GP & Nurse-led support for patients with anxiety, depression or mental health conditions
If you are concerned about your own mental health and emotional well-being, or that of a family member, a great first step is visiting a GP who has a special interest and experience in this area. They will help guide you through your options, and let you know which therapies and treatments are available.
One of these options may be a mental health care plan (MHCP) – this is a great way of getting the support you may need.
Don’t be afraid to ask your GP about mental health care plans – we all need support at times.
A mental health care plan may include access to a private psychologist, therapist, social worker, or mental health nurse. Sessions with any mental health professional (except private Psychiatrist’s) can be bulk billed and can include 10 ‘free’ sessions with healthcare professionals that is private and personalised for your own needs.
Helen & Lynn are highly experienced Credentialed Mental Health Nurses (CMHN) at SmartClinics and have has answered some common questions below regarding these specially designed care plans.
Q: How do I know if I qualify for a mental health care plan?
A: You will first need to see a GP to discuss your current situation and requirements to determine if a mental health care plan can benefit you. They can then refer you to a specialised Mental Health Nurse, Psychologist, Psychiatrist or counsellor, depending on your needs. Your GP will complete a Mental Health Care Plan and refer you to an appropriate service.
Q: How many appointments will I get as part of the plan?
A: Depending on which service you are referred to will determine how many appointments you are eligible for.
Medicare rebates are available for up to 10 sessions over 12 months with a psychologist, social worker or therapist depending on your individual requirements.
Helen & Lynn assist people with complex mental health needs and can provide unlimited support under a specific program called the ‘Mental Health Integrated Complex Care program (MHICC)’.
Q: How much will it cost me to get a mental health plan?
A: There is no out of pocket fee (no ‘charge’) for a mental health care plan as it is covered by Medicare. While it can include up to 10 sessions, you can’t get Medicare rebates for all 10 sessions in one go. After the first 6 appointments, if you feel that you would like to continue with the program, you need to see your doctor again for a mental health plan review and another referral.
Q: What happens in my first consultation with you (as a mental health nurse?)
A: The health professional you are referred to will ask a lot of questions to help them understand your individual circumstances, and then work with you to develop a plan to help you on your road to recovery. Sometimes the health professional will decide that the service you have been referred to may not be the best one and will get help from other health professionals. You will be involved in the development of the recovery plan and will be able to ask questions about your care, and what you expect to have happen. You will be able to have other support people included in your appointments, if you choose. All the information collected by the health professional is confidential and is not given to anybody else unless you agree to it.
Q: How often do I need to come back to see you about my care plan?
A: The health professional that you are referred to will determine how often you need to see them. This will affect how often you need to see your GP to get updated referrals. Under the Medicare system, you can see your health professional 6 times before you will need to see your GP again for review and another referral for more sessions. You can have up to 10 sessions within 12 months.
Q: What types of patients do you help?
A: We help anyone that needs some support. You do not have to be diagnosed with a mental illness to seek help from a mental health professional. We see people that have never experienced a mental health problem before and need support to understand what is happening to them, and people who have a long history of mental health issues……and everything in between! Mental Health professionals will see people with:
Relationship breakdowns, divorce
Suicide & Self-harm thoughts / actions
Alcohol & drug use
Q: What kind of advice and tools will I get from this plan to help me?
A: You will receive advice and education about mental illness, what it is, how to manage it and what to expect. There are many tools used to support people’s mental health and you will be taught skills & techniques that are individually tailored to your specific needs. These tools may include how to manage your mood, stress, thoughts & feelings, how to reduce stress / anxiety & how to understand what is happening to you. Treatments and strategies may include: Meditation. Mindfulness, Therapies including CBT, DBT, EMDR, ACT to assist with managing and learning how to cope with symptoms of mental illness.
Q: Will the care plan include drugs for my condition? Will I need to attend group counselling?
A: We may include using medication to help manage your individual situation. This will be assessed by your GP and we offer advice about the medications that might be used. Not everyone will use medication and often mental illness is managed without medication.
As mental health nurses we do not prescribe medication but do teach you about the medication your GP may have prescribed. We help you to understand what the medication is for, how it works, what to expect when taking medication and what changes may need to be made. We generally do individual support for people but will facilitate groups if needed. We do refer to allied health services if we think people would benefit from group counselling.
