Our Anaesthetists

Professor Ashton is a Melbourne based plastic surgeon. He is chair of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Epworth Freemasons Hospital, and former head of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Royal Melbourne Hospital (2001 – 2016) and Royal Women’s Hospital (2000 – 2016).

Dr. Manash Patel

With a qualification in Medicine form the UK, Dr Manash Patel graduated in 1984 and completed his Anaesthesia training at The University College London and Charing Cross Hospital.

Following his move to Australia in 1995, Dr Patel initially worked as a staff anaesthetist at the Royal Womens Hospital in Melbourne and continues to work there. He has also worked for a number of years at The Royal Melbourne and Alfred hospitals in Melbourne.

He has written a number of papers in the field of obstetric anaesthesia and also presented at international meetings and reviewed textbooks.

Dr Patel has also volunteered to teach anaesthesia in Mongolia. Dr Patel has special interests in anaesthesia for obstetrics gynaecology, plastics and orthopaedic surgery.

Dr. Barbara Chia


After completing University at Monash 1996, Barbara enjoyed an internship and HMO training at the Alfred Hospital.

Barbara worked overseas in the United Kingdom in 1999 before returning to Anaesthesia Training at the Alfred Hospital. She qualified as Specialist Anaesthetist 2005.

Barbara is particularly committed to working with all theatre staff as a team, to produce the best outcome and experience for each patient under her care. She is passionate about further education for all staff she works with.

Barbara has held past appointments with The Royal Melbourne Hospital, and The Royal Women’s Hospital.

Barbara currently works with surgeons at

Dr. Martin Higgs


  • Graduated 1985 Monash University. (MB BS)
  • Completed Diploma of Obstetrics 1989. (Dip Obs)
  • Completed Diploma of Anaesthesia, Member Royal College Anaesthetists 1990. (MRCA)
  • Completed Fellowship Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists 1997. (FANZCA)
  • Current positions – Senoir staff anaesthetist: Footscray and Sunshine public hospitals.
  • Visiting medical officer: Cabrini Health, Epworth Health and St Vincents Private.
  • Medical Special interests – Quality and Safety
  • Undergraduate and post graduate student education

Martin currently works with surgeons at:

Dr. Ian Hogarth

Dr Ian Hogarth graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1989. Following residency at The Western Hospital he commenced anaesthesia training at The Austin Hospital in 1993. After completion in 1998 he then spent 3 years in the UK as Consultant in Anaesthesia (Greenwich District Hospital, London 1999-2001, Guy’s and St.Thomas’ Hospital, London 2001). He returned to Australia to a full-time public position as staff specialist in Anaesthesia at The Northern Hospital in Epping. This busy role saw the provision of anaesthesia for a wide range of surgical specialties (General Surgery, Thoracics, Vascular, Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Urology, Plastics) as well as teaching a vast number of anaesthetic trainees that rotate through The Northern at various stages of the training program.

A change of pace in 2019 saw Ian reduce and relocate his public work to Kyneton, to facilitate the provision of services in a regional area. He also maintains a busy practice in Melbourne as a Visiting Anaesthetist to many hospitals. Ian provides anaesthesia for most surgeries, often plastics (reconstructive and cosmetic), ENT, gynaecology, spinal and general surgery.

Ian has significant interest in the teaching and delivery of anaesthesia in the developing world. He has made several trips to Mongolia to assist with teaching and workshops for the Mongolian Society of Anaesthesia, and has provided teaching and workshops to the Cambodia Society of Anaesthesia in Phnom Penh. He is actively involved in Interplast Australia and New Zealand, which provides services and training in reconstructive surgery to the Asia and Pacific region. Ian has been involved in missions to Myanmar, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and Fiji, and is a current member of the Clinical Governance Committee.

For more information on the valuable work that we do, and information on how to support this vital work, please visit www.interplast.org.au

When not providing anaesthesia services Ian spends time chasing kangaroos out of a very small vineyard to express his devotion to pinot noir (with limited success).

