Allied health at BCH

This page will cover all of the allied health services provided by BCH—dietetics, exercise physiology, physiotherapy, podiatry, speech pathology and social work—as well as when these services might be beneficial for you or your family.

Our services

Ballarat Community Health provides high quality healthcare that is available to everyone. If you can’t afford to pay, you may be eligible for a government program that will cover or contribute to the cost of the service for you. If you are employed and earning an income, you can still access our excellent services. Our prices are kept affordable to ensure everyone in our community can access the healthcare they need.

Healthy eating and nutritional advice | dietetics

Our dietitians offer evidence-based, non-judgemental support with food and eating. They will work with you to help meet your needs and support your goals. They can support you with:

  • general nutrition and healthy eating
  • diabetes and prevention of diabetes
  • heart health, cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • assistance to manage gout through diet
  • fussy or selective eating
  • eating disorder concerns
  • body image issues
  • nutrition for pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • stomach and gut issues
  • food intolerance and allergy
  • vegetarian and vegan eating
  • loss of strength or energy
  • vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • confusion about popular diets
  • childhood nutrition
  • group education:
    • supermarket tours and label reading workshops (individual sessions also available)
    • LIFE! diabetes and heart disease prevention program

Our dietetic services are offered at Lucas, Sebastopol, Wendouree, Bannockburn and Smythesdale sites. A referral may be required to access this service.

For more information on fees, check out the ‘BCH schedule of fees’ below.

For more information about dietetics or to make a booking, please call us on (03) 5338 4500.

Physical activity & exercise | exercise physiology

Our exercise physiology team are fully qualified health professionals with extensive knowledge skills and competencies to design, deliver and evaluate safe and effective exercise for people with medical conditions, injuries or disabilities.

BCH exercise physiologists provide a range of exercise programs for clients accessing services such as My Aged Care, NDIS, and the Medicare Benefits Scheme which can cover or subsidise the fee.

Exercise physiologists at BCH value the importance of prevention and management of health conditions and aim to provide service in an empathetic and respectful manner. BCH aims to provide opportunity for social interaction for all participants to maintain a sense of community.

Group programs include:

  • Falls Prevention
  • Living Longer, Living Stronger (fitness and strength training for over 50s)
  • Remedial gym
  • Stroke Group
  • PD Warrior
  • Parkinson’s group
  • Yoga, tai chi, Pilates and dance fitness
  • Hydrotherapy

Our exercise physiology services are offered at Lucas, Sebastopol, Wendouree and Smythesdale sites. A referral may be required to access this service.

For more information on fees, check out the ‘BCH schedule of fees’ below. Please note that session cost varies depending on individual consultations or group exercise classes.

For more information about exercise physiology or to make a booking, please call us on (03) 5338 4500.

Problems with pain or movement? | physiotherapy

Our physiotherapists will work with you to restore your function and independence. They aim to reduce pain and improve function and quality of life, utilising treatment techniques such as manual therapy, exercise and education, as well as guiding you toward self-management. Our physiotherapists treat conditions such as:

  • back and neck pain
  • chronic conditions such as arthritis
  • post-surgery (eg, knee and hip replacements, shoulder surgery)
  • general joint and muscle pain/ injury or weakness
  • reduced mobility
  • dizziness caused by conditions such as BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) as well as other conditions contributing to dizziness.

We also provide children’s physiotherapy services, which can help your child to improve:

  • motor development
  • strength
  • range of motion
  • endurance
  • gait difficulties
  • balance
  • coordination
  • delayed motor development.

Our physiotherapy services are offered at Lucas and Sebastopol sites. A referral may be required to access this service. For more information about physiotherapy or to make a booking, please call us on (03) 5338 4500.

For more information on fees, check out the ‘BCH schedule of fees’ below.

Foot problems | podiatry

Our podiatry team provides assessments and review for people of all ages, screenings and education around mobility, function and gait issues, foot care and monitoring foot health. Our podiatrists manage foot and lower limb conditions through prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.

