Author: benhenz

Women’s Health Doctors in Alexandra Hills

If you are looking for a GP who is highly skilled in women’s health, there are 3 amazing Women’s Health Doctors in the Alexandra Hills at SmartClinics Family Medical Clinics who can help you in our discreet and welcoming practice location.

Our female health doctors at SmartClinics Alexandra Hill are very patient and understanding GPs, and will make you feel welcome and comfortable as possible. They are passionate about helping women of all ages, so whether you need to ask questions about contraceptives, family planning, sexual health or something else, you will be in trusted hands.

Book via Alexandra Hills

189 Vienna Road
Alexandra Hills 4161
Ph: (07) 3824 3882
Book Online

Book with our Women’s Health Doctors directly

Dr Eugenia Haller has been working in General Practice for over 12 years and is well know in the Bayside area. She has further extended her medical skills to cater to women’s health, including Implanon and Mirena insertion and removal. She also offers a range of cosmetics treatments. Book Dr Haller here.

Dr Jenny Glover is a very caring, focused and a thorough doctor, who is committed to working with her patients to build strong relationships by making a positive contribution to their health and life. She is not only passionate about women’s health, but is also highly skilled in pediatric medicine and working with teens and young adults. Book Dr Glover here.

Dr. Christine Humphreys is originally from the UK and trained in London. Dr Christine moved to Australia in 2003 where she worked in a variety of NSW and Qld Hospitals. She is known by her patients as a great listener – carefully taking time to understand their concerns and providing ongoing continuity of care. Book Dr Humphreys here.

Below are some of the common services provided by our SmartClinics Alexandra Hill Women’s Health Doctors:

5 common misconceptions about people who have diabetes.

You probably know someone who has diabetes but there are many common myths about this disease, so we want to make sure you have the facts! Here are the top 5 myths about diabetes and those living with the disease… did you believe any were true?

How to check for early signs of bowel cancer?

Checking your poo while in the loo could save your life.

Changes in your toilet habits can be early signs of bowel cancer. Poo checks may not be something that you do on a daily basis- or want to do- but here at SmartClinics we highly recommend you make them a part of your weekly self-care routine. If found early, Bowel cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer which is why we have created an easy-to-follow guide to help you to identify any early signs or symptoms.

How often should I check my poo?

 

Bowel habits are different for each person and can be anywhere between three times a day to three times a week. Only you can know what is normal for you. Given that there is anywhere between 3 and 21 visits to the toilet a week, we suggest you pick one and follow our poo check below. It’s that simple.

What is bowel cancer?

 

Bowel cancer starts in the bowel, affecting any part of the colon or rectum – and without detection can spread to other organs.
Most bowel cancers begin as non-threatening (benign) growths, known as polyps, on the wall or lining of the bowel. Polyps are usually harmless, however they can become cancerous (malignant) if left undetected and can become life-threatening tumours.

Prevention is our No1 priority. Self check + GP check = diagnosis + treatment

How common is bowel cancer?

 

It is Australia’s second deadliest form of cancer. It is very common!
Each week 80 Australians die from bowel cancer, claiming the lives of approximately 5,375 Australians every year.
About 1,400 people diagnosed are under the age of 40.
You are never too young to have bowel cancer, which is why regular self-checks are essential to stay in optimum health.

Is bowel cancer treatable?

 

Yes, early diagnosis and treatment is possible.
If you can identify with what is normal and NOT normal with your bowel movements, you will be able to recognise any unusual signs that can be assessed by your local GP here at SmartClinics.
Only YOU know what is a healthy poo and a normal toilet activity – for YOUR body.

How do I check for bowel cancer?

 

When you think about how long you spend on the toilet every day, an extra two seconds for a poo check should not be an inconvenience. It is a vital part of your self-care routine.

The next time you visit the loo, check for these 4 top toilet troubles..

 

  • Are there any changes in your bowel habits, such as needing to go to the toilet more frequently?
  • Is this combined with looser or more diarrhoea like stools?
  • Is there blood in your poo or sudden rectal bleeding?
  • Is there a change in the appearance of your poo, such as mucus or narrower?

