East Wimmera Health Service EWHS provides a broad range of affordable services for people living in Birchip, Charlton, Donald, St Arnaud and Wycheproof. These services aim to keep you active and healthy, as well as providing treatment and advice to help you regain your health.
Whilst many of our services are universal and available to all community members, many are purposefully designed for those in the community who experience inequality in health outcomes and/or access to health services.
- People who live in areas of locational disadvantage
- People with a disability
- Vulnerable children, young people and families
- People from the LGBTIQ community.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
- People isolated without a social support network
- People from linguistically diverse backgrounds
Who are the services for?
Any person of any age can access services. You can self-refer or be referred by your GP, Health Worker or other service. Priority is given to those with special needs, low income or chronic health conditions.
What does it cost?
Our fees are based on your level of income and the amount and type of services you require. Prices effective from July 2022.
Community Health Fees
The following services are exempt from fees:
- Central Intake
- Counseling and Social Work
East Wimmera Health Service’s Community Health Team has a dedicated Central Intake Service that provides you with information on both our services, and other services available within our communities.
The first point of contact for anyone seeking services is our Administration Staff, by phone, email, fax or in person at any of our five campus receptions. They will collect your details and pass on your referral to the Central Intake Nurses. The Intake Nurses will then call you to conduct a simple initial needs assessment. From this they will then connect you to the services you require. You will be informed of the costs of services, accessing subsidised services and any waiting times for that service. If you decide to choose us as your service provider, the Intake Nurse can then make your appointments, or arrange for the clinician to contact you to negotiate an appointment time.
The aim of Allied Health is to support diagnosis, recovery and quality of life. Access to allied health care can increase a person’s mobility, independence and ability to care for themselves. It can also help reduce the risk of complications in chronic conditions or following illness or injury.
Counselling and Social Work
EWHS Wellbeing and Counselling services provides a range of interventions to assist in a wide range of issues such as: family and relationship issues, coping with chronic illness, grief and loss, depression, perinatal depression, anxiety and other low to moderate mental health issues through supportive counselling, therapy, practical support, advocacy and referral.
EWHS Diabetes Educators help people with diabetes learn how to look after their own health. The educators can see anyone with diabetes and their families including newly diagnosed or previously diagnosed with
diabetes, including women who develop diabetes during pregnancy and people at risk of getting diabetes.
Dietitians provide expert nutritional and dietary advice to assess nutritional needs and to assist people to manage health conditions and diseases using food as Medical Nutrition Therapy.
Occupational Therapists assist individuals who are frail, aged and/or have a disability, to maximize their functional independence at home and in the community. Occupational Therapy’s primary aim is to enable independence in all aspects of daily life, such as showering & bathing, dressing & grooming, eating & drinking, toileting, seating, bed transfers and social, leisure and community activities.
Physiotherapists provide assessment, manual therapies, exercise programs and other techniques to treat a range of conditions and prevent disease and disability through physical means.
Podiatrists look after the health of people’s feet by diagnosing, treating and preventing foot abnormalities, and educating the public about good foot health.
Advance Care Planning
Advance care planning involves making a plan for future health and personal care should a person lose their decision-making capacity. Advance care planning captures peoples’ values and wishes and enables them to continue to influence treatment decisions, even when they can no longer actively participate.
Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
Transition of Buloke Shire Council Home Services
The CHSP is an entry-level home support program that helps older people to live independently in their homes and communities, preventing or delaying the need to move into residential aged care.
The program aims to help the elderly live as independently as possible, by providing a small amount of help to a large amount of people. The focus is to work with, rather than do things for clients, so that they can retain their independence.
From 11th December 2023, Buloke Shire Council will cease providing home support across the Buloke Shire similar to many other councils.
Buloke Shire Council has worked closely with East Wimmera Health Service (EWHS) to maintain the service locally and continue providing support in the community. EWHS will commence the program on 11th December 2023, ensuring continued access to home support such as home help, personal care, meals on wheels and other services.
EWHS will initially provide these services to the Donald, Watchem, Birchip and Nullawil areas to current CHSP consumers who were receiving the service from the Buloke Shire.
Accessing This service
Anyone aged over 65 years, or over 50 years for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples, who experience limitations in their ability to live independently and need assistance can access this service.
To do so, contact ‘My Aged Care’ via this link or call 1800 200 422 within the hours 8am to 8pm on Monday – Friday or 10am to 2pm on Saturdays
What services are included?
The CHSP can provide services such as:
- Domestic Assistance
- Personal Care
- Home Maintenance
How It Works
- Firstly, apply for assistance (details below).
- A meeting is then organised with a local assessment officer.
- Once approved for the program, EWHS will receive a referral from My Aged Care.
- Your support will commence when there is a vacancy in the program. This usually does not take long.
- Once receiving services, if your needs change and you wish to remain living in the community, EWHS can refer you for an increased level of community support.
- EWHS will continue to support you while you wait for a higher level of support.
- If you receive a higher level of support, EWHS can continue to remain involved in your care at your request.
The EWHS Home Support Program includes a Coordinator and a wonderful team of support workers who visit you at home to assist you.
EWHS Meals on Wheels are delivered by volunteers and staff.
EWHS also contract specialist services such as handymen to help with minor home maintenance or modifications.
Fees and Charges
Fees apply but remain low due to Commonwealth Government subsidies. They can range from $6 to $13 per hour. If you are concerned about your fee, please contact the program on the number below.
How To Apply
- You can contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422, between the hours of 8am to 8pm on Monday – Friday or 10am to 2pm on Saturdays.
- You can apply for an assessment online with My Aged Care via this link.
- A family member or neighbour can contact My Aged Care for you.
- You can talk to your local GP or District Nurse who can also assist you.
If you would like to contact EWHS, you can call the Program Coordinator on 5478 6244.
If there is no answer, please leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
Our Continence Nurse can provide a range of services to assist older community members with continence issues. If you or someone you know, who is 65 years of age or older or for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who are 50 years of age or older would like to book an appointment to see the EWHS Continence Nurse, please call EWHS Central Intake Service on 5477 2222 or go to My Aged Care to make a referral.
The District Nursing program aims to provide comprehensive clinical nursing services to eligible clients. The service aims to prevent early admission to hospital and / or residential care.
Hospital Admission Risk Program (HARP)
Aims to prevent avoidable hospital presentations and admissions by working with those clients at risk of, or already experiencing frequent emergency presentations or hospital admissions. HARP targets people with chronic disease, aged and/or complex needs that frequently use hospitals or are at imminent risk of hospitalisation and could benefit from coordinated care.
Health Promotion relies on strong partnership work to ensure that communities are working together and that valuable messages are being delivered to the community in a variety of meaningful ways.
Planned Activity Groups
Social support groups also known as Planned Activity Group (PAG) supports older people and people with disabilities to remain living in their own home by providing a range of enjoyable and meaningful activities.
Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (Individual program only)
One on one individually tailored multidisciplinary approach to provide specific rehabilitation to improve Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Links to Group programs in neighboring communities.
Nutrition Wallet Card
Needle Syringe Program
People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. EWHS has a great group of passionate, dedicated volunteers and we are always looking to welcome new people to our team.
To find out more:
Community Car Program
Friendly Visiting Program
“We are committed to providing inclusive services. We strive to ensure our services are accessible and the people we provide services to are treated with dignity and respect regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, ethnicity and cultural and socio-economic background”.