Q: How long have you been a mental health nurse, and how are you different to a hospital nurse?
A: Lynn and I have a combined mental health nursing history of over 70 years! We both love the area of mental health and have experience in many types of settings including working in hospital mental health units, community mental health, private and public settings and working with a very diverse range of people.
We are different to hospital nurses in many ways, but mostly we support your mental health rather than your physical health, even though physical health is a vital part of maintaining good mental health.
Q: Whats your best advice for someone who is struggling with mental health right now?
A: There is no “right or wrong” with mental illness. It often isn’t as easily diagnosed or treated as physical illness can be.
There is never a “right time” to seek help from your GP for help or advice. If you feel that you are not coping well, seek support from your GP.
There is no problem at all with having a discussion with your GP and being referred to a Mental Health Expert, even if you think there is nothing wrong…… a listening ear is sometimes all we need. We all need help at times to care for ourselves and our mental health is no different….in fact it is more important than anything else.
Learn how to recognise some of the signs of possible mental illness
Signs in Adults may include:
Unexplained changes in moods /thoughts/feelings
Feeling really happy or really sad
Feeling hopeless / helpless and unable to make things better
Poor sleep patterns, (oversleeping / under sleeping, frequent waking, unable to go to sleep / stay asleep)
Increased irritability / frustration with normal activities and unable to change
Changes to significant relationships (without recognised cause)
Unexplained sounds / smells / sights
Excessive worry about things that would normally not bother you much
Strange beliefs / ideas / thoughts…. even though you might feel they are so true / real.
Changes in eating habits, overeating, under-eating, binging / purging
Suicidal / self-harm thinking
Increased “at risk” behaviour
Unexplained physical illness/s
Increased substance / alcohol use or using these for the first time in excessive amounts
Increased prescription medication use without other explanation
Sings in Children may include:
Changes to normal routines
Changes to regular sleep patterns
Changes in eating habits, overeating / undereating / changes to dietary preferences
Difficulty going to / learning at school / concentrating
Falling out with friends / family / siblings
Not wanting to do regular activities
Persistent anger / sadness / irritable outside of normal
Preoccupied with their thoughts and don’t participate in regular conversations etc
Self harm activity eg cutting,
Talking about suicide / death….outside of normal conversation
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
Doctors warn patients not to skip appointments
Social distancing restrictions have finally eased!
Here’s why you should make your first trip a visit to the GP.
While you’ve probably got some BBQ’s to attend and awesome places that you want to visit after being in isolation, Australia’s Doctors want to see you as a priority. Not because they are worried you may have COVID-19, but for these 3 important reasons below:
Other serious conditions are being ‘missed’.
Missed appointments and vital health check-ups during COVID-19 are causing concern amongst doctors worldwide.
Since early March across Australia, there has been a 60% reduction in screening for cervical cancer, and care planning for diabetes patients has reduced by two thirds.
Dr Scott Horsburgh from SmartClinics Annerley says “We have not been able to properly manage many of our patients’ conditions because they have either skipped important appointments or missed their regular pathology or radiology tests. We are also concerned about a rise in other conditions in patients who may be developing serious health issues but are not coming in to see their GP to be screened for early detection”.
Please don’t skip your regular check- ups with your GP – they are more important than you may think!
Your physical health and personal lifestyle may have changed
Your lifestyle may be a little different now to what it was before COVID-19 hit. Many GPs are witnessing adverse effects on their patients from things like physical distancing, job loss or financial stresses, less social interaction, less exercise and dietary changes. While some of this might be temporary, worrying about your health, ignoring signs that could need an assessment and avoiding a much-needed talk to a medical professional can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety. It is paramount for your emotional and mental well-being to allay any concerns you may have.
If you or a loved one is feeling a bit down, anxious or out of sorts, speaking to your GP is really good place to start. SmartClinics has a large number of GPs who have a special interest and experience in helping patients through tough times so don’t feel as though you have no one to turn to. Please call your local SmartClinics Family Medical Centre and ask to see a GP who can help you with the symptoms you are feeling.
