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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Domiciliary Oxygen Program?

The Domiciliary Oxygen Program is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services. This program provides people with a permanent or long-term disability with funding towards the cost of medical oxygen gas and associated equipment.

What types of equipment does the Domiciliary Oxygen Program help to fund?

The Domiciliary Oxygen Program helps to fund:   
  • Portable oxygen cylinders
  • Stationary concentrators
  • Portable oxygen concentrators
  • Associated equipment


What will it cost?

There is a maximum annual subsidy for medical oxygen gas and associated equipment. Supply is based on your respiratory physician's assessment and various packages may be funded to a maximum of $200 per month. If the subsidy does not cover the full cost of the medical oxygen gas and associated equipment, you or a third party will need to pay the remainder.

How do I find a Respiratory Physician?

You should be referred to a respiratory physician by your GP.

Am I eligible?

You are eligible for funding if you:
  • Are a permanent Victorian Resident or hold a temporary or permanent protection Visa or are an asylum seeker
  • Have a long term disability
  • Do not receive other government funding
  • Are not an in-patient of a public or private hospital or permanent resident of a residential care facility
  • Cannot claim equipment through private health insurance policy
  • Have not been released from hospital or an extended care centre within 30 days, where equipment required is related to the hospital admission

 

What do I do if the equipment I am using breaks down?

You can call either Air Liquide directly on 1300 36 02 02 or you may also call SWEP on 1300 747 937 and one of the SWEP staff will liaise with Air Liquide on your behalf.


How do I apply for the program?

You will need to be assessed by a Specialist Respiratory Physician. Your Respiratory Physician will complete a prescription form based on your needs.

What happens after my application is submitted?

SWEP will receive your application and an administration officer will process and triage your application.

 

Once your application is processed, a letter will be sent to you informing you of the status of your application. If you do not receive a letter within two weeks, please contact your prescriber or SWEP's Customer Service line on 1300 PH SWEP (1300 747 937).

 

Your application may be reviewed by SWEP clinical advisors for Domiciliary Oxygen, if required.

 

When funding is available, SWEP will call you to ascertain an ongoing need for the equipment and then place an order. Air Liquide will then call you to arrange delivery.
 

What are my responsibilities towards the equipment?

By accepting equipment from SWEP you agree:

  • The equipment is issued on a loan basis for as long as you need it
  • To keep the equipment in good order and repair
  • The equipment is provided for your use only
  • You cannot re-lend the equipment or give or sell it to anyone else
  • You cannot modify or use the equipment inappropriately
 

What should I do when I no longer require the equipment that I have from SWEP?

SWEP requires your Physician to notify us in writing that you no longer require your equipment. SWEP will arrange for the equipment to be returned to Air Liquide Healthcare.

 

What do I do if I run out of oxygen or the power goes off?

Don't be concerned. Have the number of your oxygen supplier readily available in case you run out or the machine is faulty.
Most people on oxygen can cope without oxygen for many hours if they rest. 
You should register with your phone and electricity providers that you have a concentrator at home to ensure that your services are reinstated quickly.
 

Can I smoke whilst using home oxygen?

No. If you are smoking your oxygen therapy funding will cease.

How much oxygen should I use?

Your Specialist Physician will prescribe the flow and amount of time per day you need to use your oxygen.

When do I use my equipment?

Portable oxygen is used when doing physical exertion, such as walking and for attending outing's such as doctor's appointments. If you have both cylinders and concentrator at home, the concentrator should be used for physical exertion within the house and the portable oxygen used outside the house.

How can I tell if I am getting enough oxygen?

The only way to tell is to have a test when you are wearing your supplemental oxygen e.g. a six minute walk test. If new symptoms appear, such as increased sleepiness, morning headaches and confusion, you may be receiving too much oxygen. Contact your respiratory nurse or physician.

Can I increase my oxygen flow if I get more breathless?

No. Oxygen is a prescription drug; you should not change the flow rate prior to checking with your nurse or physician. You may need to have another blood test or walk test to decide if you need more oxygen.

Can I cook whilst using oxygen?

No. It is not safe to use your oxygen within 2 metres of an open flame.

Can I become addicted to oxygen?

No. Oxygen is not addictive and is necessary for your health and well-being.

Can I have a bath or shower whilst using oxygen?

Yes. The oxygen tubing can get wet, but you need to ensure that the oxygen concentrator or cylinder remains dry.

Who moves my concentrator if I move from one place to another?

Your family or friends.

What do I do for sore ears due to the tubing?

You can pad the tubing with soft material to reduce the rubbing.

Will my electricity bill increase?

Yes. Electricity companies provide a concession. Your electricity company can provide you with a concession form which needs to be signed by your respiratory physician or nurse.

Can I go on holidays with oxygen?

Yes. It is safe to travel with oxygen, however, various transports have different regulations about their use with oxygen. Contact the appropriate business (airport, boat, train, bus) about their regulations well in advance of your holiday. 
Contact Air Liquide Healthcare on 1300 36 02 02 at least two weeks in advance to going on holiday to ensure that arrangements for your oxygen supply can be sorted before you leave. Carry the contact numbers of your Specialist and Air Liquide Depots; you never know when you might need them. 

How can I provide feedback?

Feedback can be provided in the following ways:

  • Fill in a feedback form available on our Contact page.
  • Call our Customer Service line on: 1300 PH SWEP (1300 747 937) or (03) 5333 8100. If you require an interpreter, or have a hearing or speech impediment, we can assist by accessing the Victorian Telephone Interpreting & Translating Service or National Relay Service.
  • Write to us at: P.O. Box 1993, Bakery Hill, Vic 3354
  • Email us at swep@bhs.org.au
  • Send a fax to 03 5333 8111

 

Please see the Applying for Dop section or call SWEP on 1300 PH SWEP (1300 747 937) or (03) 5333 8100 for further information.

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