Pre-Admission Essentials

Prepare for Your Stay

If you are booked in for surgery at Dhelkaya Health, please ensure you read all the information on this page. 

It explains:

  • what to do before your visit
  • what to bring with you
  • what to expect in regards to costs and billing.

Once you’ve read the information, please complete the pre-admission online form. The form contains essential information that we need for your stay. The link for the online form is located at the bottom of this page.


What To Bring

You should bring along:

  • Health Care Card, Pension Card, other benefit cards or safety net details.
  • all your tablets in their original container, including inhalers.
  • x-rays if applicable to your surgery, eg. nose, ear, shoulder, knee surgery.
  • a personal device, book, magazine or favourite quiet toy for your child if applicable.
  • night attire and toiletries if staying overnight.
  • a small amount of money for prescriptions if required post-surgery.
  • copy of your advance care directive and details of your medical treatment decision maker (if you have one).

Support Person

You may have one support person/driver stay with you during your visit. There is no overnight visitor accommodation on-site. However, Castlemaine is a popular tourist destination and a wide range of local accommodation options are available. These include caravan parks with cabins, motels, hotels and boutique B&Bs.

If your child is having surgery, you may stay with your child overnight in the room. We recommend that two adults accompany children up to the age of 12 if this is possible.

Dhelkaya Health’s onsite cafe at the Castlemaine campus offers a fresh, seasonal menu for visitors. It’s open Monday to Friday from 8am to 3.30pm and on Saturday from 10am to 2pm. After hours, snacks and cool drinks are available from vending machines in the cafe and in the foyer near Main Reception.

What to Expect

The doctor must identify the area on your body where the procedure will take place. Either the doctor or nurse will use a pen to mark the area before the surgery begins. Some doctors will sign their name or initials. Others may make an ‘X’ or write ‘Yes’.

Check that the mark does not rub off.  It is important that the doctors and nurses can see the mark before the procedure commences. Tell your doctor or nurse if the mark rubs or washes off before the procedure.

Before your procedure begins, everyone in the room with you will take a short ‘time out’. This is to check they have the right patient and are doing the right procedure on the right body part. These important steps are necessary to make sure that your procedure goes as planned.

Billing and Payments

Private Insurance

If you have private insurance,  you must contact your health fund before your surgery. Your fund will check:

  • that you are covered for the procedure
  • that you have paid and served all waiting periods
  • if you need to pay an excess or co-payment
  • if there are any exclusions with your cover.

Dhelkaya Health will send you a bill for any excess you may need to pay for your surgery. You should pay the full amount at least three days before your surgery. If your insurance does not cover the surgery you’re booked in for, you may receive a bill after discharge. Your surgeon and anaesthetist will each bill you separately.


Dhelkaya Health will send you an invoice if you are paying for your surgery. You must pay the invoice at least three days before surgery. This may not be the final cost. Unforeseen circumstances may vary the treatment originally planned. If this happens, you may receive another invoice after discharge. Your surgeon and anaesthetist will each bill you separately.

Before Your Visit

Our Pre-Admission Nurse will contact you in the week before your surgery to:

  • confirm your clinical information
  • tell you when to arrive
  • remind you about medication, food and drink.

Before your visit, please ensure you:

  • organise your journey home with a driver that has a full licence.
  • have a shower the morning of your surgery.
  • remove your jewellery and valuables.
  • remove any makeup or nail polish.
  • buy Panadol for at-home post-operative pain management.
  • arrange a support person to stay with you after discharge and overnight if you’re having a same-day procedure.
  • Do not smoke or use recreational substances for at least 24 hours before your procedure (you will not be able to smoke until after discharge).

Medication, Food and Drink

If you are having a colonoscopy, your Surgeon’s instructions will explain whether you can eat/drink before your procedure, and how to take the bowel preparation medication you’ve purchased.

Local Anaesthetic

There is no restriction on food and drink if you are having a local anaesthetic. 

General Anaesthetic

If you are scheduled for surgery with a general anaesthetic in the morning, ensure that you:

  • take any regular medication with a little sip of water at the normal time.
  • do not eat or drink after midnight (including tea and coffee).
  • do not chew gum or consume sweets.

For surgery with general anaesthetic in the afternoon, please ensure that you:

  • take any regular medication with a little sip of water at the normal time.
  • have a light breakfast (e.g. tea and toast) but do not eat or drink after 7 am.
  • do not chew gum or consume sweets.


Please bring all medications in their original packets with you to the hospital.

If you have diabetes, do not take your morning diabetic tablets on the day of your surgery. If you use insulin your anaesthetist will contact you before surgery to advise on insulin use before surgery.

For patients with asthma, please take your inhalers and medication as usual and bring them to the hospital with you.

Special Requirements

If you use an interpreter or require a translation service, please check the box in the pre-admission online form.

Special dietary requirements should be communicated with the nurse during your pre-admission phone call.

Please tell your GP if you are feeling unwell, feel sick or catch a cold. You should also advise Dhelkaya Health’s Pre-Admissions Nurse as soon as possible.

Contact Details

If you’re staying overnight and would like to talk about your stay, call the Nurse Unit Manager on the Acute Unit on 5471 3473.

To cancel, postpone or ask questions about your procedure, contact your Surgeon’s Secretary. You should also advise Dhelkaya Health’s Pre-Admissions Nurse on 5471 3621 if you postpone or cancel or your procedure.

Pre-Admission Online Forms

Now that you have read the information on this page, click the button below to complete the pre-admission form online. We strongly advise that you use the Google Chrome browser.
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