Are any of these symptoms occurring at the same time as:

 

  • Unexplained anaemia causing tiredness, weakness or weight loss
  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Not all of these symptoms indicate bowel cancer, as medications or lifestyle may affect your bodies changing habits.
  • However, if any of the symptoms persist for more than two weeks, you must see your local GP to discuss these changes.

How do you test for bowel cancer?

 

Your GP will discuss with you the best options based on your age, family history, hereditary conditions and personal health.

There are two common tests to diagnose bowel cancer.

  • Screening. From the age of 45 our GP’s can offer an in-home screening test called a Feacal Immunochemical Test (FIT). This involves taking a small sample of poo and sending it to a pathology laboratory. This test checks for blood in your samples. The results given to you by your GP, will determine the next steps.
  • Colonoscopy. In order to take a look inside of your bowel and make a confirmed assessment, a colonoscopy is performed under local anaesthetic at a hospital. It is a short process and involves a thin tube featuring a tiny camera, checking inside your bowel for any polyps or unusual growths.

Our GP will follow up with results and a treatment plan if needed. At Smart Clinics we take care of you during this discreet process and walk you through every step of your testing and treatment journey.

Is it possible to reduce the risk of bowel cancer?

 

Yes. Combining your lifestyle habits with screening and self check-ups can influence the outcome of bowel cancer.

Lifestyle habits you can modify:

 

  • Quit smoking.
  • If you choose to drink alcohol, limit your intake.
  • Avoid a diet of processed meats and moderate your red meat consumption.

Lifestyle habits for optimum health:

 

  • Eat wholegrains and other natural high fibre foods.
  • Ensure daily physical activity is a part of your routine.
  • Take control of your health by taking regular bowel cancer screenings.
  • We know that bowel cancer is treatable if it is discovered early. The good news is that you can start checking today.

At SmartClinics, a GP is available to talk to you about any bowel cancer concerns you may have. Get to KNOW THE SIGNS so that you can self-assess and take control of your health at all times.

Our GP’s are always here to listen and discuss any health concerns you may have.

Click here and make an appointment now.

We know that bowel cancer is treatable if it is discovered early. The good news is that you can start checking today.  At SmartClinics, a GP is available to talk to you about any bowel cancer concerns you may have. Get to KNOW THE SIGNS so that you can self-assess and take control of your health at all times.

Our GP’s are always here to listen and discuss any health concerns you may have. 

Click here and make an appointment now.

 

Mirena and Implanon in Mango Hill and Northlakes

Dr Elizabeth Ayoola has been helping women of all ages in general practice for over 8 years and is passionate about all aspects of family medicine. While Dr Elizabeth sees patients of all ages, she specialises in women’s reproductive health including birth control, including Mirena and Implanon insertion and removal. Dr Elizbeth sees patients at SmartClinics Mango Hill Family Medical Centre located in the Mango Hill Marketplace – find them beside the Chemist Warehouse! Bulk billing is available for many women’s health and general practice services.

Ph: (07) 3177 9520 or Click here to book online

If you are looking for a contraceptive that does not rely on a daily oral pill –  and the added task of remembering to take it – then you may consider an Implanon method or a Mirena.  Both are two different hormone releasing contraceptives, placed in different areas of your body; Implanon is a contraceptive implant and Mirena is hormone releasing contraceptive device.

  • Implanon is a small plastic rod placed under the skin of the upper arm. It contains a progestogen hormone that slowly releases the hormone into the blood stream and can last for three years.
  • Mirena is a t-shaped device that releases the hormone levongestrel locally into your uterus. It can last for up to five years.

Clinic hours this Easter

Our Doctors and staff hope you and your loved ones have a safe and happy Easter break.

If you need medical assistance, the following clinics will be open. In the event of an emergency, please dial 000 immediately.

Annerley, 548 Ipswich Road, Brisbane.

