What is the Ambulatory Surgery Initiative (ASI)?
The ASI is an innovative program that allows doctors to do additional work in public
hospitals in order to improve patient access to minor
procedures. Procedures done under the ASI are bulk billed, and incur no
out-of-pocket expenses for the patient.
The aims of the Initiative are to:
Reduce wait lists,
Reduce patient waiting time, and
Increase clinical throughput.
Note that at the time of publication, only colonoscopies and gastroscopies are currently offered under the ASI at WA public hospitals, although this may be subject to change.
For more information regarding the ASI please see the information package.
Who is suitable for treatment under the ASI?
The Ambulatory Surgery Initiative is for low-risk patients who are suitable for a day procedure and who have a current Medicare card/number. In general, a patient is deemed low risk if they are:
under 75 years of age,
- free of significant co-morbidities, and
under 120 kg (for suitability of equipment at general hospital day
The clinician undertaking the procedure may be consulted to consider the
suitability of a particular patient in relation to their age and general health
outside of the above criteria.
Where are ASI patients treated?
As treatment of patients under the ASI is not limited by hospital catchment areas, general practitioners can refer patients to any of the participating ASI
specialists. However, it may be more convenient for patients to be treated
close to where they live.
A current list of participating hospitals and ASI specialists providing colonoscopy and gastroscopy services is available via the Request for Direct Access Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (Adult). (Electronic templates for GP practice software are available here.)
What can GPs do?
For patients identified as being suitable to have their procedure under the ASI, GPs should:
- Confirm the patient's ASI eligibility, as described above
- Ensure the patient consents to being treated as a private patient in a public hospital, noting that no out-of-pocket expenses will be incurred
- Initiate a referral to the appropriate specialist
Note that your patient may be seen by another specialist at the same hospital in order to expedite their treatment.
No special action is required by the patient, other than to bring their Medicare card and sign the relevant Medicare form provided by the hospital on the day of their procedure.
The ASI information on this website is consistent with the framework and
principles of the Australian Health Care Agreement 2003-2008 and the
Hospital Insurance Act 1973 (Commonwealth). The Department of Health will not
be liable for any amendments, omissions or distortions to this information
which might occur through an individual action, that compromises this.