Rheumatology Department

How we can help you

We care for people 16 years of age and over who have problems with their joints, muscles or bones or who have autoimmune conditions. Autoimmune conditions are where your immune system attacks your body's own cells, tissues and organs.

We manage and treat illnesses such as:

  • rheumatoid arthritis - painful and inflamed joints
  • ankylosing spondylitis - arthritis in the spine
  • arthritis related to psoriasis (red scaly patches on your skin), inflammatory bowel disease and infections
  • vasculitis - inflamed blood vessels
  • gout and pseudogout - red, hot, swollen joints
  • osteoarthritis - a breakdown of cartilage inside a joint
  • osteoporosis - brittle and fragile bones
  • autoimmune connective tissue diseases - Examples are: systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis and Sjogren syndrome. These conditions may make people feel generally unwell and can affect many parts of the body including joints, skin, kidneys, eyes, lungs, the heart and the gut.
  • inflammatory eye disease
  • myositis - inflamed muscles
  • general muscle and bone problems
  • other rare autoimmune and inflammatory conditions including sarcoidosis, behcet and IgG4-related disease.

Our team includes four specialist doctors called rheumatologists and one doctor in training. Our rheumatologists are: Dr James Bertouch, Dr Arvin Damodaran, Dr Amel Katrib and Dr Anthony Sammel.  

We work closely with other medical and surgical services including renal medicine, ophthalmology, dermatology, immunology, respiratory, cardiology, orthopaedic and vascular surgery.

Radiology, nuclear medicine and NSW Health Pathology provide on-site imaging and pathology support for our service.

We work closely with physiotherapy and occupational therapy to provide strengthening and stretching exercises, hand therapy, splints, orthotics and hydrotherapy.

In these clinics, we provide specialist care for all types of rheumatic disease. Some of these are listed above.

Clinic name Day of the week Time
New patient general rheumatology clinic Tuesdays 2.00 pm - 5.00 pm
Rheumatology post discharge clinic  Thursdays fortnightly 9.00 am - 12 noon
General rheumatology clinic Fridays 9.00 am - 12 noon

We are a specialised service and care for people who have vasculitis. Vasculitis describes a group of uncommon diseases which cause inflamed blood vessels such as:

  • Giant cell (temporal) arteritis
  • Takayasu arteritis
  • Polyarteritis nodosa
  • ANCA associated vasculitis
  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly Wegner Granulomatosis)
  • Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly Churg Strauss syndrome)
  • Microscopic polyangiitis
  • IgA / Henoch Schonlein Purpura
  • Connective tissue disease vasculitis
  • Drug induced vasculitis
  • Infective and post-infective vasculitis
  • Cryoglobulinaemic vasculitis
  • Behcet and autoinflammatory vasculitis
  • IgG4 vasculitis
  • Cutaneous vasculitis
  • Periaortitis / idiopathic retroperitoneal fibrosis
  • Cogan Syndrome
  • Organ limited (CNS, visceral, isolated aortitis).

We work with other hospital specialists and use the latest technology, emerging treatments and offer access to clinical trials.

Clinic day Clinic time Specialist
Tuesdays 9.00 am - 12.00 noon Dr Anthony Sammel


Your local general practitioner (GP) or your specialist will decide if you need to use our services. If you need to make an appointment, please ask your GP to fax us your referral letter with any blood and imaging results.

For our general rheumatology clinics, please fax referrals to: 9382 0422. Once a week, general referrals are reviewed and then allocated an appointment date depending on urgency.

For our vasculitis clinic or for urgent referrals, please fax to: 9382 0422 and clearly state “vasculitis” or “urgent” on the front page of the referral letter. If you need to be seen urgently, please ask your GP to call the rheumatology advanced trainee through the hospital switchboard on 9382 2222.

We will send you a letter in the mail with your appointment details or, if your need is urgent, we will contact you by phone. 

If you need to change or cancel your appointment, please telephone us during business hours.

Further details are provided on our Outpatients Department webpage.  

Please bring:

  • Your referral letter from your GP if it hasn’t already been faxed
  • Any blood test results you have relevant to the problem
  • Any medical images and reports relevant to the problem
  • Your Medicare card
  • A list of your medicines or bring all your medicines in a bag, including any herbal or over the counter product
  • You are welcome to bring a support person (a relative, friend or carer) with you.

We are teaching hospital and you may be asked to be involved in research or for a student to be present at your appointment. You have a right to say no. If you do so, this will not impact in any way on the services we will provide.

Please let us know if you need an interpreter. You can contact us telephoning the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450. Tell the operator what language you speak and then ask the interpreter to set up a telephone conversation between you, an interpreter, and the healthcare professional you want to speak with.