Podiatry services are offered at Lucas, Sebastopol, Wendouree and Smythesdale sites. A referral may be required to access this service. For more information about podiatry or to make a booking, please call us on (03) 5338 4500.

For more information on fees, check out the ‘BCH schedule of fees’ below.

Support for those living with chronic disease | social work

Our social work services include counselling, support, health coaching and advocacy for individuals and families living with a chronic health condition (diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, etc.).

The service can include assistance with:

  • behaviour change and goal setting
  • stress management and enhancing wellbeing
  • family and relationships issues
  • grief and loss issues
  • pain management
  • learning about self-management principles.

Our social work services are offered at the Lucas site and can be accessed by phoning us on (03) 5338 4500.

A referral is not required to access this service. There is currently no charge for this service. Carers are also welcome.

Children who have difficulty communicating | speech pathology

Speech pathologists work closely with parents and carers to help support a child’s growth and development in all areas of communication and eating/ feeding. Services are predominantly clinic-based, but childcare, kindergarten and school-based services can be discussed if appropriate for a child and their family.

Speech pathologists at Ballarat Community Health are able to assess and treat the following areas:

  • Speech – production of speech sounds or how a child can be understood by others in conversation.
  • Language – understanding concepts, following directions, listening, telling stories, using words to communicate needs and wants.
  • Pragmatic language skills – social use of language.
  • Literacy – development of early literacy or phonological awareness skills.
  • Fluency – otherwise known as stuttering or dysfluency.
  • Eating/feeding skills – children who present as picky eaters or problem feeders.

Our speech pathology services are offered at Lucas and Wendouree sites. A referral is required to access this service. For more information about speech pathology or to make a booking, please call us on (03) 5338 4500.

This service has a cost associated with it. For more information on fees, check out the ‘BCH schedule of fees’ below. For more information on funding options, look at the ‘government funding options’ tab below.

Living with diabetes: managing your blood glucose levels | diabetes education

Diabetes educators support people with type 1 or 2 diabetes to live and stay well by providing self-management education and support. They can support you with:

  • individual assessment, education and ongoing support
  • the diabetes annual review clinic
  • group education:
    • Diabetes Getting Started
    • Injected Medications for Type 2 Diabetes
    • Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating (DAFNE) for adults with type 1 Diabetes.

Our diabetes education services are offered at Lucas, Sebastopol, Wendouree and Smythesdale sites.

A referral is not required to access this service. For more information about diabetes education or to make a booking, please call us on (03) 5338 4500.

For more information on fees, check out the ‘BCH schedule of fees’ below.

Asthma, breathing trouble and smoking cessation | respiratory health

Do you have trouble breathing? Are you living with asthma? Do you need to quit smoking?

Our respiratory health management program can assist you with any issues associated with your lung health. The program is staffed by our community health nurses who have specialised training in asthma management, COPD, smoking cessation and other conditions associated with lung health.

Our respiratory health services are offered at Lucas and Sebastopol sites. A referral is not required to access this service. For more information about Respiratory Health or to make a booking, please call us on 5338 4500.

For more information on fees, check out the ‘BCH schedule of fees’ below.

Fees

Ballarat Community Health can offer a variety of funding options, depending on your age, circumstances and level of services required.

Clients who have been assessed as eligible for government-funded services are required to contribute to the cost of the service. The cost of service generally ranges between $11 for pensioners or concession card holders and $17 for medium income earners.

Fees are based on the estimated annual income per individual or household. For more detailed information about fees, check out the tables below.

BCH schedule of fees

BCH schedule of fees: annual income brackets

This schedule of fees only apply to those eligible for government funding. For more information, please see the ‘government funding options’ tab to the right of this table.