It’s Flu Season
Australia is seeing a decrease in flu cases due to the strict COVID-19 measures, however with restrictions easing there is no guarantee that this will continue. It’s far better to play it safe – if you are still due to get a 2020 Influenza Vaccination please visit a SmartClinics Medical Centre before you become a socialise-bunny. Flu Shots are only $14.95 and your appointment for the vaccine will be bulk billed during standard business hours. Click here to book your flu shot at a SmartClinics Medical Centre
Remember, a quick trip to the GP now will likely mean less visits to the GP later! We want to help you be the healthiest you for as long as you can.
If you are overdue – make the time now! This includes skin checks, breast and cervical screening, and standard health check-ups.
Talk to your GP if you have any mental health concerns – the earlier you get help, the easier your recovery.
Attend your regular GP appointments and pathology tests.
At SmartClinics we have GPs who are experienced in all areas of General Practice including women’s, children’s and men’s health, allied health from physiotherapy to nutrition and weight management, asthma and diabetic management.
It appears that some patients missed the news that we have moved to the Gap. It was a difficult decision to close our Ferny Hills medical centre location back in June 2020, but we are only a short drive away!
Your Ferny Hills Doctors would like to continue to see you and your family for appointments at one of these practices, which are both located in The Gap at:
SmartClinics Walton Bridge Family Medical Centre
976 Waterworks Road, The Gap
07 3300 1900
SmartClinics The Gap Family Medical Centre
Glen Affric Street, The Gap
(07) 3300 3799
Both face-to-face and telehealth appointments are available. If you have cold or flu symptoms however, please do NOT attend a clinic in person. Instead call the clinic before you arrive for advice.
The continuity of your care is essential so we strongly encourage you to continue seeing your regular GP at our new locations.
Your SmartClinics Family Doctors
Is it still ok to visit your doctor during coronavirus?
Everything is operating a little differently right now. Businesses are closed or implementing new policies to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. At SmartClinics, we have put in place a number of changes to help improve our patients’ safety and ensure that we do our part to ensure Australia can combat this health crisis as quickly as possible.
A large aspect of the changes we have implemented is our new Telehealth service. Our Telehealth appointments have been put in place to help people get the help they need without risking their health, or the health of others. We have had a number of patients query whether it is still safe to attend their clinic in person. The answer is yes, however, there are a number of caveats.
What is the Telehealth service?
Our Telehealth service allows us to serve our patients without needing them to come into a practice. We have put this in place to help reduce the risk of healthy people being exposed to those who may be potential carriers of the coronavirus. For now, all SmartClinics patients are required to go through a very brief screening process to assess their level of risk. Some patients may be asked to utilise the Telehealth service rather than coming into a clinic. Others will be considered fine to come in.
Please keep in mind that our screening process is by no means evidence of whether or not a person has the coronavirus. It is simply put in place to help mitigate risk. If you go through the screening process and are asked to book a Telehealth appointment, this does not mean you have the coronavirus. Alternatively, if you are cleared for a visit, that does not mean you are not a carrier.
Is it safe to visit a SmartClinics medical practice?
The answer is yes – we have taken (and continue to take) all reasonable precautions possible to prevent those who are ill with the coronavirus being exposed to our staff or patients. Part of this is screening all online bookings and appointments made via phone call, however there are some practices we have put in place inside each clinic to help ensure high levels of hygiene and reduce the spread.
What is SmartClinics doing to keep clinics safe?
Beyond our screening process, we also have a number of measures inside clinics to help reduce any potential spread of COVID-19. All surfaces in our patient meeting rooms are cleaned and sanitised after every single appointment. Preliminary studies have shown that disinfectant is very effective at breaking down the virus and eliminating its presence.
Our sanitisation process is aimed at ensuring there is as little as possible chance of any remnant coronavirus being found inside patient rooms after we have seen a patient, regardless of how healthy they appear or how little contact they had with surfaces.
Additionally, many of our clinics have implemented a dual waiting room approach. In these clinics, there are two waiting rooms – one for those who are feeling well, and one for those who exhibit any potential systems of COVID-19 or other respiratory infections. This procedure has been put in place to help isolate potential carriers of the coronavirus from those who are otherwise healthy.
