How long is a standard consultation?
A standard consultation is 15 minutes. This is generally enough time for you to discuss one main issue with your GP. If you believe you will need a long appointment, please notify the receptionist when making your booking. If the doctor has asked you to make an appointment for a procedure, they will usually indicate how much time you will need.
What if I need to cancel or reschedule my appointment?
We understand that you may need to cancel or reschedule your appointment in certain situations. Please let us know as soon as possible so that we can give your appointment to another patient. Patients who continuously fail to attend their booked appointments may find it difficult to book appointments in the future.
Are you a walk-in practice?
All appointments require a pre-made booking. If you happen to find yourself in a walk-in situation, we will try to accomodate you and have you seen by a doctor as soon as possible (fees may apply). In some circumstances, if your issue is not urgent and all doctors are busy, we may ask you to come back at a more suitable time.
Do I need an appointment to get a prescription/referral/certificate?
Most prescriptions usually last 6 months, so when you need a new prescription, you must make an appointment to see your GP. This is to allow your GP to see if anything has changed in the past 6 months and conduct any necessary checks before continuing. It is important to arrange an appointment to get a new prescription once you fill the last repeat. This is to ensure that you do not run out of your medication.
It is required by Medicare that you have a referral letter from your GP to see a specialist. Referrals cannot be backdated, so it is important to ensure that you have arranged an appointment with your GP before your specialist appointment so that your referral letter contains all relevant information.
A medical certificate shows that the doctor has assessed your health and have decided that you are fit/unfit. Therefore, to receive a certificate, you need to see your doctor.
What are your fees and how can I pay?
Each doctor sets their own fees for consultations and procedures, which are subject to change from time to time. It is important to ensure that you see a receptionist at the end of your consultation in case there are any fees. Reception staff can provide you with the current fees for your doctor.
If an out-of-pocket fee is involved, we ask that you pay the fee at the time of your consultation.
We accept cheque, cash, credit card or EFTPOS. If your bank details have already been registered with Medicare, when your receipt is processed here, the details can be sent to Medicare and Medicare can credit your rebate back onto your card into either a cheque or savings account within a few seconds. Alternatively, we can print you a receipt and you can visit a Medicare office and claim your rebate there.
Are there any situations where I may be bulk billed?
The majority of our doctors will bulk-bill consultations, but please check with the reception staff if you are unsure.
Generally, patients that are not regular will be billed privately.
Why is the doctor running late?
We try our best to keep to time, however, urgent and unexpectedly ill patients can, and do, cause delay. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.
Can I get my test results over the phone?
Unless it has been previously arranged with your GP, we do not give out test result over the phone. The reception staff are able to advise you whether or not your doctor would like to see you for a 'non-urgent' appointment if they need to discuss your results. Your doctor will contact you directly if the results require 'urgent' attention.
Can I get the results of a family member's tests?
We are unable disclose any information about a patient, even to family members, without their prior consent due to privacy laws.
Can I speak to my doctor over the phone?
Unfortunately, ours doctors do not take calls from patients. You are able to leave a message with the receptionist, which they will then pass along to the doctor to be dealt with. Many things are best discussed in person, especially since an examination may be required in order to fix the problem.
If it is urgent, please let staff know the nature of the urgency so that it can be dealt with appropriately.
Do the doctors make home visits?
Unless it has been arranged between the doctor and you, generally our doctors do not do home visits.
Can I get a copy of my medical records?
Unfortunately not. Your medical records belong to us, therefore, we have no obligation to provide them to you at your request.
If you would like your medical records to be forwarded to either a specialist or another medical centre, you need to arrange for a 'medical records request' form to be faxed to us from them. We can then forward your medical records directly to the appropriate addressee.
Please note that fees may be involved. If you are unsure, please check with reception.
What can I do if I have a complaint or suggestion?
We are open to all suggestions. If you have suggestions, you are able to discuss them with any staff member.
If you would like to make a complaint, you are able to contact the Practice Manager - Jodie Thomson
Should the matter not be resolved to your satisfaction after bringing it to our attention you may wish to contact the the Health Care Complaints Commission at:
Locked Mail Bag 18 Strawberry Hills, NSW, 2012 Phone (02) 9921-9744
How do I contact the doctors after hours?
HOUSE CALL DOCTOR: 13 55 66
If you call the practice after hours, you will hear a pre-recorded message providing the number for House Call Doctor. If the matter is urgent, you should present to the Townsville Hospital Emergency Department, or call 000 and ask for an Ambulance.
Will you remind me when I am due for a pap smear, vaccination etc.?
We have an electronic reminder system available for ongoing health checks/preventative activities. Please discuss with your GP.