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Phone
(03) 9380 4655

Email
carltonmedical@bigpond.com

Address
488 Rathdowne Street, North Carlton 3054

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News

Like most of you, we look forward to our ongoing transition out of lock-down and appreciate the adjustments you have all had to make to access healthcare as safely as possible over the last 18 months. During this time we need to continue to keep our patients and staff safe, particularly those who are immune compromised.

APPOINTMENTS DURING THE ONGOING PANDEMIC:

We expect there will be continuing significant COVID cases over the coming weeks and months.  We would prefer that you make a telehealth (phone) appointment for any consultation that you think can be managed this way. Anyone requiring an examination will need to attend in person, but you are welcome to have a phone consultation first if you are unsure.  Your doctor can then arrange an in person appointment in the most appropriate time frame.

Please do NOT attend if you have fever, cough, shortness of breath or other cold symptoms unless you have had a negative COVID test during your current illness.

Medicare eligibility rules are again changing.

1) All patients who have not been in face to face within the last 12 months will not be eligible for a telehealth medicare rebate. You can still choose this option but will have to pay the full fee without a rebate.

2) With the exception of mental health specific consultations, there is no longer a medicare rebate to reflect a longer consultation(>15 minutes), therefore telehealth consultations are best for more straight forward problems, results, prescriptions and referrals. If more complex, or several issues,  this can be discussed by telehealth initially after which your doctor may arrange an appropriate further appointment including the option of this being in person.

3) Initial Mental Health plans and Care plans can be managed initially by telehealth but will need to be completed at an in person visit.

Obviously if you have COVID, we are able to support you through telehealth.

PLEASE REMEMBER YOU CAN BOOK ONLINE AND THERE IS THE SAME FEE STRUCTURE FOR BOTH IN-PERSON AND TELEHEALTH CONSULTATIONS.

COVID Vaccinations:

Vaccination is one of the best ways to protect yourself, your family and your surrounding community from COVID.  All staff at Carlton Medical Centre are fully vaccinated.

We continue to be able to provide either Pfizer or Astrazeneca vaccines to all patients 12 yo and over, although the Astra-Zeneca is likely to be gradually phased out. The vaccine program may soon be expanded to younger patients. Some patients with significant immune compromise are also eligible for a 3rd dose of the vaccine (this is not the booster dose).

Booster doses (which utilise the Pfizer vaccine) are also now available, but only 6 months after your 2nd vaccine dose unless previously discussed with your GP.

Vaccine appointments will be brief (as for a flu vaccine clinic) so if you wish to discuss anything about the vaccine in more detail, please make a normal appointment with your usual GP prior to this.

You will be required to wait 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine.

If you require further information regarding the vaccine program please review the following website: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine

Patients NOT vaccinated:

To minimise the risk to staff and other patients in the clinic, as of the 22nd of November, we will not be able to routinely have unvaccinated patients in the clinic.  You will need to first have a telephone consultation with your doctor, who will then determine the timing and the safest option for you to be seen face to face if required. Any in-person consultation will likely be at the end of the session/ day, and require you to wait in your car or outside until the doctor is ready and to enter/exit through the rear door of the clinic. This is much like our approach to at-risk patients through the pandemic.

Please respect reception staff enquiries regarding your vaccination status as this is a policy recommended by our medical staff to keep us all safe and keep our doors open.

Nursing staff:

We welcome 2 new nursing staff to our team, Sue and Mary-anne. They are both very experienced nurses and are able to assist with a range of supports including immunisations, wound care and dressings, blood pressure checks and provision of care plans and health assessments. They additionally provide support to our doctors for procedures such as iron infusions, skin lesion removals and contraceptive implants/devices.

Doctors:

Dr Joyce Kant and Dr Morgan Flitcroft have joined us at the start of August and both have a broad range of previous medical experience including in women’s and child health. At the start of 2021, we have become a training practice, which means we have General Practitioner Registrars who are completing further experience in different practices and typically will spend 6 months at our clinic. Some will move on to another clinic but some may continue on in the practice. Dr Joyce Kant plans to continue on in the practice and we will have another registrar following on from Dr Morgan Flitcroft.

It brings a greater diversity to our practice and improved access to care for patients. It is also an opportunity for the more experienced doctors at the practice to share their skills.

Care Plans:

All patients with a chronic condition (lasting more than 6 months), are eligible for support with a Care Plan. There are 2 parts of Care planning.

A GP Management Plan is an opportunity annually to comprehensively review your medical condition and plan for your health care for the following year. This can be provided with your regular GP or with our nursing staff and is fully medicare funded.

The second part, a Team Care Arrangement, allows for communications with other providers from your treatment team and where eligible, medicare funded referral for allied health care such as physiotherapy or podiatry (up to 5 visits per calendar year).

These are routinely completed by our nursing staff but you may wish to discuss with your regular GP how this would best work for you. Reception can assist you with booking.

Many patients who have Care plans will be looking to renew them at the start of 2022. As there is high demand at this time, it is a good idea to book this over the coming months to ensure it is ready to utilise in the next year.

Health Assessments:

Patients 75 years and over are eligible for a Health Assessment annually. This allows for a comprehensive review of your medical conditions and considerations around any further supports you may need. The assessments are performed with both the nurse and your regular GP over an extended visit.

Health / My Health Record

We upload Ehealth / My Health Records if you would like to have one. Please discuss these with your doctor.  Please note that they will not be uploaded without your approval.

Immunisation

There are new changes to the Immunisation Schedule for children if you would like to discuss these with your doctor or one of our nurses. There are also several childhood meningitis immunisations that are not on the Childhood schedule that you may wish to purchase for your child.

Janet Long Nakamarra