Social distancing policies are in place at all SmartClinics practices. You will be instructed to maintain your distance, wherever possible, from other patients and staff. Additionally, we have hand sanitiser and sanitising wipes available at all our practices for the use of patients. You are strongly encouraged to use these upon entry to our practice.
What do I do if I believe I have COVID-19?
If you have undertaken our screening process and have been recommended to book a Telehealth appointment, or if you for any other reason believe you may have contracted the coronavirus, please contact us. We will assist you in finding your nearest Fever Clinic so that you may undergo further testing.
Learn more about our Telehealth appointments
We have put together a basic FAQ to help you get a deeper understanding of how the telehealth process works. Please click below to read our guide:
Where can I get a bulk billed Telehealth Appointment?
BULK BILLED TELEHEALTH CALLS FOR MEDICARE CARD HOLDERS
CAIRNS: Woree, Smithfield
BRISBANE: Deception Bay, Clayfield, Mango Hill
The Doctors at the above clinics can talk to you over the phone and help you with a wide variety of general health concerns – and it will be BULK BILLED if you have a current Medicare Card.
If you would prefer to talk to a doctor from a different SmartClinics location, a fee may apply. Fees are available by calling your preferred clinic location or you can also find fees on this website, under the “About the clinic” tab at your preferred clinic location page.
How to book your Telehealth appointment
Please note not all GP appointments are suitable for a telehealth consultations. These are at your doctor’s discretion.
You can book your appointment by either:
Calling ourTelehealth hotline on 1300 411 748 during standard business hours,
Or, call your preferred clinic location and talk to our reception team,
Or, book your Telehealth appointment now – online – by clicking the pink button below. You can choose which Doctor you want to talk to, and when. Then, your Doctor will call you at your requested appointment time.
What is Telehealth?
It is just like a standard GP appointment, but conducted over the phone. Your GP will go through the normal procedures of asking about your symptoms (if you have any) and assessing potential diagnoses. If a script is required, it’ll be faxed, emailed or posted to you or your preferred pharmacy. Our Doctors can provide over the phone support for pregnancy, mental health, and patients with autism, chronic diseases or eating disorders, plus a wide range of other health services.
All you need is a quiet place and a phone. WANT TO KNOW MORE? Click here.
Doctors open Easter 2020
Need a GP over the Easter long weekend?
Many SmartClinics Doctors are working over the Easter break in case you need medical assistance.
Some medical centres will be OPEN for face-to-face appointments in the clinic with your GP while other Doctors will be offering Telehealth consultations so you can talk to them over the phone.
To make an appointment, you can choose to book online or call the clinic directly.
Click on the location below to find clinic booking and contact details.
Good Friday, 10th April
Clinics that are Open for In-Clinic consultations:
Telehealth appointments – everything you need to know
Speak with a GP in the comfort of your home.
A Telehealth appointment is just like a standard GP appointment, but conducted over the phone. Your GP will go through the normal procedures of asking about your symptoms (if you have any) and assessing potential diagnoses. If a script is required, it’ll be faxed, emailed or posted to you or your preferred pharmacy. Our Doctors can provide over the phone support for pregnancy, mental health, and patients with autism, chronic diseases or eating disorders, plus a wide range of other health services.
What does a Telehealth appointment cost?
Telehealth calls with some SmartClinics Doctors will be bulk billed for current patients with a Medicare card, while other patients will be charged a consult fee.
**ATTENTION NEW PATIENTS**
From July 20, Medicare changes may affect your Telehealth appointment fee. In order to be subsidised by Medicare for your Telehealth appointment, you will need to be an existing patient at the clinic in the last 12 months and have been seen for a face to face appointment – otherwise a fee may apply. This does not apply to anyone aged under 12 months or people who are experiencing homelessness. Please call your preferred clinic location to talk to reception about fees for your appointment.
How do I book a Telehealth appointment?
To book a Telehealth appointment, call your preferred clinic locationduring their business hours and they will assist you in choosing the best time and day and Doctor to call you back. Alternatively you can book a Telehealth appointment online clicking the pink button and follow the easy steps.
First you need to make a booking for your Telehealth Appointment. You choose which Doctor you want to talk to, and when. Then, your Doctor will call you back at your requested appointment time.
