Updates: Flu Vaccines, Nurse Appointments, Appointment Time, Leave, Driving Certificates, Telehealth
Flu jabs are with us, as many of you know!
Please remember that you need to book with the Nurse, and have a 'double booked' or 'yellow flag' (extra) appointment with Dr Steve at the same time- not necessarily a normal appointment if it is just to 'ok' the flu vaccine. If you need a proper appointment with Dr Steve, then you can't just be double-booked with another patient, unless just for something simple, eg. a non-authority script.
Dr Steve can himself give you a flu jab, but the norm is to see the Nurse for that, where possible. Remember time is an issue
We have flu vaccines for those of all ages, 6 months plus, but please note that there are strict restrictions on who can get a flu vaccine, which we must adhere to. Anyone else needs to get their vaccine bought from the chemist with a private script from Dr Steve, or they can arrange for their chemist to administer it, for a slightly higher cost, by arrangement. Those eligible for a free vaccine given by us include...
2021 seasonal influenza vaccines
Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for people aged 6 months and over.
Influenza vaccines are provided free through the National Immunisation Program to the following groups who have an increased risk of complications from influenza:
pregnant women (at any stage of pregnancy)
people aged 65 years and over
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
children aged 6 months to less than 5 years
people aged 6 months & over with medical conditions putting them at increased risk of severe influenza and complications, including:
chronic respiratory conditions (not most people with asthma, please note)
chronic neurological conditions
diabetes and other metabolic disorders (not hypothyroidism, please note)
children aged 6 months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.
Almost every appointment that you have with the Nurse requires Dr Steve to see you, even if only very briefly. This is for Medicare claiming and medicolegal reasons. I still get patients asking "Do I need to see you too?" - that is the norm, and not having to see me or have me present for the Nurse appointment is rare.
Please note that the Nurses have leave coming up, and this will mean that there is a dearth of nursing time available. Get in early for those nursing or other appointments! We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.
APPOINTMENT TIMES and NEW PATIENTS
A normal appointment is usually up to 12 minutes. A long appointment is usually up to 23 minutes. We use 15 minute gaps on the booking system to allow some slack, but bulk-billing patients generally will need to pay a gap fee if wanting a 30 minutes or longer appointment, except for health assessments, or where requested by Dr Steve directly. Many of you will understand that where time and complexity allow and require it, I often let an appointment booked as normal extend for over 20 minutes, but this can not be guaranteed- please be understanding if there are multiple issues in one appointment, you may need a 2nd appointment.
I am no longer accepting any new bulk-billing patients under Medicare, except for babies born to existing patients, and will only consider recently discharged Veterans (after a wait) and private patients depending upon circumstances.
All enquiries to Wayne Osman-ToddHall, please.
I am away Sunday May 9th through Monday May 17th. I am unavailable for all matters during this time. I may choose to do some catch-up work, in my holiday time, but requests for calls, referrals, scripts, etc., will have to wait, or be dealt with by another GP, eg. Morayfield Health Hub.
Remember that if you have a myhealthrecord, then the other GP can access that at your prompting.
I am having surgery Monday May 31st and will be off at least until and including Monday May 14th, but this may be longer, given the complexity of my surgery, and my need for an intensive care bed. Thank you for your understanding. Please see my comments above. If well enough, I may choose to do some catch-up work form home, but this can't be guaranteed.
DRIVING MEDICAL CERTIFICATES
We get calls saying that dr steve "just needs to sign off" a driving medical certificate. This is never true. A certificate requires a complex assessment of one or more conditions, may require certain examinations, reviewing results and specialist letters, etc. Please note that a normal appointment is usually required JUST to do this. Do not, please, just include this in a normal appointment alongside multiple other issues to manage. Please remember that most patients need to get the Part 3 OPTOMETRY section on the back page filled in FIRST, including commercial licensing, 75 years or older licensing, diabetes licensing, and anyone with an eye condition other than reading glasses- including cataract sufferers, having had lens implant surgery.
Please remember to separately complete online or on paper an official DLA Medical Condition Notification form, separate to the dr's medical certificate.
The Government is extending this, but from 1/7/21 Dr Steve will NO LONGER be able to offer longer >12 minutes phone calls, or planning by telephone without a video component. He may be able to still offer these- but only if we can talk by Facetime (iPhones), Facebook Messenger, or other methods of video conferencing. Face to face over the phone/internet consulting is 'telehealth' rather than simply telephoning, and the Government wants to push us down that route. The Government is also mandating a 6 minutes minimum for phone calls and telehealth for a 'normal' fee sppointment, and for matters briefer than that but lasting >2 minutes, a gap fee may be required from Medicare bulk-billed patients to cover this drop in fee, unless there are legitimate other matters that we need to address that meet then the minimum time requirements.