  • Easter Friday: CLOSED
  • Easter Saturday: No General Practitioner Available  (Psychiatrist only from 8:30am-4:30pm)
  • Easter Sunday: 9.30AM -1.30PM
  • Easter Monday: 9:00am-12:40pm
  • BOOK AN APPOINTMENT AT ANNERLEY

Chermside, Westfield Shopping Centre, Gympie Road, Brisbane.

  • Easter Friday: 7:00am – 11:00pm
  • Easter Saturday: 7:00am – 11:00pm
  • Easter Sunday: 7:00am – 11:00pm
  • Easter Monday: 7:00am – 11:00pm
  • BOOK AN APPOINTMENT AT CHERMSIDE

The Gap, 976 Waterworks Road, Brisbane

  • Easter Friday: Open 9:00 to midday then 5:00pm to 6:00pm
  • Easter Saturday 8.30am to 12:00pm
  • Easter Sunday: Open from 9:00am to midday then 5:00pm to 6:00pm
  • Easter Monday: Open from 9:00am to midday then 5:00pm to 6:00pm
  • BOOK AN APPOINTMENT AT THE GAP

All other clinics will be closed from Easter Friday to Easter Monday and reopen for Business on Tuesday, 18th April as per normal. 

 

A warm welcome to Walton Bridge Medical Centre

Walton Bridge Medical Centre is now called SmartClinics

Walton Bridge Medical Centres have been serving the people of The Gap, Ashgrove, Ferny Grove, Ferny Hills and the surrounding suburbs for the last 50 years. We would like to officially welcome the team from Walton Bridge Medical Centres to the SmartClinics Group. Each of the three Walton Bridge Medical Centres will henceforth be known as SmartClinics.

You can find out more information and book appointments at each of these clinics by clicking below:

Existing doctors are continuing under the SmartClinics banner, though unfortunately Dr Matt Cadman has left the group four months ago owing to a health problem. Our nursing, reception and administration staff are here to stay and will shortly be proudly wearing their new SmartClinics uniforms. Each of the three Walton Bridge clinics will soon also undergo a rebrand to include new SmartClinics signage and a refurbishment. Our hours of operation continue unchanged, with services available every day of the year.

Our founding partners, Dr Stuart Johnston and Dr Brian Cole have been formally declared ‘icons of The Gap’ and, to this day, maintain a close personal interest in the Family Practice they established. Walton Bridge Medical Centre Doctors and staff have a reputation for excellence in the provision of the highest quality health care and in personalised service to its patients. As a new member of the SmartClinics team we seek to preserve and build on this reputation.

Exciting move for Parkwood Medical Centre

The trusted medical team at Parkwood Medical Centre are set to become the newest members of SmartClinics’ family with the entire team joining our Arundel clinic on Tuesday 25th October 2016. Parkwood Doctors, Dr Sukhbir Patheja and Dr Stewart McQuade as well as the clinic’s reception and nursing teams have decided to take the opportunity to join SmartClinics knowing that the move will bring many wonderful benefits for their patients.

SmartClinics Arundel, which is located on 232 Napper Road near Arundel Plaza, is currently undergoing an extensive clinic refurbishment to increase patients’ comfort. The clinic will soon boast a colourful kids play area, an extended and modernised waiting room and a freshly renovated treatment room. Parkwood patients will also be able to book their GP appointments online at any time of day or night via the SmartClinics website: www.smartclinics.com.au. There is ample parking at the clinic with easy clinic access for wheelchairs and prams.

Great healthcare begins with great Doctors, and we are delighted that Doctors Sukh Patheja and Stewart McQuade will join Dr Milivoje Tomasevic, Dr Ashok Chotai and Dr Sharon Arellano to further add to the highly experienced medical expertise on offer. The move is great news for Parkwood Medical Centre and SmartClinics’ patients alike who will now benefit from additional Doctor availabilities and specialisations. Parkwood doctors surgery (180 Napper Road) will continue to take patients bookings until Friday 21st. For bookings with Doctors from Parkwood Medical Centre Gold Coast after 21st October please call SmartClinics Arundel on 5574 5144 or book online: www.smartclinics.com.au.

