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Pathology touches people at all stages of life. It provides information to help diagnose and treat infections, allergies, chronic disease, cancer and many more medical conditions.

Your doctor might order blood or urine or other tests to help understand your symptoms and how to help you.

These tests are done by ACT Pathology, our specialist pathology service.

About this service

Pathology tests might help work out what’s making you sick. We do this by testing skin or body fluids from blood and urine samples, for example.

Seventy percent of all medical decisions will use your pathology test results.

Our collection centres provide you with blood collection for adults, newborns, and children.

We can also offer you a home collection service if you’re frail or sick and are not able to attend our collection centres.

ACT Pathology is more than just a collection centre. We have specialist doctors and scientists who perform the testing and diagnosis of diseases in many areas of specialty. Our areas of specialty include:

  • Anatomical Pathology
  • Chemical Pathology
  • Diagnostic Genomics
  • Haematology
  • Immunopathology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Pathology.

Anatomical Pathology

Anatomical Pathology uses tissue samples and cellular smears to detect and diagnose certain diseases, including cancer. 100% of all cancers are diagnosed by pathology.

Chemical Pathology

Chemical Pathology detects changes in blood and body fluids to work out what is wrong and how best to treat you. We test and monitor for illness such as diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, cardiac markers (which can tell us if your heart is damaged or stressed), and cholesterol.

Diagnostic Genomics

Diagnostic Genomics is the study of chromosomal structure, location, and function in cells. These techniques are used to diagnose such conditions as Down Syndrome.

Haematology

Haematology concerns diseases which affect blood. Our Haematology department tests, diagnoses, and treats blood diseases such as anaemia, leukaemia, and lymphoma. We also care for you if you present with blood-clotting abnormalities. Haematology staff look after you if you need a blood transfusion, making sure a transfusion is safe and available if you need it.

Immunopathology

Our Immunopathology team diagnose autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, vasculitis, rheumatoid arthritis and coeliac disease. We also perform tests that assist in the diagnosis of conditions such as multiple myeloma.

Microbiology

Microbiology diagnoses infections caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. We identify the best treatment options and monitor antibiotic resistance.

Molecular Pathology

Molecular testing focuses on microbiological (tiny organisms that are too small to see without a microscope) causes of infection and disease, such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and influenza viruses. The Molecular team look after all the COVID-19 testing for you.

Who we care for

We care for both public and private patients in the community (outpatients) or admitted to the hospital (inpatients).

How to access this service

All our collection centres operate on a drop-in basis, except for people who require:

  • Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT)
  • Insulin Resistance Test/ HOMA Index
  • Sweat Test – only performed at the Canberra Hospital
  • ECG Service.

If you require one of these tests, please contact our customer service team on (02) 6244 2816.

You must bring a valid request form and your Medicare card with you when you come to a collection centre for a test.

Glucose Tolerance Testing (GTT) Bookings

You can book your GTT test online.

Please choose the collection centre you would like to attend and select the ‘Book now’ option. You will then need to fill in your information.

Booking details and reminders are sent to you via SMS or email.

If you have any problems making your booking, please call (02) 6244 2816.

The GTT test takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete. Please remember to bring your pathology request form to your appointment.

Home Collection Service

We offer a limited home collection service if you are frail or unwell and are not able to attend our collection centres.

To arrange a home collection, please phone us on (02) 6244 2816 at least 48 hours before your collection is required.

Fine Needle Aspiration Service

We offer a Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) Service at the Canberra Hospital Collection Centre. FNA procedures are by appointment only.

To book, please call (02) 6244 2875 or (02) 6244 2876 between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

FNA procedures are performed at the Canberra Hospital Collection Centre, Building 10, Level 1.

What to expect

If your request form from your doctor says you must ‘fast’ this means you must not eat or drink anything other than water for at least eight hours prior to testing.

You may continue to drink water during your fast and should continue to take any regular medication as directed by your doctor.

As we are a drop-in service, you may have to wait during peak times.

If you have made an appointment for a specialist timed test, please let one of our staff know as soon as possible.

