Ideally, patients should be seen for both safety and medicolegal reasons, before prescriptions are provided. We receive many requests for prescriptions and while we wish to ensure that important mediations don’t run out, providing scripts without seeing our patient can result in confusion and a risk of error. We would ask if at all possible that appointments be made ahead to try to prevent medications running out. Prescriptions for antibiotics, pain killers and sleeping pills will not be provided without an appointment.
The practice of faxing prescriptions to the chemist has become problematic with duplication and occasional failure of the original script to reach the chemist. Patients will be asked to collect the prescription from the practice. Scripts will only be faxed to the chemist to cover emergency situations.
Taking Prescription Drugs Overseas
Beware when travelling overseas. It is illegal to take or send PBS medicine overseas that is not for your personal use. It is wise to carry a letter from your doctor with you detailing medication, with dose and strength. It is important to leave the medication in its original packaging. Laws relating to prescription drugs may vary from country to country, so if in doubt check first. The HIC contact number is 1800500147
Disposal of Expired & “LEFT OVER” Medication
All medication, like packaged food has an expiry date. No medication should be used after the date or time period stated on the packaging. Other than Antibiotic and Antifungal preparations, most medications may be disposed of at home. They may be disposed of down the sink or toilet, but preferably in their packaging/sealed container in the domestic rubbish.
Antibiotics which are left over either in tablet, liquid or cream form should not be tipped down the sink or toilet. Antibiotics in these places can make bacteria stronger or resistant as well as interfering with types of sewerage. Antibiotics can be returned to the Hospital/surgery for disposal or placed in domestic garbage, wrapped or sealed.
All test results are reviewed by a doctor. Where results indicate an urgent problem or require urgent attention, the patient is contacted as soon as possible. For less urgent matters it is important patients contact the practice either by phone or follow-up appointment to discuss results of tests, all of which have been performed for a reason. In general, most results will result in a change in management and may require another appointment. The reception staff are able to report when tests are normal but do not have access to patient charts. Clinical staff will contact patients with abnormal results.
We are very fortunate to have the services of visiting specialists to St George.
- Flying Surgeon (General Surgeon) visits every 2 weeks at St George Hospital.
- FOG (Obstetrician & Gynecologist) visits once a month at St George Hospital.
- Dr D. Black (Eye Specialist) visits every 3 months at St George Hospital.
- Dr S. Toombes (Internal Medicine) visits every 4 weeks at St George Hospital.
- Dr T. Casey (Dermatologist) visits every 3 months at St George Medical Centre.
- Dr J. Tucker (Pediatrician) visits every 2 months at St George Hospital.
- Mr. Steve Oreo (Ultrasound) visits every 2 weeks at St George Medical Centre.
- Mr. Jason Cripps (Podiatrist) visits every 4 weeks at St George Medical Centre.
- Mrs Alex Donoghue (Counselor) visits weekly at St George Medical Centre.
- Vital Health (Dietitian & Exercise Physiologist) visits every month at 71 Victoria St (the house beside CWA Rooms).
- Ms Christine Watters, (Physiotherapist) visits 2 days a week at St George Medical Centre
- Mr Steve Smith (Optometrist) visits every 4 weeks at St George Medical Centre.
Please see your G.P. for a referral to these specialists.
Children who are immunized at the Medical Centre have their immunization data registered with a centre registry from which reminders are generated.
Women who have pap smears also have the results recorded in a central registry which generates pap smear reminders (every 2 years). This registration happens automatically unless the patient requests not to be included in the register. This request should be made to the doctor performing the smear.
Immunisation is one of the major preventative strategies against infectious disease.
We are all concerned about possible side effects of immunization when dealing with our own infants. Not immunizing can have such disastrous consequences (fortunately consequences we now rarely see) it is important we overcome our fears and give our children a safe future.
A head cold is no reason to postpone immunization unless there is fever present. A dose of paracetamol reduces the side effect rate and can be given before immunization and again in the following 24 hour period.
There are special groups apart from children, where immunization against influenza and pneumonia is particularly important – people with chronic illness, especially lung disease, people over 65, indigenous Australians over 50, people on immunosuppressant therapy and health care personnel.
Children Immunisation History
If you have access to the internet and you have children under 7 years of age you can view and print a copy of your child’s immunization history at www.medicareaustrlia.gov.au/online . You will need to register the first time you visit the site. You can also request this information at medicare office or by calling 1800 653 809.
School based Vaccination Program is as follows: 13years – Hep B & Varicella, 15years dtpa (Boostrix) and 13 to 15 years girls – Gardasil.
The Australian Government’s Department of Health and Ageing have introduced two new programs to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians better manage their health, especially chronic diseases. The Practice Incentive Program or PIP is an incentive program that enables your GP or clinic to help you manage your chronic disease/s and to make sure you get access to the care you need. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme or PBS Co-payments measure will give you access to cheaper medicines. You normally have to pay some or all of the cost of PBS medicines, and this is called a co-payment. The PBS Co-payment Measure will reduce this co-payment for eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
What is chronic disease?
A chronic disease is an ongoing illness you have had- or are likely to have- for at least six months. Some chronic diseases include:
- Heart disease
Can I be part of the PIP Indigenous Health Incentive?
You can be part of the PIP Indigenous Health Incentive if you:
- Are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin
- Are aged 15 years and over
- Have chronic disease/s and
- Have a current Medicare card.
Can I join the PBS Co-payment Measure?
You can join the PBS Co-payment Measure if you:
- Are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin and
- Have an existing chronic disease or chronic disease risk factor
How will the PBS Co-payment Measure help me?
If you are a general patient- which means you do not have a Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) concession card- you will only pay the concessional co-payment amount (currently under $6 for each medicine). If you have a Centrelink or DVA concession card, or if you or your family has reached the PBS Safety Net threshold, then you will not have to pay anything at all. For more information about the PBS Safety Net, talk to your Pharmacist.
For any other question or concerns regarding the Indigenous Health Incentive Program please ask Karen Brown RN, Receptionists or speak to your normal GP.
Patient Travel Subsidy
- PTS forms are available to assist with the cost of travel to larger centres to access medical care not available in St George.
- The centre has to be the nearest at which the service is available.
- The criteria for getting PTS entitlements are strictly applied and the forms will not be approved if there is a visiting specialist to St George, who can provide the same service/care the only exceptions are situations where urgent review is required.
- Prior approval is required for all PTS request from the medical superintendent at St George Hospital.