Author: hannah

Telehealth Appointments At SmartClinics

The efficiency and effectiveness of Telehealth Appointments have risen to the forefront of medical practices with the recent need for contact-free medical consultations for both doctors and patients.

At SmartClinics, we’ve found Telehealth Appointments to suit our patient’s busy schedules and still care for your health by ensuring you receive medical advice, certification or referrals as you need.

 

What is a Telehealth Appointment?

A Telehealth appointment offers you the opportunity to discuss your medical concerns with your trusted SmartClinics doctor directly over either a phone or video call and from a location and time most convenient and comfortable for you. 

Just like regular in-clinic consultations, the Telehealth Appointment service gives you the opportunity to speak to a medical professional and seek advice for general health concerns.

When you feel unwell, leaving the comfort of your home to visit the doctor can be inconvenient and overwhelming. SmartClinics offers Telehealth Appointments as an option to assure you can consult with the doctor without risking your health or the health of others.

 

What health issues are suited for a Telehealth Appointment?

A Telehealth Appointment is the right consultation type for you if you are after medical advice for milder issues such as a common cold or flu symptoms, insect bites, a pre-existing condition, discussion of results and referrals, or require a medical certification or prescription refill.

If you are unsure whether a Telehealth appointment is right for your health concerns, your local SmartClinics medical centre will be able to advise whether a remote call or in-clinic consultation will be most helpful for you and your doctor. 

 

What health issues are not for a Telehealth Appointment?

Whilst a Telehealth Appointment feels just like a regular appointment, there are some conditions or concerns that an in-clinic appointment would be better suited for. We recommend booking to see your doctor in person if you are not an existing patient or haven’t been seen at the clinic in the last 12 months, require skin checks or minor procedures, or if you do not currently have access to a smartphone to enable video calls for longer and more complex consultations.

 

How does a Telehealth Appointment work?

Once you book your Telehealth Appointment, your local SmartClinics practice will provide you with the information you need to have a seamless appointment. This will include assuring your practice is using the correct contact details.

At the time of your appointment, your local practice will make contact with you to begin your appointment. Please be available to talk to the doctor in a private setting.

 

What does a Telehealth Appointment cost?

Most often, a Telehealth consultation will cost the same as an in-clinic appointment. This means you can access medical advice and care from home with no additional costs, or the price of commuting to your local clinic. 

However, please contact your local clinic or medical provider to know if a fee may apply. In order to be eligible for a Medicare rebate, the person who has the health problem should be present on the call, e.g. an appointment regarding a child, must have the child present.

 

Talk to your GP Remotely Now

If you believe a Telehealth call is suitable for you and the treatment you require from your next doctor visit, contact your local SmartClinics medical centre to book a Telehealth consultation. Discover if your local practice offers Telehealth Appointments and understand the consultation options available to you from home.

Medical Certificates From Your Doctor

Beyond just providing medical advice and treatments, our doctors can provide you with the documentation to assure you gain appropriate sick leave, carer’s leave or support for illnesses. 

Whether it’s short term illnesses like the flu to more severe cases of chronic illness or mental illness, medical certificates can help you take medical time off for sickness and injury.

 

Experienced absence from work?

A medical certificate is documentation issued by a doctor following their assessment of you and your condition, validating that you have been unfit to work due to illness. When health issues, illnesses or injuries get in the way, a medical certificate can help assure you receive the appropriate time to recover and return to normal.

Following the doctor’s assessment of your condition, if the doctor determines that the illness necessitates absence from work or missing student deadlines, they can provide you with a medical certificate you can give to your employer or institution to legitimate your condition. 

 

What is included in a medical certificate?

A medical certificate will include you and our doctor’s name and address. It must include the date you saw the doctor, the date the certificate was issued, and the date you should be able to return to work. It will also include the date at which you were first unfit for work due to the illness.

This certificate can be provided to your employer or institution if they requested evidence from your doctor to legitimise your health claims. 

 

Does your medical certificate need to detail why you were absent?

To access a medical certificate, you do not need your doctor to disclose personal medical information and details to your employer. 

Confidentiality means that details cannot be disclosed without your consent. In some instances, detailing the medical context may be suitable but it is not essential. 

It can be helpful to make sure you communicate with your doctor what information you feel comfortable sharing with your employers and if you have any additional privacy concerns.

 

What does a medical certificate cost?

The cost of a medical practitioner issuing a certificate is covered by the cost of your regular appointment and is no additional cost to patients. 

Whilst a medical certificate cannot be purchased, there is no obligation for your doctor to issue a medical certificate during your consultation unless they believe it is relevant to your condition.

 

When can you get a medical certificate?

You can access a medical certificate during or immediately following your medical condition. 

If you are no longer unwell, if the medical professional believes the facts you claim warrants absence from work, they use their discretion to issue a certificate. 

It is highly recommended that if you require a medical certificate, you visit the doctor via an in-clinic, or Telehealth (if you have been seen at the clinic in the last 12 months) appointment as promptly as possible. 

