Clinical Prioritisation Criteria

Consultation on new clinical specialities

Consultation on the following Clinical Prioritisation Criteria (CPC) adult clinical specialities has now closed:

The final CPC’s are expected to be released and implemented in March 2022.


SA Health’s initial focus is to invest in reducing wait list backlogs so accessing outpatient appointments is easier, more transparent, and more effective. Through collaboration with a number of key clinicians across SA, the Outpatient Redesign Project aspires to create sustainability in improved access to services, transparency, governance and accountability.

One of the initiatives is to develop consistent and publicly available Clinical Prioritisation Criteria or CPC.

The CPC are clinical decision-making support tools that assist in ensuring patients referred are clinically categorised and accepted based on standardised state-wide clinical referral criteria.


The CPC will help to ensure the public and health professionals have the correct and standardised information available regarding referral criteria and urgency categorisation for each specialty, along with what tests and diagnostics need to be performed prior to referral.

The development of CPC will result in improvements in the quality of referrals, reduce inappropriate referrals, support diagnostic testing to be completed prior to referral to a hospital specialist and better define clinical pathways across the state. This will assist in providing patients with the best health care available to meet their health needs.

Supporting other technologies

The CPC will support Outpatient digital health improvements, such as e-referrals and secure messaging. These technologies will improve the digital communication between general practitioners (GPs) and hospitals and optimise clinical care delivery between primary and tertiary health care sectors.


The CPC aims:

  • there is transparency of outpatient criteria between Local Health Networks (LHNs), primary care and the public
  • health professionals are enabled with accurate and consistent specialty referral criteria and diagnostics required to support patient focussed decision making
  • patients have accurate and consistent specialty referral criteria and categorisation to improve their health literacy and enable informed decision making
  • there is equitable assessment of patients regardless of where they live
  • specialist outpatient appointments are delivered in order of clinical urgency
  • patients are ready for care at their first specialist outpatient appointment
  • referral and communication processes improve between referrers (e.g. primary care) and specialist outpatient services
  • increased referral quality by LHNs being transparent in the information and diagnostics required to support timely access to the most appropriate care.


SA Health would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution of SA Health staff and primary care clinicians during the development of CPC. We would also like to recognise the use of reference material from state, interstate and international sources throughout the development of CPC.

Further information