Treatments and tests

Genetic Services of Western Australia

Genetic Services of Western Australia (GSWA) offer a range of services to people with genetic conditions and anyone who is at risk of developing one.

GSWA aims to provide equal access to clinical genetic services in Western Australia to enable informed choices in the prevention and treatment of genetic diseases in the community.

What services do GSWA provide?

GSWA provide state-wide services and consist of 3 areas:

Obstetrics and general genetic services

During pregnancy, obstetric genetic services offer counselling and support. If appropriate there are tests for your baby during pregnancy, both for single gene disorders and chromosomal conditions. A genetic counsellor, a health professional trained in both genetics and counselling, can help you decide what is available.

General genetic services provides diagnosis, genetic counselling and genetic testing, as well as information about reproductive options 

Laboratory services

GSWA uses world class laboratory services to:

  • identify conditions caused by faulty copies on a single gene
  • check chromosomes for abnormalities (such as Down syndrome)
  • examine whole exome (or next generation) sequencing using the latest in laboratory technology
  • look for certain substances in the body (such as proteins) that cause genetic conditions and birth defects.

Who can use these services?

You can contact us:

  • if you have been diagnosed with a genetic condition
  • if you or your partner are concerned about a condition being passed on to your children
  • if you want to discuss reproductive options and if they are suitable for you
  • if you, your partner or a family member has had a child with a birth defect or genetic condition
  • if you and your partner are related (cousins) and are planning to have a child
  • to determine if you are a carrier of a genetic disorder (such as cystic fibrosis or Fragile X)
  • if an abnormality in your developing baby is found after routine pregnancy screening tests.

Where are these services provided?

GSWA provide services across metropolitan and regional clinics.

Find your closest clinic or the location of a genetic paediatric services clinic.

Making an appointment

Your doctor or specialist can refer you to us or you can contact us directly. Read more about the GSWA referral guidelines.

Before your first appointment

Once GSWA receive a referral, a genetic counsellor will ask about you and your family’s health history.

The counsellor may also:

  • send you consent forms to access the medical records of other family members
  • contact you for copies of any other medical reports, doctor’s letters, death certificates or photographs of family members.

All information provided before, during or after your appointment will be treated confidentially.

Your first appointment

A genetic consultation is a confidential appointment which will:

  • provide you with information about genetic conditions which run in families
  • assess your risk of developing a genetic condition based on your medical and family history
  • assess whether genetic testing is possible
  • recommend monitoring and risk management options
  • provide you with information about early detection and lifestyle advice for good health.

At the consultation the genetic counsellor will discuss and answer any concerns or questions you have. Your medical and family history will be reviewed and the likelihood of genetic condition being present discussed, as well as possible treatments, early detection and prevention. Sometimes it will be necessary to gather more information and arrange other tests.

Appointments may take up to 1 hour and you may need more than 1 appointment.  You are also welcome to bring a family member or support person with you.

Are interpreters available?

Yes, before your appointment let GSWA know if English is not your first language and you need an interpreter.

Costs of the treatment

For an Australian patient in a public hospital in Western Australia there is no cost to you unless advised otherwise.

For a patient in a private hospital or private imaging site in Western Australia – ask your doctor or the staff where you are having your test done.

Where to get help

  • See your doctor.
  • Ring healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222.
  • Contact Genetic Services of Western Australia
    • Open 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday
    • Phone: 9340 1525
    • Email: gswa@health.wa.gov.au
    • Address: King Edward Memorial Hospital, Level 4, Agnes Walsh House, 374 Bagot Road, Subiaco WA 6008

    Remember

    • GSWA offer a range of services to people with genetic conditions.
    • Genetic conditions are passed through families and can sometimes be confirmed by genetic testing.
    • GSWA are the sole provider of clinical genetic services in Western Australia.
    • Genetic consultations are available in clinics across WA.
    • Your doctor or specialist can refer you or you can contact GSWA directly. 

This information is provided by

Genetic Services of Western Australia logo


Acknowledgements
Genetic Services of Western Australia

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

Link to HealthyWA Facebook page