 

Get a medical certificate

If you are unwell and need to get a medical certificate today, the doctors in our SmartClinic medical centres can help you.

To access the required documentation conveniently and efficiently, find a SmartClinics practice near you and book an appointment now

Medicinal Cannabis

Cannabis treatment from a medical perspective.

 

WHAT IS MEDICINAL CANNABIS?

Medicinal cannabis is a treatment derived from cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.

 

WHAT ARE CANNABINOIDS?

Depending on the strain of medicinal cannabis, each will contain different ratios of the cannabinoids THC and CBD. 

CBD is not psychoactive and has been used in pain management with anxiolytic and antipsychotic effects. It may be useful in the management of pain, seizures and may have anxiolytic and antipsychotic effects

THC, can produce psychoactive effects at higher doses and is responsible for some of cannabis’ medicinal effects including the reduction of nausea and vomiting and muscle pain as well as improving sleep and appetite.

 

WHAT IS MEDICINAL CANNABIS FOR?

Medicinal cannabis has been prescribed to treat a number of chronic medical conditions. These include, but are not limited to: Chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, epilepsy, cancer pain, palliative care, movement disorders and Parkinson’s disease

The use of medicinal cannabis may be a treatment option in other conditions if conventional treatments and drugs have been unsuccessful with your case. 

 

HOW TO ACCESS MEDICAL CANNABIS PRODUCTS

Each state and territory will have their own laws regarding the prescription and dispensing of cannabis for medical purposes. You can talk to your doctor to see what is available to you.

Before prescribing medicinal cannabis, your doctor will assess your individual circumstances to decide if the treatment is appropriate for your condition. This will include your medical and family health history, and any current medications that you may be taking.

If your doctor believes medicinal cannabis is a suitable treatment, an application will be submitted on your behalf to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to request access to the medicine. 

Following approval from the TGA, you will receive a prescription from your doctor for a partner pharmacy which can dispense the medicine for you. The medicinal cannabis will be ordered by the pharmacy to be collected in the days following. 

In the years since the Australian Government has allowed the prescription of medicinal cannabis it has experienced increased affordability and access due to the significant increase in production and manufacturing capacity. Today, medical practitioners are increasingly likely to prescribe medicinal cannabis as a viable treatment option and alternative to prescribing opioids. 

 

MEDICINAL CANNABIS PRODUCTS

Medicinal cannabis products from an authorised prescriber are available in a variety of forms based on your symptoms. This includes, oils, liquids, oral sprays, gels or creams and raw (botanical) cannabis to be vaporised. 

Whilst cannabis medicines may relieve one condition or symptom, this does not mean the same product or dose can be used to treat any other conditions or anyone other than yourself. 

 

WHAT IS THE COST OF MEDICINAL CANNABIS PRODUCTS?

The cost of medicinal cannabis depends upon the type of product required and the dose prescribed. Medicinal cannabis products have been made more available in recent years due to increased manufacturing, making it more affordable. 

However, the Commonwealth Government’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) does not list medicinal cannabis products. Patients must fund the cost of treatment themselves to access medicinal cannabis in Australia.

Your private health fund may cover the costs of medicinal cannabis depending on your level of insurance. Contact your provider directly for more information on non-PBS listed prescriptions. If you are a DVA healthcare cardholder, you may be eligible to receive non PBS-listed medications. 

 

WHAT ARE THE SIDE-EFFECTS OF MEDICINAL CANNABIS?

As with all prescription medicines, the use of medicinal cannabis products can cause various side effects. The extent of these side effects depends upon the type of medicinal cannabis product and individuals conditions and medications. CBD and TCH products can cause decreased or increased appetite, diarrhoea, dry mouth, fatigue and sedation, fever, vertigo, and nausea and vomiting. 

Evidence has revealed that THC has been associated with convulsions, feeling high, depression, confusion, hallucinations, paranoid delusions, psychosis, and cognitive distortion.

Please note taking medicinal cannabis may affect your ability to drive.

 

To learn about medicinal cannabis from a medical perspective, make a booking online to chat to Dr Madhu Lakshmaiah at our Mango Hill clinic.

Learn About The Types of Skin Cancer

When it comes to skin cancer there are multiple types that can develop and with ranging levels of severity. These cancers can develop on the skin over areas of the body and with differing rates and appearances. While the main types of skin cancers are a result of sun exposure, skin cancers can emerge beneath the skin or as a result of other forms of skin damage too. 

WHAT IS A MELANOMA?

Melanoma is one of the most aggressive forms of skin cancers, capable of spreading to other organs. However, it is also highly treatable if detected early. 

Melanomas can vary in size, shape or colour, often appearing as discoloured patches of skin, usually brown or blue, with uneven borders. To distinguish a mole from a possible melanoma, it is recommended to monitor the shape, colour and appearance of your moles through self-performed skin checks and regular doctor performed skin checks.