Dr. David Daly


Dr David Daly is a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthesiologists (ANZCA). His training included 3 years as a junior doctor and 5 years as an anaesthesia trainee at Royal Melbourne Hospital and Austin Hospital. He completed a Fellowship in cardiac anaesthesia (including cardiothoracic transplantation) at Papworth Hospital Cambridge UK. He returned to practice in Melbourne as a cardiothoracic transplant anaesthesiologist at Alfred Hospital. In that space he has been the Chair of the ANZCA CVP SIG (the group of Australian/New Zealand cardiac anaesthesiologists) and also the Australian representative on the US Society of Cardiovascular Anaesthesiologists (SCA) International Committee. He does enjoy cutting edge work with artificial hearts, new paradigms around transplantation, and new interventional cardiology procedures. David was the lead anaesthesiologist involved in the introduction of TAVI (Percutaneous aortic heart valve. replacement) in Australia.

Apart from his anaesthesia specialist qualifications, David also has a Master Degree in Clinical Epidemiology. David has been involved in the PNG HECS project in PNG and also in AUSAID projects in the Pacific Islands. He reviews for several anaesthesia journals and is on the Editorial Board of one journal. He is interested in medicolegal issues around patient care and safety. He is the Surgical Services Representative at the Alfred Infection Prevention Committee and a member of the Alfred Hospital Haemostasis and Thrombosis Committee.

David has a small private practice, and he has been fortunate to team up with surgeons of the highest calibre. He has worked with Professor Ashton for almost 25 years. David aspires to the same levels of excellence in his work with Professor Ashton as he does in his role as one of Australia’s most experienced cardiothoracic transplant anaesthesiologists. Although the challenges are different, all patient concerns are important, any patient can call or email David preoperatively if they have concerns.

To call David please ring Professor Ashton’s rooms.

Email : dalyd@mac.com

Dr. Richard Allen


Dr Allen graduated from Melbourne University in 1987 with clinical training based at The Royal Melbourne Hospital.. His anaesthetic training was also based at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, including rotations through The Royal Women’s Hospital and Royal Children’s Hospital.

Further training was conducted in Edinburgh, Scotland at both The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and The Sick Kids’ Hospital. Upon returning to Australia Dr Allen worked in Ballarat as a member of Anaesthetic Group Ballarat before joining Melbourne Anaesthetic Group in 2006. He works at a number of private hospitals throughout Melbourne and still maintains some contact with regional Victoria working at Hepburn Health in Daylesford. He has a wide variety of specialty interests including anaesthesia for ENT surgery, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, gastrointestinal endoscopy and plastic surgery.

Outside medicine Richard tries to find time for the odd triathlon and bike riding event whilst being kept busy with his family including three teenagers.

Dr. Ben Di Luca


Dr Ben Di Luca completed his medical degree at the University of Melbourne in 1996 and commenced training in Anaesthesia at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in 1999. In 2000 he was awarded the Renton Prize as the ANZCA trainee who achieved the highest marks in the primary examination for fellowship of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists. His final fellowship year was spent at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne where he focused on regional anaesthesia. He completed his anaesthetic training in 2005.

Dr Di Luca is a Visiting Medical Officer at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and maintains a private practice with special interests in anaesthesia for plastic and reconstructive surgery, neurosurgery, urological surgery, and endoscopy. He is an advanced life support instructor accredited with the Australian Resuscitation Council. He is also a member of the ANZCA Airway Management Special Interest Group. Through these roles he is actively involved in education, as well as participating in the ANZCA Continuing Professional Development program.

Ben currently works with surgeons at

  • Epworth Richmond
  • Epworth Freemasons
  • The Royal Melbourne
  • Melbourne Private
  • John Fawkner
  • Frances Perry House

Dr. Andrew Buettner

Director of Anaesthesia, RWH – MBBS, FANZCA, MhlthServMt, MMed, GDipHlthInf, PGCertEBHC

Dr Andrew Buettner has been Director of Anaesthetics at the Royal Women’s Hospital Melbourne since 2008 and the Clinical Director for Gynaecology, Cancer and Women’s Health since 2017. He studied medicine at the University of Melbourne and trained at St Vincent’s Hospital and the Alfred and received his specialist anaesthetic qualifications in 1999. He has undertaken post graduate studies at Monash and Oxford universities in the areas of evidence based medicine and health informatics and has masters degrees in health services management and perioperative medicine.