In the meantime feel free to pop into SmartClinics Arundel when you are next in need of medical care or just to say hi and check out how our refurbishment is coming along. New and ‘old’ patients from the local area are always welcome at our clinic.

Important announcement for Parkwood patients

As a previous patient at Parkwood Medical Centre, Dr Sukhbir Patheja and Dr Stewart McQuade would like to inform you that they are relocating to SmartClinics Family Medical Centre Arundel.  They welcome you to join them at this new clinic which is located at 232 Napper Rd (near Arundel Plaza). The clinic has ample parking and has recently undergone an extensive makeover to increase your comfort levels at your GP appointments.

For all future bookings with Dr Patheja and Dr McQuade please call SmartClinics Arundel on (07) 5574 5144  

So that we can keep you updated with important news and health announcements, we ask that you please update your details below.

Toowong Medical Centre joins SmartClinics

We’re proud to say that Toowong Medical Centre has recently joined SmartClinics and each of the six Toowong Doctors will remain seeing patients at the practice. Toowong Medical Centre has been a leading medical practice in the western suburbs of Brisbane since 1937. For the past 80 years, the staff have been providing outstanding medical services to the local community under the capable leadership of the Feros Family.

Each of the Toowong Doctors has been working at Toowong Medical Centre for a number of years and has built a loyal patient following due to their caring and thorough approach to patient care. Our Toowong Doctors offer a wide range of different medical services from travel and flu vaccinations, to sexual health, mental health and chronic disease management. Regardless of your age or medical requirements, we’re confident that our ‘new’ team at SmartClinics Toowong will be able to help you and your family with your individual health needs.

On behalf of the staff and patients at the Toowong Clinic we thank previous Practice Manager and owner, Judy Feros, for her dedication, care and passion to providing patients with high quality healthcare over the years. From everyone at SmartClinics, we wish Judy the very best in her retirement from Practice Management and look forward to seeing her at the clinic again soon, this time as a patient.

As a ‘new’ SmartClinics Family Medical Centre, the Toowong Doctor’s clinic will undergo an exciting transformation including new clinic signage and staff uniforms. There will also be some upgrades to more streamlines programs and practices that will help reduce patient wait time and make booking appointments more convenient. Stay tuned for more exciting updates…

SmartClinics now under construction in Northlakes 

SmartClinics newest Family Medical Centre is on track to open its doors this August.

Our Mango Hill and Northlakes Doctors will be working from a brand new custom designed clinic in Mango Hill Marketplace – right beside Good Price Pharmacy. Our highly experienced General Practitioners are committed to providing you with personalised healthcare and offer comprehensive health services for your whole family.

If you are searching for modern, comfortable family medical centres Northlakes and Mango Hill, try SmartClinics. We offer high quality healthcare for the whole family in beautifully designed spaces that will make you feel right at home. Here is what you will discover:

  • Modern, spacious waiting areas with comfortable fresh furnishings
  • Vibrant kids play area with clean toys and iPad
  • Five Doctor’s consult rooms offering privacy
  • Two-bed treatment room boasting state of the art medical equipment
  • QML
  • Adjoining Chemist (Good Price Pharmacy)
  • Ample Car parking right in front of the clinic
  • Convenient shopping nearby – Coles and many other great stores in Mango Hill Marketplace.

If you’d like to be one of the very first patients in Mango Hill, Northlakes or surrounding areas to experience the SmartClinics difference, please call our clinic in August on (07) 3177 9520 or check back soon to book online.

Need more shut-eye? You may have a sleeping disorder.

Everyone has a restless night from time to time, and there are a number of reasons why this may occur. Perhaps you’ve consumed the ‘wrong’ food or drinks before bed, maybe you’re managing a big project and your mind is working overtime, or your bed is just not that comfy.

Or perhaps there’s something more serious going on.

Sleeping disorders affect around 6% of the adult population, and often go undiagnosed or treated as we brush the problem under the carpet and try to get on with our busy lives. Sleep deprivation can have significant long-term health consequences – it’s important to nip it in the bud now so you can rest well!