KNOW YOUR ABCDES

ABCDE is a convenient detection guide to help you monitor your skin’s condition and help detect when to see a doctor.  When evaluating mole appearance, it is important to consider the mole’s: 

  • Asymmetry
  • Borderline
  • Colour
  • Diameter
  • Evolution

WHAT ARE THE NON MELANOMA SKIN CANCERS?

Although melanoma is often the most concerning and widely discussed form of skin cancer, non-melanoma skin cancers can present in differing appearances and at different layers of the skin. Whilst Queenslanders have a high risk of melanoma, it is important to still look out for other conditions which could be impacting your skin health.  

Much like melanoma, these conditions are treatable if found early:

Basal Cell Carcinomas (BCC) 

Basal cell carcinomas are the most common form of skin cancer, found in all skin cancer types. They arise from sun exposure and develop slowly. 

They often appear on sun-exposed areas around the head and neck and are easily treatable when detected early. BCC spots resemble open sores, pink growths, shiny bumps and red patches, however rarely spread beyond the original site.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)

Squamous cell carcinomas are caused by either sun exposure or areas of skin damaged by burns. They resemble open sores, scaly red or white patches or raised growths with a central depression. 

Occurring most frequently in sun-exposed areas, SCC can also form all over the body including genitals. Being familiar with the appearance and qualities of SCCs when performing your regular personal skin checks can help assure early diagnosis and treatment. Whilst the majority are non-threatening, if left untreated, SCC can be dangerous and deadly.

Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC)

Merkel cell carcinomas is the rarest yet deadliest form of skin cancer. They often appear on sun exposed sites, and are important to monitor skin for despite being uncommon. 

MCCs do not develop as recognisable as other skin cancers, resembling a pimple-like lump which grows rapidly. If detected early MCCs can be treatable, however, they are up to three times more dangerous than melanoma.

PREVENTION

Whilst skin cancers when detected early are almost always treatable, the risk of skin cancer can be reduced through suitable sun protection. Although the old slip, slop, slap remains a crucial step in lowering the risk of skin cancer, it is also important to prioritise regular skin checks with your doctor.

HOW DO YOU LOWER THE RISK OF SKIN CANCER?

  • Avoid the sun between 10am and 4pm (or when the UV index if greater then 3)
  • Cover up with clothing including a hat and UV-blocking sunglasses
  • Never use tanning beds
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply every 2 hours
  • Keep newborn babies out of the sun
  • Do not use sunscreen on babies under 6 months of age.
  • Examine your skin every month
  • See your GP for a skin exam every year

If you would like to have a skin exam performed by your doctor, book an appointment at your local SmartClinics practice today.

Brisbane Skin Cancer Clinic

Did you know that Queenslanders have the highest rate of skin cancer in the world? This is because the majority of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun of which the Sunshine state gets plenty! The hard truth is that on average, 2 in 3 Australians will have skin cancer during their lifetime. However with early detection, diagnosis and modern medical advancements there is now a range of skin treatment options available for all cases.

At SmartClinics our doctors offer comprehensive skin check services for all patients, with examination, diagnosis and treatment services. SmartClinics Doctors are highly experienced in performing skin checks, equipped to remove spots or moles reducing the need to visit an external dermatologist or plastic surgeon. 

 

Skin Checks Near Me

A skin check involves the examination of your skin from head to toe through the use of magnification and dermoscopy. Find SmartClinics Doctors highly qualified in performing skin checks near you, with locations across Brisbane. 

 

Are you at risk of skin cancer?

Whilst everyone is at risk of developing skin cancer, various conditions increase your chances. If you answer yes to any of the questions below we recommend you book in for a skin check at your soonest convenience. 

Do you have fair skin, fair or red hair and blue eyes?

Do you have a large number of moles?

Do you work outdoors?

Do you spend your weekends or holidays in the sun?

Have you ever used solariums, sunlamps or sunbeds?

Is there a previous history of skin cancer in your family?

As a child, did you spend a lot of time in the sun?

Whilst increased sun exposure, skin type and family history can all play a role in your skin health, regular yearly skin checks are encouraged for everyone to get ahead of any possible issues.

 

What is the treatment of skin cancers?

If your skin check finds the presence of skin cancer, it is often highly treatable. With great advancements of medical treatment for skin cancer, there are various options to treat any diagnosis.

Common skin cancers can be treated through nonsurgical procedures such as the use of ointments, radiation therapy, or cryotherapy. For more severe cases, treatment will be managed by a multidisciplinary team.

The main course of treatment for a developed skin cancer is almost always removal. In more severe cases, this includes not just the mole but the removal of skin surrounding the melanoma through surgery to assure all cancerous cells have been removed. 

 

If you are looking for a skin check centre near you, book an appointment at your local SmartClinics practice today. For specific information about skin cancer, please contact Queensland Cancer Council on 13 11 20.