Fees update and new patients

July is the time of the year we update our salaries and usual fees. We use the Consumer Price Index to ensure our staff salaries increase appropriately and our fees must rise as well. Unfortunately the medicare rebates have once again not been indexed to keep up with inflation. We encourage you to talk to the federal politicians about that issue! Remember every doctor is entitled to alter their fee depending on the complexity of the consultation.

NEW PATIENTS

With three doctors starting at once, there are many new patients registering. Please collect a new patient registration form and complete it to assist our very busy reception staff. Once your details are set up on our system things will be less hectic!

New Doctors

PMC welcomes Dr John Lancashire , Dr Shauna Cheah and Dr Dilini Pelpoli !

Dr Lancashire will be joining the practice from 16 June 2022 and is accepting new patients. Dr Lancashire is a specialist general practitioner and has worked in the Bega Valley since 2019.

Dr Pelpoli has already had an afternoon working with us and looks forward to many more! She is an experienced specialist General Practitioner and has worked locally for over 10 years.

Dr Cheah is a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and has interests in women’s health, chronic disease and preventative care. She has worked in the area since 2009 and begins work with us on June 16.

See more information on our staff page

INFLUENZA and COVID immunisation

As usual we recommend influenza immunisation for all in the months before winter.

We expect our doses to arrive late March. The government provides free flu vaccine to all people over 65 , young children from 6 months and 5 years and to anyone with a significant medical condition. Aboriginal or Torres Strait islanders can have a free flu vaccine at any age over 6 months. If you don’t fit those criteria it is a modest cost either here or at the chemist.

This year it is OK to have Covid vaccine on the same day as your flu vaccine. A fourth dose is now recommended for people over 65 , 4 months after the third dose. We will try and book both vaccines on the same day if you are eligible.

Patient Feedback

We conduct patient feedback surveys for our accreditation. We thank all patients who completed the survey.

Overwhelmingly our patients are satisfied with the quality of our care and the skills of staff we employ. However we always fall down on our appointments being on time…. To this end we have changed our usual appointment times to 20 minutes. Our reception staff will endeavour to allocate more time if you feel your issues are complex. Of course quality care takes time and is costly, so don’t be surprised if you are billed for a long /complex consultation when this is appropriate. Medicare rebates are greater for longer consultations but do not reflect the cost of providing a quality facility, employing skilled staff and all the additional costs of running a practice.

If we are running very late the reception staff will try to ring you to minimise your wait time in the clinic.

COVID and Shingles immunisation

We continue to offer Covid immunisation . Thankfully almost everyone has had two doses in the region .. well done!

A third dose is now ( January 2022) recommended for everyone 4 months after your second dose. This will be a pfizer or moderna dose even if you had AZ the first two. If you are immunocompromised ATAGI recommend having your third dose any time after two months ..and a fourth dose 3 months after that .

Shingrix is an effective immunisation against shingles, newly available in Australia ( though used for quite a while in the USA) and is recommended for anyone over 50 years. It is not funded my medicare so is a private prescription and requires two doses. Talk to your doctor if you are interested .

If you are over 70, Zostavax also for shingles reduction is still available for free however is not as effective vaccine and can not be given to immunosuppressed people.

COVID IMMUNISATION

PMC has the capacity to immunise for COVID 19, fully funded by the government . We have both AZ and Pfizer brands in the numbers allocated by the federal government. We strictly follow the health department eligibility rules. Please check your eligibility on https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility?lang=en

As of August 9 , AZ is available for all those over 60. Anyone between 40 and 59 can have Pfizer at present. Those in high risk occupations or medical conditions can have Pfizer from the age of 12 .

Any adult can discuss having an AZ vaccine , but be aware of the rare clotting issue that has been well publicised, it occurs more commonly in younger people.

Phone our clinic for an appointment if you think your are eligible.

We also recommend influenza immunisation , these are available for free ( government funded) for those over 65, under 5 or with serious medical conditions and cost $16 for others.

COVID IMMUNISATION

PMC is pleased to say we are able to immunise our patients . As of May 2021 we will be getting 150 doses per week of the AZ vaccine. This is recommended for those over 50 years of age. You need two doses ideally 12 weeks apart. Please call for an appointment .

There is a small risk of serious immune related blood clots which occurs at a higher rate , perhaps 1 in 50,000 in young people, but 1 in 250,000 in those over 50 .

For those under 50 years the AZ vaccine can still be given if you have a high risk situation (associated with your work or travel) , however government advice is to wait till an alternate vaccine is available later in the year.

Flu vaccine is also available it is given at least 2 weeks away from the Covid vaccine. It is free to those under 5 or over 65 or with health conditions. Our private fluvax costs $16 .

Nurse Practitioner

PMC is excited to announce a new member of our team. Jodie Cameron will start early February 2021 working 3 days as a week as a nurse practitioner. Jodie has been performing this role at the local hospitals but has decided to make the move to private clinic.. great for us!

Nurse Practitioners have additional qualifications allowing them to diagnose and treat a range of acute and chronic conditions. Jodie can prescribe medications and order X-rays/Ultrasounds within her scope of practice. There is a medicare rebate for her consultations. In some situations a second opinion from a doctor will be needed and medicare funds this also.

Leaving

It is with sadness we announce that Dr Boyd and Dr Wong will be leaving the area for family reasons. Heading back to the big city. Their last consulting will be January 15th 2021. We are endeavoring to find replacement GP’s and we will try and keep appointments for our long term patients. However you may find wait times for appointments more of a problem than usual. We also plan to use our wonderful nurses to continue to assist the remaining GP’s .

At the front desk we are soon losing Nicole to her own family business venture … and Donna to semi retirement … so changes aplenty at PMC.

We will miss them all.

COVID 19

As all Australians face the challenges of the Covid 19 pandemic we have instituted changes in our practice.

It is important to continue to consult with a GP for any new medical problems and monitor your regular conditions. Everyone should also consider influenza and other preventive vaccines.

We are maintaining social distancing, hand hygiene and minimising everyone’s risk. You will be asked to stay in the car to reduce time in the clinic. Many consultations can be done by telehealth or video link please discuss with the receptionist.

If you have mild viral symptoms there is little benefit to coming to a General Practice. There is no specific therapy for viral infections. If you are significantly unwell ( eg short of breath, high fever, dehydrated ) go to the hospital. If you think you need testing for Covid 19 ring 1800 318248 and then go to the testing clinic at South East Regional Hospital or Pambula Hospital . If you are not sure what to do please stay at home, call health direct 1800 022 222 or phone here for a telephone consultation.