So how do you know if you may be suffering from a sleeping disorder and what can you do about it?

Here are 5 signs that you may have a sleeping disorder:
1. You regularly feel ‘groggy’ or extremely tired throughout the day
2. You’ve had problems getting to sleep, or staying asleep, for more than 1 month
3. You feel really tired at unusual times in the middle of the day, like whilst driving or reading
4. You suffer from other conditions, like anxiety, depression or chronic pain as they may lead to, or result from a sleeping disorder
5. You suffer from night terrors or nightmares, snore or sleep talk/walk.

If you answered yes to any of the above, what should you do?

Change your habits and environment
Are you exercising enough? Is there too much light flowing into your room? Does your kitty cat sleep on your bed (or head) each night? Aim for relaxing activities before bedtime, like a warm bath and listening to slow music. A few basic changes in your daily routine or home environment can often help you get more Z’s.

Take sleeping pills
Sleeping tablets are not always the best approach and are also not a long-term solution. While sleeping medication may assist in getting you to sleep, it can also make you drowsy the next day and sometimes your quality of sleep suffers. Talk to your Chemist, and only use low dosages for short periods of time to see if your sleeping pattern can get back to normal.

Keep a sleep diary
Monitoring the times or day/night that you are having problems sleeping and the circumstances around them will help identify any common patterns. Note the times you wake, your activities before bedtime and any other environmental factors. For instance, you may find that eating a late dinner will often result in you waking up an hour or two after falling asleep. Certain food types may trigger this and can then be avoided. The diary will also help your doctor in determining the best treatment plan forward.

See your GP
A common cause of sleeping problems is stress – this can be related to work, finances, relationships, health, career or a combination of many things. Your Doctor can help you minimise your stress levels, however, there are also medical conditions that cause sleeping problems – these are neurological conditions that require treatment. Your GP can help determine if you may suffer from any of these conditions and may also refer you to a sleep specialist or sleep clinic for diagnosis and treatment.

COMMON SLEEP DISORDERS

Insomnia
• A common sleep disorder affecting approximately 3% of adults, characterised by poor sleep quality due to difficulties falling asleep, returning to sleep and staying asleep.
• Can be acute (sleep loss over a short period of time) or chronic (sleep loss for at least 3 nights per week for more than 1 month).
• May lead to depression, lack of energy, forgetfulness, troubles concentrating, mood and behavioural changes and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Sleep Apnea
• Also quite common, sleep apnea is caused by breathing problems during sleep, which then forces your brain to wake you from your slumber
• Breathing can be completely or partially blocked, which in turn causes snoring, choking or gasping
• Approximately 4% of Australian adults suffer from sleep apnea but many do not realise, and will continue to feel tired regularly without diagnosis or treatment

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
• A neurological disorder that triggers an overwhelming need to move your leg (or other body part) while resting, hence disrupting sleep
• Affects around 1.2% of adults to differing degrees
• Can result in sleep deprivation, excessive daytime sleepiness, cognitive impairment and depression.

Nacolepsy
• A neurological disorder that affects your brain’s ability to control its sleeping/waking cycle
• Affects approximately 0.05% of the Australian adult population
• Often results in sudden excessive daytime sleepiness, which can last for several seconds or minutes, even if you’ve had plenty of sleep the night before
• May cause hallucinations or sleep paralysis (the sensation of waking up yet not being able to speak or move your body).

In some instances, non-pharmacologial treatments such as cognitive therapy or relaxation techniques can be used to address sleeping disorders. Other times, medications are also recommended to aid sleep however such drugs are often avoided by Medical Practitioners due to concerns with drug dependency and tolerance.

If you are concerned that you may have a sleeping disorder or have had problems sleeping for more than 1 month, talk to your Doctor today. You could feel more energetic, happier and healthier on a daily basis!

Statistics and research above is in reference to reports by Access Economics for Sleep Health Foundation “Re-awakening Australia – The economic cost of sleep disorders in Australia, 2010” and “Wake up Australia – the value of healthy sleep”.

