability.
Please click on the button below for more information on Open Disclosure.
Complaints, concerns & feedback
Please complete the Patient Satisfaction Survey, which your nurse will give you after your procedure.
We appreciate your honest feedback, as we are always looking for ways to improve our patients’ experience.
If there is any aspect of your care that you are not happy with, please contact Libby Tuohy, the Director of Nursing. We will promptly acknowledge and investigate any complaint, and communicate the outcome and any recommendations with you.
If your complaint is unresolved, you can contact:
ACT Human rights Commission
GPO Box 158
Phone: (02) 6205 2222
Frequently asked questions
You are welcome to get in touch with any specific questions you have. But here are some answers to common queries.
Do I need to arrive before my admission time to complete any paperwork?
No – we allow for this when we calculate the time you need to arrive. If your admission time is 9am, please arrive at 9am. All required paperwork should be completed before admission.
How long will I be at the hospital for?
This depends on your procedure, and we will let you know the day before admission. Discharge time for overnight patients is typically 10am. You are welcome to wait in our patient lounge after this time if you are waiting to be picked up.
Is there parking at Canberra Private Hospital?
Paid, time-limited parking is available onsite with Wilson Parking.
Why do I have to fast?
It’s important not to eat or drink anything for a specified period of time before an anaesthetic for safety reasons, as this will protect your airway and lungs while you are asleep.
Why do I need a responsible adult to collect me?
Because you are having sedation or an anaesthetic for your procedure, you need someone with you after you are discharged to make sure there are no unexpected complications from your procedure or anaesthetic. You are also not legally allowed to drive for 24 hours following an anaesthetic.
Our nursing staff will meet with your designated carer before we send you home, and go through written instructions for your wellbeing when you go home. This includes advice about eating and drinking, pain relief, and when you can resume normal activities.
If you do not have a designated carer to collect you and stay with you for 24 hours after your procedure, we may have to cancel your surgery or arrange for you to stay overnight with the approval of your treating surgeon. Please let us know if you have any concerns about this policy, and contact us as soon as possible if you are having any difficulty finding a carer.
Why do I have to remove my jewellery and nail polish before surgery?
This is for your own safety. There is a risk of surgical burns with metal jewellery, including piercings. If you wish to leave your wedding ring on, we will tape it.
During surgery, your oxygen levels will be monitored with a probe placed on your finger and nail polish and acrylic nails can interfere with this.
Will I see my doctor after my procedure?
Yes, they will visit you while you are in recovery or in your private room.
Why do I have to pay an excess, I have already paid the account to the doctor?
The account you paid to your doctor was for their services only, and is separate to your surgery. The excess you are required to pay to the hospital is the amount you elected to pay to reduce your Health Insurance premium costs. We’ve checked this with your health fund.
Will I have something to eat after my procedure, as I had to fast before it?
Yes, the nurses will provide you with light food and refreshments while you are in second stage recovery. Please let us know of any food allergies or intolerances during your admission process.
Will you call my relative or carer to collect me after my day surgery?
Of course. The nurses will call your carer 30 mins before your discharge.
What time will I be discharged if I stay overnight?
Around 10am. You can wait in our patient lounge for someone to collect you after this time.
I am coming back in a month for another procedure. Do I have to fill out another Admission Form?
If your next procedure is within six months of this one and none of your details have changed, we can re-use your existing admissions and health history form. However, we will ask you to double-check that the information provided is still current.