About Us

The Rheumatology Department has strong clinical and research interests in a range of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMD). 

The inpatient service is managed by the Head of Department, Dr Laila Girgis, along with our Rheumatology Fellow Dr Simran Kaur and the Immunology Advanced Trainee (2022 - Dr Michael Fitzgerald) and rotating senior resident medical officer. 

St Vincent's Hospital Rheumatology is a tertiary and quaternary referral centre as well as providing local service. The Rheumatology Department works closely with many departments in the Public Hospital and across the Health Care Campus, as well as conducting research in the world class Research Precinct, specifically at the Centre for Applied Medical Research (AMR) and the Garvan Institute. 


Dr Laila Girgis: Senior Staff Specialist and Head of Department
Dr Christopher Browne: Honorary Visiting Medical Officer
Dr Ross Penglase: PhD Candidate (AMR), Research Medical Officer
Dr Gursimran Kaur: Masters Candidate (AMR), Rheumatology Fellow (Wed/Thur clinics)
Prof Richard Day: Clinical Academic, Head of Clinical Pharmacology, provides short term cover for Rheumatology  

Outpatients Clinics

The hospital outpatients’ clinic covers: 

  • Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis/ spondyloarthritides for assessment and treatment with conventional and biologic disease-modifying drugs (DMARDs)
  • Scleroderma/ myositis overlap conditions and rare rheumatic disease 
  • Connective tissue disorders including lupus, vasculitis including giant cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Immune medicated inflammatory diseases and arthritis related to oncology therapy
  • Screening for connective tissue disease, particularly in patients with interstitial lung disease and pulmonary hypertension
  • Gout, particularly difficult to treat cases in heart/lung transplant patients
  • Serving the vulnerable population in our area
  • Special needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and South Pacific nations patients
    Please note that limitation of capacity exists, so referrals will be triaged for urgency. 

There is no capacity to take on management of uncomplicated osteoarthritis, mechanical pain or fibromyalgia. 


For referrals to the Rheumatology Outpatients’ Clinic at St Vincent’s Public Hospital, please address your referral to:

Dr Laila Girgis

Rheumatology Clinic, General Ambulatory Care, Lv 3 Outpatients Department

St Vincent's Public Hospital

390 Victoria St

Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Please send the referral by: 
Email: svhs.gacreception@svha.org.au; fax: 02 8382 3111 or post.

All referrals will be triaged for urgency.


Outpatients Clinics:
COVID Advice for patients with Rheumatic Disease
If you suspect COVID please arrange to be tested promptly with either PCR or a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)
If you are immunosuppressed ie taking prednisolone and / or disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, you may be eligible for COVID therapy with one of the new medications given by infusion or orally. 
These must be administered within 5 days of infection to be effective. 
Please contact your doctor or nearest Emergency Department promptly to be assessed for treatment.