 

Up close with Dr Scott Horsburgh, SmartClinics GP Partner

Q: What was your first job?

Scott: I worked at Sizzler as a dishboy

Q:  Is Cheese Toast one of your favourite foods?

Scott: It is pretty good. I am always happy with a simple toasted sandwich, but also love anything spicy

Q: So then Sizzler is not your favourite restaurant?

Scott: No, at the moment it’s Madam Wu’s in Brisbane City, amazing food, great service and a view to die for

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a Doctor?

Scott: After working as a Registered Nurse at The Royal Brisbane Hospital. I find it very rewarding helping people with their problems, no matter how big or small. It is always nice to cure people of their illness. 

Q: What excites you most about the future of healthcare?

Scott: I think the future of IT and how it relates to patient care will be interesting and fascinating to be a part of. I think it will allow us to better monitor our patients and it will allow us to be more easily accessible to them as well. 

Q: You recently joined SmartClinics as a GP partner.  How have things changed for you since becoming part of the Group?

Scott: SmartClinics let’s you still be a GP, you can practice how you want to practice with no interference from any managers. They allow you to concentrate on doing what we do well which is clinical medicine. If you want to you can also be involved in running the practice which gives you great insight into the business of medicine as well. 

Q: What would you say to someone considering SmartClinics?

Scott: Have a chat to one of the GP partners, let us tell you the benefits of being with the organisation. 

Q: What are you passionate about outside of work?

Scott: I am a political tragic, a terrible cyclist, passionate about the Qld Reds and of course my Family 

Q: If you gave up medicine today what would you do?

Scott: Travel, but probably Politics

Q: Where is your favourite place to visit?

Scott: Noosa, although New York was pretty cool too. 

Q: If you were Prime Minister, what would you change?

Scott: The Head of State.

 

If you’d like to learn more about working with SmartClinics, please contact SmartClinics CEO Steven Dahl or submit your application online via our careers portal.

 

Supporting the development of nursing students

We’re proud to have received excellent feedback from the University Industry Placement Officer who advised our students have found the placements very beneficial to their studies.

As a result of doing their nursing placement with SmartClinics, Donna (Chermside) and Christina (Taigum) are now employed in RN positions. Congratulations Donna and Christina on your graduation and on securing employment as a RN with SmartClinics!

It’s great to see that all the hard work and training has paid off.

Over the last few years, Monique has been training to become an RN whilst working casual reception shifts at SmartClinics Chermside. Monique was able to do her nursing placement at our Ascot clinic where she will look to be employed as an RN once her full registration is complete.

At SmartClinics Carseldine, Grace recently joined the reception team to gain more medical knowledge to assist her nursing career. Grace has since received an award for Academic Excellence for 1st year Nursing students.

Pictured: Monique, SmartClinics Ascot

SmartClinics set to open in Mango Hill 

SmartClinics Family Medical Centres will soon be seeing patients in Mango Hill and Northlakes with a brand new custom-designed clinic that is sure to impress. SmartClinics Medical Centre Mango Hill will be located beside Good Price Pharmacy in Mango Hill Marketplace. There is ample parking right in front of the clinic. Our Mango Hill doctors will initially be seeing patients Monday to Friday with the view to open over the weekend.

SmartClinics Mango Hill GP services will include:

  • Family medicine (general practice)
  • Women’s health
  • Child and adolescent health
  • Mens health
  • Diabetes assessment and care
  • Skin cancer checks and treatment
  • Minor surgical procedures
  • Immunisations
  • Sexual counselling
  • Family counselling
  • Asthma assessment and management
  • Pre-employment medicals
  • Travel medicine

If you want to find Mango Hill Doctors who are experienced and thorough, you can place your trust in a SmartClinics GP. SmartClinics Mango Hill medical services will be available in late 2016. Stay tuned for more updates on the launch of our newest family medical centre – SmartClinics Mango Hill medical clinic.

