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South West Medical Centre is a part of South West Healthcare


Anaesthetic services are a hospital-wide service providing specialist expertise for managing patients who require procedural or operative anaesthesia.

We provide:

  • Anaesthetic services for elective and emergency surgery at Warrnambool Base Hospital & Camperdown hospital
  • Sedation for non-surgical procedures such as gastroscopies, colonoscopies and cardioversion
  • Perioperative medicine services to optimise patients prior to surgery
  • Pain management services including follow-up of complex inpatients and epidural pain relief during labour
  • Advanced airway management and support during resuscitation



Camperdown Hospital

Dr Ash Singh: GP/anaesthetist
Dr Stanley (John) Menzies: GP/anaesthetist
Dr Tim Fitzpatrick  GP/anaesthetist

Warrnambool Hospital

Dr James Muir
Anaesthetist, Clinical Director Anaesthetics

Dr Chris Bonney
Dr Lauren Bourke
Dr Erin Cameron
Dr Nic Cameron
Dr Angela Dawson
Dr Mark Duane
Dr Katrina Gelhaar
Dr Jack Hawkes-Sutton
Geoff Kilminster
Dr Sandeep Kusre
Chris Moran
Garry Reilly
Craig Surtees
Liam Twycross
Stephen Watty

How to access this service

No external referrals

Access via referral for surgery or via care providers during inpatient stay.

Acute Pain Service referrals via telephone and TRAK referral.

Patient information

  • What to bring

    Details of relevant / recent healthcare interactions / appointments

    • GP details
    • Specialist details including correspondence
    • Results of investigations

    All medications including up to date list of medications (from GP)

    Details of any blood thinner medication, heart medication or diabetic medication

    Details of any herbal or over the counter supplements

  • After your appointment

    A central role of the Anaesthetic & Perioperative Service is ensuring we address your individual healthcare needs prior to surgery. This includes optimising any medical conditions to ensure you have the best outcomes following surgery.

    After review by the Anaesthetic & Perioperative Service, and if needed, we will refer you to other specialists or for further investigations before proceeding to book you for surgery.

    We will discuss the need for this during your appointment.

  • Anaesthetic Service

    Relieving pain and suffering is central to the practice of anaesthesia, which involves administering medications to eliminate sensations, including pain.

    This allows doctors to perform medical and surgical procedures without causing undue distress or discomfort to the patient.

    Most people undergo anaesthesia at some stage in their lives, such as during the birth of a baby or during surgery. They may be anaesthetised for a short, simple day surgery or for major surgery requiring complex, rapid decisions.

    Modern anaesthesia is relatively safe due to high standards of training that emphasise quality and safety. There also have been improvements in drugs and equipment. Advances in anaesthesia have also resulted in patients being able to have more complex surgery as a day stay procedure because of more rapid recovery with modern anaesthesia; and they have facilitated many of the advances in surgery.

    Australia and New Zealand have one of the best patient safety records in the world, thanks to increased support for research to improve anaesthesia.

    Specialist anaesthetists become involved in the patient’s care prior to surgery with assessment of their medical condition and planning their care as part of the surgical team. They closely monitor the patient’s health and wellbeing throughout the procedure and help to ensure a smooth and comfortable recovery.

    There are several types of anaesthesia.

    General anaesthesia produces a drug-induced state where the patient will not respond to any stimuli, including pain. It may be associated with changes in breathing and circulation.

    Local anaesthesia involves the injection of local anaesthetic near the surgical site and is usually used for minor surgery. It may be used alone or in combination with sedation or general anaesthesia.

    Regional anaesthesia includes “nerve blocks” and “spinal blocks”. This is when local anaesthetic is injected in the vicinity of major nerve bundles that supply body areas such as the thigh, ankle, forearm, hand or shoulder.

    Procedural sedation is used for procedures where general anaesthesia is not required. It allows patients to tolerate procedures that may otherwise be uncomfortable or painful.

    Conscious sedation is a medication-induced state that reduces the patient’s level of consciousness. A sedated patient does not feel pain but can respond to verbal commands or touch.

    Analgesia is when a patient is given medications that act locally or generally to stop them from experiencing pain.

    (Source: ANZCA Patient Information Leaflet)

  • Perioperative Service

    Perioperative Medicine is an emerging speciality which focuses on the practice of patient-centred, multidisciplinary and integrated care. It is a comprehensive, dynamic and evolving service which aims to cater for patients’ individual needs from the time of considering surgery through to full recovery. Fitter and better prepared patients experience fewer complications and recover quicker.

    The perioperative service represents a new and innovative model of care whereby the principles of Perioperative Medicine are integrated across the Anaesthetic, Medical and Surgical Departments to achieve the best outcomes for our patients.

    Referrals to the Perioperative Service are generated by the Anaesthetic Service following review in Pre-Anaesthetic Clinic. External referrals are not accepted.

  • Acute Pain Service

    The recently launched Acute Pain Service focusses on the management of pain in the period immediately following your surgery (“acute pain”).

    If you are undergoing surgery that may require more pain management input (larger bowel resections, joint surgery) you will be automatically reviewed by our service.

    In addition, we are able to accept referrals from your usual healthcare providers should you require specialist acute pain service input during your hospital stay, whether it be for a surgical or non-surgical cause.

    Referrals can be accessed via TRAK – Acute Pain Service (INPT).

  • Pain Relief During Labour

    Pregnant women should discuss the methods of pain relief available with the midwife, obstetrician and anaesthetist well in advance of their labour.

    Anaesthetists play an important role in providing pain relief so the baby can be delivered safely.
    Epidurals are the most common and effective form of pain relief for labour and are administered by specialist anaesthetists. Anaesthetists are also involved when pregnant women have their babies delivered by caesarean section, providing the most appropriate form of anaesthesia. This may be either regional anaesthesia in the form of a spinal block, an epidural block, a combined spinal epidural block, or general anaesthesia.

    Some forms of pain relief, such as the injection of medication into a muscle, may be prescribed by a doctor and do not require the services of an anaesthetist.

    (Source: ANZCA Patient Information Leaflet)

Page last updated: 18 February 2021

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