All posts by Wendy Bons

2021 Influenza Vaccine

Bookings can be made via our reception team for your 2021 Flu Vaccine. Please call 9751 2333.

Please note that a 2-week separation is required between Flu or any COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

Covid-19 Vaccinations

The Hills Medical is very pleased and proud to be able to be one of the General Practices to offer the Covid-19 vaccine. We will commence our vaccination program on Monday 12th April 2021 for 1b cohort of patients.

You need to check your eligibility on https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility?lang=en

For information on preparing for the vaccine click here.  Booking your vaccination appointment implies that you are prepared to consent to vaccination.  If you have any questions or undecided about whether to have it, please book an appointment with your GP to discuss any issues prior to booking a Covid vaccine.

Appointments for the vaccine can be made by calling our reception team on 9751 2333.  Please download the consent form here.  It is important that you be on time for your appointment.  Vaccine protocol requires you to wait in our waiting room for at least fifteen minutes after administration of the vaccine.

All vaccines given will be recorded on the Australian Immunisation Registry.

We will continue to provide you with any evolving information on our website.

Further information can be obtained from the links/topics listed below

Telehealth Consultations from 1st October 2020

TELEHEALTH CONSULTATION FEES AS AT 1ST OCTOBER 2020

INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS

We have been compelled to bulkbill as per Legislation from 6th April to 30 April 2020 for Telehealth consultations.  Essentially, you have been receiving ‘free’ healthcare by Telehealth for the last six months.

As a service, The Hills Medical has fought to remain an open service for all including seeing patients face to face when needed. This has not been without significant sweat, time and cost.

Many patients have been delaying the need to see their doctor since February/March and potentially compromising their own health needs.  Doctors may be missing, unable to prevent and treat serious conditions.

With numbers now declining again, with our finely tuned rigorous structures and triaging in place (to keep you and our staff safe), it is now time to see you in person, face to face, and meet your health needs.

If you choose to still have the Telehealth service there will be an out of pocket fee of $20 which is payable at the end of your consultation with your doctor.  For accounts paid at the time of consultation we can then process your rebate immediately from Medicare.  

It is at your doctor’s discretion if fees are applicable to you for Telehealth consultations.

Thank you for your continued support of our Practice.

Doctors and Staff of The Hills Medical

Coronavirus

Health Alert

We are still open with restrictions to protect you, the patient.

If you are attending the practice for a face to face consultation, on arrival please wait in your car and ring reception on 9751 2333. No phone, then approach the front door and ring the doorbell and wait. Someone will be with you as soon as possible. These restrictions also apply to Melbourne Pathology patients.

As with the changes made by the Government of lockdown of all non essential services in Victoria, this does not affect medical centres and we are open with normal trading operating hours.

If you believe you could have been in contact with Coronavirus or returned from overseas travel, DO NOT ENTER THE HILLS MEDICAL BUILDING – PLEASE PHONE RECEPTION 9751-2333

You may also call the Victorian Department of Health dedicated information hotline on 1800 675 398.

Designated COVID-19 screening clinics are at some hospitals. Please refer to the website below.

Website for more information: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/novelcoronavirus

In some instances we are able to do a phone consultation.

Eligibility Criteria for Bulk Billed Telephone consultation:

  • the person has been diagnosed
  • the person meets the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection.
  • the person has been required to isolate themselves
  • the person is considered more susceptible
  • 70+ years old
  • 50+ years old and ATSI
  • Pregnant
  • Parent of a child under 12 months
  • Chronic health conditions / immune compromised

Low risk patients:

If you do not belong to the above categories but have flu like symptoms you are also offered a phone consultation.  The doctor will advise you if you need to be physically present for further examination.

Private Fees Privately charged (no Medicare rebate) telephone consultations services are available for anyone who does not qualify for a Medicare funded service.

If you do not have flu like symptoms and are otherwise well and require just a general appointment, this can be requested as a standard appointment.  You can come into the practice but as we are trying to limit the amount of people in the waiting room you may also wait in your car and advise us by telephone of your arrival. 

We realise that this may be inconvenient to you, but we have implemented these stategies to protect you, our staff and GP’s.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

The Health Department has recommended for all people born since 1966 to have a MMR booster.  Please contact our reception team to book an appointment with our nurse, Sonja to have your free MMR vaccination.

Many confirmed cases of measles have been notified for Victoria year-to-date. These cases may have been infectious whilst attending multiple public areas.

 

Thunderstorm Asthma

Thunderstorm asthma can affect anyone when pollen is distributed via weather events. In Melbourne our most prevalent months for this occurs in Spring, in particular November.  Asthma Australia website has important information for anyone wanting to know more about this kind of event: https://www.asthmaaustralia.org.au/act/about-asthma/resources/onair/2017/feb/thunderstorm-asthma . A review of an asthma management plan is advised prior to or during Spring  with your General Practitioner.

Staying Healthy During a Bushfire

The Dandenong Ranges is one of the most beautiful places in the world. And for a few days each year, our decision to live in this hilly, eucalypt forest environment, in summer, brings with it an obvious risk. A sensible, achievable Personal Bushfire Safety Plan is an important tool in a bushfire emergency.

The CFA’s community education facilitators encourage residents to write out their Personal Bushfire Safety Plans; as your doctors, we agree.

The CFA offers a wealth of information and your local brigade or the CFA website should be your starting point. From a medical perspective, we recommend that on every day of Total Fire Ban, patients should plan to have:

  • medical equipment such asthma pumps, special dressings etc with them or readily available
  • all medications and prescriptions with them. Some pharmacies will keep your prescription repeats on file if requested.

Patients should not underestimate the toll that bushfire conditions can take on the body, both physically and emotionally – prior, during and after the emergency. People will understandably be frightened and angry, and their emotional response can overwhelm
the sensible responses that they otherwise have.

So we encourage our patients to consider their medical needs and physical limitations and incorporate them into their Personal Bushfire Safety Plan. To paraphrase a local brigade captain at a recent community bushfire awareness meeting, ‘the best way to avoid being injured in a bushfire is not to be anywhere near a bushfire: Leave in the morning on any high risk day’.

The Hills Medical has a policy that on Code Red days, our premises will be closed and appointments rescheduled.

A few important points to remember when in any stressful situation on a very hot day:

  • Drink plenty of water — a basic guide of your hydration levels is the colour of your urine.The more coloured it is, the more water you need to drink
  • If you are sweating excessively, drink a sports drink to replace some electrolytes
  • Avoid breathing smoke
  • Do not wear dampened clothes if there is radiant heat from fire or embers; it can cause scalding
  • Wear sensible, non-synthetic clothing that covers arms and legs; sturdy shoes; gloves; eye protection — never fight a fire wearing shorts and thongs
  • Make all the preparations necessary beforehand to enact your personal Bushfire Safety Plan so that you aren’t making last minute, possibly dangerous decisions.