Free vaccination recommended for ALL pregnant women

In order to provide maximum protection to every infant, it is recommended by the Queensland Government Department of Health that every pregnant woman in their third trimester of pregnancy be vaccinated against Whooping Cough.  Many women are not aware that they should be vaccinated with every pregnancy.

SmartClinics Family Medical Centres are offering the vaccination free of charge to all pregnant women, in line with recommendation from the Queensland Government. Please contact your local SmartClinics Family Medical Centre to book your appointment, or for more information please click here.

 

 

 

Hilarious Doctor Jokes!

What did one tonsil say to the other tonsil?

Get dressed up, the doctor is taking us out!


Why did the cookie go to the hospital?

He was feeling really crumbie!

Why did the banana go to the doctor?

Because it wasn’t peeling well.

Why did the pillow go to the doctor?

He was feeling all stuffed up!

Why did the doctor lose his temper?

Because he didn’t have any patients!

Where does a boat go when it’s sick?

To the dock!
Doctor, Doctor, sometimes I feel like I’m invisible.

Doctor: Who said that?

Doctor, Doctor,I keep thinking I’m a vampire.

Necks, please!

Doctor, Doctor, I’ve got wind!

Can you give me something? Yes – here’s a kite!

Doctor, Doctor, everyone keeps throwing me in the garbage.

Don’t talk rubbish!

Doctor, Doctor, I swallowed a bone.

Are you choking?

No, I really did!

Doctor, Doctor, I keep seeing an insect spinning around.

Don’t worry, it’s just a bug that’s going around!

Doctor, Doctor, my baby’s swallowed a bullet.

Well, don’t point him at anyone until I get there!

Doctor, Doctor, I feel like a pack of cards.

I’ll deal with you later.

Planning an end of year holiday?

MANDY, REGISTERED NURSE (ALEXANDRA HILLS)

Planning an overseas holiday is exciting! It’s important that you are well prepared before you go to keep your travels safe and healthy.
Regardless of your age or travel destination, it’s a good idea to pack a medical kit in your luggage for yourself and any children travelling with you including medications or prescriptions. This may include pain relief medicine (e.g. paracetamol), antihistamines, tablets for motion sickness, antiseptic for wounds, bandages or patches, safety pins, scissors and tweezers. If you’ll be outdoors, don’t forget to pack sunscreen and a hat.
If you’re heading overseas…
Sometimes you will be legally required to have certain vaccinations, such as yellow fever, so ask your doctor for advice. It’s best to see your Doctor six to eight weeks before you go, but if you are travelling at short notice you can still have some vaccinations.

Our medical staff will be able to advise which vaccines are suitable for you depending on:

  • Your medical history and age
  • Your destination and likely accommodation
  • The season in which you are travelling
  • The length of stay
  • The type of travel, for example, bus tour or backpacking.

Don’t forget to organise travel insurance that includes cover in case you need to be evacuated to a suitable hospital.

Travel vaccinations are available at all ten SmartClinics locations in Brisbane, although our clinics located at West End, Annerley, Alexandra Hills, Taigum and Windsor specialise in this area. Talk to your local reception team for more information.

Moley, moley, moley!

Author: DR SCOTT HORSBURGH, ANNERLEY

Do you have moles and freckles?
Most of us do.

They usually appear during childhood or in our teen years. The more you have, the higher your risk of skin cancer.

It’s a common misconception that only ‘old’ people are at risk of skin cancer. In fact melanoma is actually the most commonly diagnosed cancer in 15- 34 year olds in Queensland. What’s more, one in two Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer during their lifetime! Yikes!

Luckily, if detected early, 95% of all skin cancers can be cured.

Regardless of your skin type, all skin can be damaged by too much radiation so it’s important to know your skin and check it regularly. Remember to check your whole body including scalp, ears and feet.

Here’s what to look for in your spots or moles:

  • Has it increased in size or become raised?
  • Has it changed in colour?
  • Is the surface rough or scaly?
  • Does it itch, bleed or tingle?

If you notice changes like these above, it doesn’t mean you have skin cancer, but it is important to see a SmartClinics Doctor for further investigation. Any moles found to be suspicious or changing in appearance will need to be removed. The sooner a skin cancer is identified, the higher your chances of avoiding surgery, illness or even death.