Individual Couple Family Cost
Up to $38,157 Up to $58,438 Up to $64,644 $11
From $38,157 to $83,487 From $58,438 to $111,608 From $64,644 to $114,804 $17
$83,487 or greater $111,608 or greater $114,804 or greater $110 (1 hour initial consultation)
$83,487 or greater $111,608 or greater $114,804 or greater $155 (30 min review consultation)

*Fees effective from 23 July 2018
**Income range is based on the Centrelink income test for pensioners

In the event that you do not qualify for Government funding for whatever reason, you can still access Ballarat Community Health services for a fee-for-service cost. Please talk to us about our fees and payment options. Contact us on (03) 5338 4500 or email info@bchc.org.au.

Government funding options

My Aged Care funding

The Federal Government subsidises aged care funded packages with are available through the Government’s My Aged Care program following an assessment of needs.

  • Are you over 65 years?
  • Are you finding it harder to do everyday things for yourself?
  • Do you need short-term access to services to help you return to your activities of daily living?
  • Are you recovering from an accident or illness, or recently been hospitalised?

You may be eligible to receive Australian Government-funded services. For more information, speak to a My Aged Care contact person on 1800 200 422, visit the My Aged Care website, or register to be assessed. You can also watch this helpful video.

Home care packages

Home care packages are funded by the Commonwealth and provide a coordinated approach to care and services to enable people to remain independent for as long as is possible.

You may be able to fund the cost of services using your package funding. For more information, speak to a My Aged Care representative on 1800 200 422, or visit the My Aged Care website.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

The NDIS provides support to Australians who are permanently and/ or significantly disabled.

  • Do you have Australian residency (Citizen, Permanent resident or Special Category VISA)?
  • Do you have a disability, impairment or condition that is likely to be permanent?
  • Do you usually need support form a person or equipment to do everyday things for yourself

You may be eligible to receive funding through the NDIS scheme. For more information, speak to an NDIS representative on 1800 800 110, visit the NDIS website.

Chronic disease management plan

  • Do you have a long-term medical condition? I.e. Arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, cardiovascular (heart) disease, respiratory disease (Asthma, lung and COPD) mental health conditions (dementia and Alzheimer’s), cancer etc.
  • Have you had this condition for at least 6 months or is it terminal?

You may be eligible to receive Medicare funded services. For more information, speak to your GP or visit the DOH website.

Self-funded (fee-for-service)

In the event that you do not qualify for subsidised Government funded services, you can still access Ballarat Community Health services for a fee-for-service cost.

For more detailed information about fees, view the BCH schedule of fees tab.

Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA)

Services funded through DVA for BCH Allied Health programs require a referral from your GP (D0904 form). For more information regarding DVA, visit the DVA website.

Home care package services

Home care package services

Service 1 hour initial consultation 30 minute review consultation
Dietician (individual consultation) $110 $60
Exercise physiologist (individual consultation) $110 $60
Exercise physiologist (group consultation^) $110 $60
Physiotherapy (individual consultation) $110 $60
Podiatry (individual consultation) $110 $60

^To access a exercise physiology group appointment, you must have previously attended an individual assessment.

*GST applies to all exercise physiology appointments.
**These rates will be charged to all agencies purchasing services on behalf of a client on a package or brokerage basis (full cost recovery).
*** Two or more participants, up to a maximum of 12 participants.

NDIS services

NDIS services

Service Support item Reference # Support category Cost
Dietician (individual consult) Individual assessment, therapy and/or training 12_025_0128_3_3 Improved health and wellbeing $182.74
Exercise Physiologist (individual consult) Exercise physiology 12_027_0126_3_3 Improved health and wellbeing $148.69
Exercise Physiologist (group consult) Exercise physiology in a group 12_028_0126_3_3 Improved health and wellbeing $49.56
Physiotherapy (individual consult) Individual assessment, therapy and/or training 15_048_0128_1_3 Improved daily living $179.26
Podiatry (individual consult) Individual assessment, therapy and/or training 15_048_0128_1_3 Improved daily living $179.26
Orthotics Selection And/Or Manufacture Of Customised Or Wearable Technology 15_047_0135_1_3 Improved daily living $164.91 ea.
Speech Pathology (individual consult) Capacity Building Supports For Early Childhood 15_040_0118_1_3 Improved daily living $182.74

*Fees based on NDIS price guide effective 1 July 2018
**Up to a maximum of 3 participants per group.