Billing and Medicare

ACT Pathology is a public pathology laboratory. We provide services if you are a public or private patient.

You might need to check with your health fund or Medicare about how much a test might cost you.

You will not have to pay a gap or fee for most tests if you have a Medicare card.

If you are an inpatient electing to use private insurance, we have agreements with most health funds to allow simplified billing. We can claim on your behalf if we are provided with your Medicare number and health insurance details.

Some tests and services are not covered by Medicare. In this case, you will be required to cover the full cost of testing.

If you receive this testing from ACT Pathology, we will issue you with an invoice.

If we refer your specimens to another laboratory for testing, you will either receive an invoice from the referral laboratory or ACT Pathology.

If you need to talk about a bill or account, you can call Pathology Accounts on (02) 5124 8700.

If you do not have a Medicare card, you are considered  a Non-eligible person. When services are provided for non-eligible clients the fee will be:

  • without Student Cover 270% of Medicare Benefits Schedule Fee
  • with Student Cover 100% of Medicare Benefits Schedule Fee.

If you have overseas insurance, you will be responsible for any gap fees that your fund does not cover. We advise you discuss this with your fund before having any tests done.

What to bring to your appointment

  • Medicare card
  • Any letters or correspondence from your GP
  • Health Care Card and/or concession card (if you have one)
  • Private health insurance card (if applicable/if you want to use it)
  • Medicines you need to take while you are here
  • Time of last dose of any medications
  • Valid request form

Where we’re located

Belconnen Collection Centre, Belconnen Community Health Centre

  • Monday to Friday: 8am to 5pm
  • CLOSED Weekends and Public Holidays
  • Ph: (02) 5124 1502
  • Fax: (02) 5124 1515

Calvary Collection Centre, 1st Floor, Marian Building, Calvary Public Hospital, Bruce

  • Monday to Friday: 7:30am to 3pm
  • CLOSED Weekends and Public Holidays
  • No collections for children under 10 available
  • Phone: (02) 6201 6270
  • Fax: (02) 6201 6272

Canberra Hospital Collection Centre, Building 10, Level 1, Canberra Hospital

  • Monday to Friday 7.30am to 5.30pm
  • Saturday: 8.30am to 12.15pm
  • CLOSED Public Holidays
  • Phone: (02) 5124 2816
  • Fax: (02) 5124 2815

Canberra Region Cancer Centre, Building 19, Level 2, Canberra Hospital

  • This collection centre is only available to patients of the clinics located within the Canberra Region Cancer Centre.
  • Monday to Friday: 7.30am to 4pm
  • Phone: (02) 5124 8411
  • Fax: (02) 5124 8565

Gungahlin Collection Centre, Gungahlin Community Health Centre

  • Monday to Friday: 7.30am to 4.30pm
  • Saturday 8.30am to 12.30pm (except on public holiday weekends)
  • CLOSED Public Holidays
  • Phone: (02) 5124 1135
  • Fax: (02) 5124 1165

Tuggeranong Collection Centre, Tuggeranong Community Health Centre

  • Monday to Friday: 8am to 5pm
  • Saturday: 8.30am to 12pm (except on public holiday weekends)
  • CLOSED Public Holidays
  • Phone: (02) 5124 1352
  • Fax: (02) 5124 1374

University of Canberra Hospital Collection Centre

  • Monday to Friday: 8am to 4:15pm
  • CLOSED Weekends and Public Holidays
  • No collections for children under 10 available
  • Phone: (02) 5124 0230
  • Fax: (02) 5124 0148

Weston Creek Community Health Centre

  • No collections for children under 10 available

We have directions and transport information for these services.

Resources

Information for referrers

Please see our page for health professionals for more information, including our ACT Pathology Handbook.

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In the case of a life threatening emergency, dial Triple Zero (000).

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Contact Canberra Health Services

Switchboard
(02) 5124 0000

The switchboard handles all calls to, from and within the hospital 24 hours/seven days a week

International callers
+61 (2) 5124 0000