While many SmartClinics GP’s can perform this investigation, the following Doctors have additional qualifications, skills and experience in the diagnosis and management of skin cancer:

  • Dr Scott Horsburgh (Annerley)
  • Dr Peter Baker (Chermside)
  • Dr Innes Campbell (Windsor)
  • Dr Ian Mannion (West End)
  • Dr Frank Occhino (Corinda)

Book your skin check at your local clinic or visit www.smartclinics.com.au for a list of all clinic details.

Don’t forget to be sun smart by sitting in the shade, wearing a hat and clothes with sleeves and a collar. Also avoid the sun between 10am and 3pm. Please don’t roast yourself this summer!

Australia’s biggest health challenge

Our country’s ageing population and our changing lifestyle has led to chronic disease becoming so common, that it is now Australia’s biggest health challenge. Chronic diseases are the leading cause of illness, disability and death in Australia*, which in turn has major impacts on health and welfare services.

Unfortunately, most of us know someone who has been diagnosed with chronic disease, such as diabetes, cancers, respiratory diseases, heart conditions and musculoskeletal diseases, like arthritis.

The cost is large.

So what’s caused this health epidemic, and what can you do to avoid it?
Changes in diet and nutrition, weight and physical inactivity, smoking and harmful use of alcohol are all contributing factors that have increased the occurrence of chronic diseases. You can help reduce the effects of chronic disease on Australia simply by taking better care of yourself, and by getting the recommended check ups.

The answer is prevention… which is why some SmartClinics Doctors are offering FREE health check ups for patients in their mid-late 40’s.

It’s better to avoid disease than to treat it, right?

As the risk of developing serious health issues increases considerably with age, there’s a special health assessment available for patients in their mid-late 40’s, which can delay, or even avoid, the onset of many diseases.

All SmartClinics centres are providing this health check up for no out- of-pocket costs. The health check incorporates an overall assessment of your health, lifestyle and diet plus any necessary physical investigations and examinations. Your doctor will then offer expert advice and information to help you live a longer, happier life.

Book your health check today by calling your local clinic or book online at www.smartclinics.com.au. Alternatively, if your parents or family members fall into this age category, talk to them about having the test. It’s available at all SmartClinics Medical Centres now!

*Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014 Australia’s Health 2014

Is it safe for pregnant women to have an occasional drink?

As a GP with a special interest in women’s and children’s health, I’m often asked whether light drinking during pregnancy affects the baby’s health. There are a number of things that affect the blood alcohol levels in pregnant women. For instance, how much food they’ve eaten,  their metabolism and weight are all important factors that affect how quickly women eliminate alcohol from their bloodstream, which may explain why babies born to different women who drink similar amounts of alcohol may be affected differently.

Nonetheless, both heavy and light drinking is proven to directly affect the foetus. Consuming four or more drinks at any one time is linked with foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Children with FASD may have significant lifelong disabilities including characteristic facial abnormalities, growth deficiencies, learning disabilities, low IQ, language delays, and behavioural problems.

Less heavy drinking (more than two drinks a day) is linked with alcohol-related birth defects. Furthermore, alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of stillbirth, miscarriage, or having a baby with a low birth weight.

While frequent and binge drinking of alcohol during pregnancy can have serious life complications for the foetus, the evidence is more ambiguous when it comes to very light drinking. Some experts believe that an occasional drink in the second or third trimester, even so much as one drink per day is fine; while others look at the evidence and assert that no amount of alcohol is safe.

Personally (and as a mother of one happy, healthy chubba bubba), I recommend women avoid all alcohol in pregnancy. In my opinion, drinking during pregnancy for relaxation or enjoyment does not outweigh the potential risks to your baby. Ultimately, the decision is yours. Just ensure you know the risks and drink as little as possible.

If you think you may have an alcohol problem, talk to your GP about getting some help or go to www.aa.org.au for Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and services in your area.

Dr Jacqui Kelly MBBS, FRACGP