Expert rheumatology care arrives at Frankston Hospital

Peninsula Health rheumatologist Dr Bita Omidvar is excited to be offering patients better access to specialised treatment.

A dedicated rheumatology service has been set up at Peninsula Health, providing patients with the support they need in managing over 150 different types of musculoskeletal conditions.

Rheumatology consultant Dr Bita Omidvar says patients are now being treated as part of the new Rheumatology Clinic at Frankston Hospital, the first of its kind at Peninsula Health.

“Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula has not had local access to a publicly funded outpatient rheumatology for some years, meaning some patients would be travelling two, even three hours to get the treatment they need – which is not very convenient,” says Dr Omidvar.

“We’re bringing world class care closer to home for the local community in Frankston and Mornington Peninsula. Now GPs can refer any patients with arthritis, gout, any sort of inflammatory connective tissue diseases – such as lupus, vasculitis– and those with suspected rheumatological conditions for specialised care to an easily accessible public clinic.”

“Most of our new Peninsula rheumatologists work in partnership with Monash Health rheumatology, Australia’s largest rheumatology unit with an international reputation for excellence.”

Dr Bita Omidvar is breaking new ground as she collaborates with other specialists to offer the new rheumatology service. 

Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions are very common, affecting more than one-quarter of Australians – a figure predicted to grow with the country’s ageing population.

Often chronic, these painful conditions can cause fatigue and disabilities affecting usual daily activity like gripping, lifting, and climbing stairs.

In addition to providing rheumatology services in the outpatient clinic, the upgraded service aims to improve care for patients who are being treated in other areas of the hospital, allowing them to be referred for a rheumatology consult, avoiding multiple hospital visits.

“Hospital inpatients are referred to us by other specialists on wards services or in other departments,” says Dr Omidvar.

“This is a game-changer, because previously the admitting team was required to manage any rheumatology condition and sometimes need to transfer the patient to another hospital. Since we introduced this service, we don’t have to do that anymore.”

For more information about rheumatology services at Peninsula Health phone (03) 9784 1177. Referrals should be be faxed to (03) 9784 2387.