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Dr David Olive MBBS (Hon), FANZCA

I graduated with honours in medicine at Monash University in 1992. After completing my internship and two years’ residency at the Geelong Hospital, I commenced postgraduate specialist training in anaesthesia.

My training was based at St Vincent’s Hospital (Melbourne) but also included time at the Royal Women’s Hospital and Royal Children’s Hospital. In 2000 I undertook a fellowship in anaesthesia for cardiac and thoracic surgery in England before receiving my specialist qualification in 2001.

I have a public appointment at St Vincent’s and practise privately at various hospitals around Melbourne. I have a wide-ranging practice that includes anaesthesia for major abdominal surgery, for ENT and dental surgery (comprising a large paediatric caseload), ophthalmic and obstetric anaesthesia. I have an interest in regional (as opposed to general) anaesthetic techniques and in post-operative pain management.

At St. Vincent’s, I am involved in teaching doctors training to be anaesthetists, and am a previous recipient of the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award as voted by the trainees. I lecture regularly at the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists. At St. Vincent’s Private I am on the interdisciplinary working party into training for obstetric emergencies. 

I have published papers on pharmacological methods for reducing blood loss following cardiac surgery, on ventilation techniques for lithotripsy and on pain relief options after total knee joint replacement. I am currently conducting research on this last topic focussing on the use of peripheral nerve block techniques.

I have been on the Economics Advisory Committee of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists and for several years I have co-ordinated the emergency obstetric anaesthesia service for St. Vincent’s Private and Epworth Freemasons Hospitals. I am Chairman of the Board of the Associated Anaesthetic Group.

Your safety is at the forefront of my mind during your operation. However, I firmly believe that a good anaesthetist can provide so much more than just safe passage through the peri-operative period. What is routine for me can be daunting or frightening for the patient. I am confident that with good communication, I can allay such anxieties and make your experience a more positive one. Some patients are just generally anxious but can’t put their finger on why. Others have a specific concern - e.g. scared of needles through to scared of dying, and everything in between. I’ve heard every one of them, so if you have a particular worry, please raise it with me. We will meet at the pre-anaesthesia consultation. Otherwise I am happy to speak to you prior to the day of surgery if you contact my office.

I am married with two daughters and a son. I speak French, legacy of a childhood in Montreal, Canada. I enjoy golf, and supporting the mighty Hawks.

Further Information
If you are interested in learning more about anaesthesia, the website All About Anaesthesia is an excellent resource.

My fees are derived using the Australian Society of Anaesthetists’ Relative Value Guide. They are less than those recommended by the Australian Medical Association. The fees are based on the complexity, duration and time of day of the service. Due to inadequate indexation over many years, the rebates provided by Medicare and the health funds will usually be less than the fee, resulting in an out-of-pocket expense. I do not alter the fee depending on which insurance company the patient uses.  The out-of-pocket cost, therefore, depends on the insurance company. By law, all funds must provide rebates up to at least the Medicare Schedule Fee.  Funds can, at their discretion, provide rebate above this legal minimum. In broad terms, health funds can be divided into three groups:

  • Group 1: Most funds fall into this group, including Medibank Private*, BUPA*, Australian Unity and almost all other AHSA funds. For my accounts, members of these funds will receive rebates of approximately 175% of the Medicare Schedule Fee using the fund’s “known gap” product. This will cover the majority, but not all of my fee.
  • Group 2: LaTrobe, Mildura. These funds have a “known gap” product but pay much lower rebates. For my accounts, members of these funds will receive rebates of approximately 120% of the Medicare Schedule Fee.  This will cover approximately half of my fee.
  • Group 3: NIB (and some low-cost policies from other funds). This fund has no “known gap” product, and therefore for my accounts, members of this fund will receive the Medicare Schedule Fee only. This will cover less than half of my fee.
*Medibank Private and BUPA have unusual hybrid schemes. For most of my accounts, they will fall into Group 1. For some larger accounts, where the estimated out-of-pocket costs under their “known gap” product would exceed $500, they reduce their rebate to the Schedule Fee, meaning that they move into Group 3.

Time permitting, most patients will receive a written estimate of fees prior to hospital admission. If you want more detailed information, please contact my office .