Private fee schedule

Private fees

Service 1 hour initial consultation 30 minute review consultation
Dietician (individual consultation) $110 $60
Exercise physiologist (individual consultation) $110 $60
Exercise physiologist (group consultation) $30 (GST applicable) $60 (GST applicable)
Physiotherapy (individual consultation) $110 $60
Podiatry (individual consultation) $110 $60
Speech pathology $140 $70
Medicare subsidies

Services paid by Medicare (for clients with GP referrals)

Service 1 hour initial consultation 30 minute review consultation
Dietician (individual consultation) No out-of-pocket cost. This benefit will be paid by Medicare. No out-of-pocket cost. This benefit will be paid by Medicare.
Exercise physiologist (individual consultation) No out-of-pocket cost. This benefit will be paid by Medicare. No out-of-pocket cost. This benefit will be paid by Medicare.
Physiotherapy (individual consultation) No out-of-pocket cost. This benefit will be paid by Medicare. No out-of-pocket cost. This benefit will be paid by Medicare.
Podiatry (individual consultation) No out-of-pocket cost. This benefit will be paid by Medicare. No out-of-pocket cost. This benefit will be paid by Medicare.
**Speech pathology $140 ($87.05 out of pocket once claim make at Medicare) $70 ($17.05 out of pocket once claim make at Medicare)

*Fees are based on the Medicare Benefits Schedule
**There is an out-of-pocket cost for speech pathology services. A Medicare rebate of $52.95 is available for both an initial consultation and for standard review.

Contact us

To access services at Ballarat Community Health, make an enquiry via the customer service menu to the right-hand side of the screen, or call us on (03) 5338 4500.

It can be confusing, so if you need help with the My Aged Care process, navigating the website or any general assistance, please call us.

Speaking your language

At Ballarat Community health, diversity is respected and celebrated, and we’re proud to work with people from many different non-English speaking backgrounds.

If you would prefer to communicate with a service provider in your home language, you can now access the National Multilingual Disability Hub: a national multilingual hotline and website that provides information in-language on disability and the NDIS.

For health professionals

GPs or health professionals wanting to refer a client to Ballarat Community Health please call (03) 5338 4500 or alternatively, direct your referral enquiry to intake@bchc.org.au.

Doctors clinics

BCH doctors clinics are located at Lucas, Sebastopol, Wendouree and Smythesdale sites. The clinics provide access to healthcare for people living in regional and rural communities in Ballarat and northern Golden Plains Shire.

Our GPs can help you with all of your general medical issues including:

  • women’s and men’s health screening
  • care planning
  • immunisations
  • wound management
  • blood collection
  • adolescent health
  • and more.

Concession card holders, health carer card holders and patients under the age of 16 will be bulk billed.

All other patients will be asked to make a small contribution toward the cost of their visit, and those patients without Medicare benefits or without a Medicare card will be required to pay the full fee on the day.

Appointments are available Monday to Friday 8:30-5:00pm. We also have a clinic running until 7:00pm on Wednesdays.

For after hours, call the after hours GP helpline on 1800 022 222
For Nurse-on-call assistance, call 1300 60 60 24

For more information about our GP Clinics or to make a booking, please call us on (03) 5338 4585, or—if you are a returning patient—log in and make an appointment using the customer service screen to the right-hand side of the screen.

My Health Record

My Health Record is an electronic platform that consolidates all of your Medical information and/or history into one place! This means that any health care provider involved in your care can, with your permission, access this information, ie, medical conditions, treatments, medicines, allergies and test results.

Please speak with your GP or one of our practice nurses if you would like to have a record of your consultation uploaded to My Health Record.

For more information, visit www.myhealthrecord.gov.au.

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Call our Lucas, Sebastapol, Wendouree, Smythesdale and Victoria Street sites on (03) 5338 4500
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