Andrew currently works with surgeons at

Dr. Brent May

Dr Brent May is a Specialist Anaesthetist with an interest in trauma, upper gastrointestinal surgery and medical education. He has a Masters in Trauma Science from the University of London and is the anaesthesia director of the Definitive Surgery Anaesthesia Trauma Care course in Melbourne.

Dr May works as an anaesthetist at the Alfred hospital and various private hospitals in Melbourne. He also works as a Medical Retrieval Consultant at MedSTAR, South Australia.

Dr May is the Chief Medical Officer for the Australian and Vietnam Formula 1 Grand Prix. He is also the Chief Medical Officer for Motorcycling Australia, including the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix and World Superbike Championship, and for Karting Australia. He is a member of the National Medical Advisory Council for the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport and their Chief Medical Educator.

Dr. Amber Stenson


Areas of specialisation
I regularly anaesthetise for a broad range of surgical specialty operations. I am interested in surgery for the management of obesity and other upper gastrointestinal procedures, gynaecological procedures including urogyneacology and gynae oncology, obstetrics, breast surgery, eye surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery and neurosurgery among other specialties. I am motivated to tailor the anaesthetic to the individual to ensure a good post-operative outcome for my patients.

After completing my undergraduate degree at Monash University, I completed my Anaesthetic Training at The Alfred Hospital with rotations to other major teaching hospitals in Melbourne including The Royal Children’s, Royal Women’s and Peter Mac. I completed Fellowships at The Alfred and Royal Women’s Hospitals and continue to work at both sites as a Consultant Anaesthetist. I regularly engage in continuing professional development and have completed the Monash University Short Course in Perioperative Medicine.

Other interests
When not working I enjoy spending time with my husband and 2 children. I enjoy cooking, baking and entertaining. I am a keen skier and enjoy keeping fit with regular swimming and Pilates.

Australian Society of Anaesthetists, ANZCA, Downhill Ski Club, Melbourne Football Club, MCC

Dr. Olivia Millay

MBBS, B.Biomed (Hons), MMed (Pain Mgt), FANZCA

Areas of specialisation
I regularly anaesthetise for a wide range of surgical specialties including trauma, major general surgery and neurosurgery. My particular interests are in obstetric anaesthesia, gynaecological surgeries including urogyneacology and gynae oncology, breast, plastics, fertility and pain procedures.

I completed Anaesthetic Training at The Alfred Hospital with rotations to other major teaching hospitals including The Royal Children’s Hospital, The Royal Women’s Hospital and St Vincent’s Hospital. My specialty fellowships are in Obstetric Anaesthesia (high-risk obstetrics) completed at The Royal Women’s Hospital and General Anaesthesia at The Alfred Hospital. I continue to work at both hospitals as a Consultant Anaesthetist and hold an appointment as a Supervisor of Training for ANZCA at The Royal Women’s Hospital. In addition to my clinical work, I have interests in teaching and welfare. I am involved with trainee health and welfare and implementing the mentorship program at The Alfred Hospital. I am currently completing the ANZCA Educators Program and regularly participate in the ANZCA continuing medical education program. I also undertook the role of Anaesthetic Allergy Fellow and participate in allergy testing clinics. I have completed a Masters of Medicine in Pain Management and incorporate this knowledge into my patient care and post-operative analgesia management.

Other interests
Spending time with my husband, children and dog. I enjoy traveling, skiing and pilates.

Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)- including membership of the Obstetric, Welfare, and Leadership Special Interest Group, Australian Society of Anaesthetists (ASA), Victorian Anaesthetic Training Committee (VATC)

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