What equipment will I need for a Telehealth appointment?
The best thing about a Telehealth appointment is that you just need yourself, a quiet place and a phone.
Can I still see my GP in person?
Yes! It is safe to see your GP for a face to face appointment, and we strongly encourage you to keep your regular appointments. Skipping important health appointments is very risky and may be dangerous. So long as you don’t currently have flu-like symptoms or think you are at risk of having COVID-19, you are welcome to see your GP inside our medical centres.
All SmartClinics Medical Centres are OPEN and currently offering face to face appointments for:
All regular health check-ups
Skin checks and mole removal
Flu vaccinations and immunisations
New scripts / repeat scripts
Mental health advice
And all other general healthcare services.
Please do NOT put off your face to face appointments. Call your local SmartClinics medical centre to book face-to-face appointment, or book an in-clinic appointment online below.
Do I need Skype or other video technology for a Telehealth appointment?
Just your phone will be fine. In the near future, we will also host video calls for Telehealth appointments, which will allow our GPs to more accurately diagnose some health concerns remotely.
Who can get a Telehealth appointment?
Everybody can! The Commonwealth Government has opened up Telehealth services to every citizen.
Can I get a script for medicine in a Telehealth appointment?
Yes, you can be issued scripts via a Telehealth appointment.
Are all doctors offering Telehealth services?
The vast majority of SmartClinics GPs are, however you may need to talk to a different GP on Telehealth call if your doctor is not available.
What if I need to see a GP in person?
You can still see your GP in-person. Given that current advice is for everyone to stay at home when possible, we prefer you to make a Telehealth appointment unless it is absolutely necessary for you to see the GP in person. If you need to see a GP face-to-face, call the clinic directly and request an appointment.
Is it safe to go into a medical centre at the moment?
It is still safe to attend a medical centre. We have procedures in place to help prevent spreading infection, such as masks, gloves and hand sanitisers plus screening of sick patients. If you are feeling sick, we prefer you to make a Telehealth appointment and the Doctor will tell you if they want to see you in person. We strongly advise everyone to practice social distancing and stay at home if possible, as per current health advice.
Here are some other ways we are keeping clinics safe:
We are not currently accepting any patients into any clinic who meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing – we assist them to a Fever Clinic.
Some clinics have a “well waiting room” and an “unwell waiting room” to help keep our patients isolated.
We are screening all phone calls and online bookings to help reduce the chance of a person who is ill with COVID-19 coming into a clinic.
We are practicing social distancing wherever possible.
Have plenty of hand sanitiser and wipes and we strongly encourage all patients to use them.
We are cleaning down and sanitising surfaces in between patients. This includes chairs, tables and all surfaces contacted during each appointment.
If you still have questions, please contact your local SmartClinics Medical Centre:
Looking for Doctors open on Christmas Holidays, Sundays or after hours?
It can be difficult to find Doctors open on Christmas holidays. Luckily, many of our Family Medical Centres across Queensland & Tasmania remain open over the festive season including Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Some clinics even offer late night and weekend appointments which could save you a trip from going to your local emergency department to see a Doctor. Accidents do happen and people can fall sick at any time of year, so we’re here to help you in case the unexpected happens. If you need to see a GP after hours or on a weekend click here for a list of our After Hours Clinics. Note these times may be affected by the Christmas Season.
For full details on Christmas Season clinic opening times, clinic phone numbers and addresses, click here then choose your preferred location.
Medical Centres open on Christmas Eve (24 December 2019)
BRISBANE: Annerley, Brisbane City (George Street), Carindale, Carseldine, Chermside, Clayfield, Corinda, Ferny Grove, Lutwyche, Mango Hill, Pullenvale, Rothwell, Taigum, Toowong, The Gap (Glen Affric & Waterworks Road), Windsor
GOLD COAST: Arundel, Merrimac
CAIRNS: Smithfield, Woree
TOWNSVILLE: Hyde Park
For specific opening times, clinic phone numbers and addresses, click here then choose your preferred location.
Medical Centres open on Boxing Day (26 December 2019)
BRISBANE: Chermside, Walton Bridge (976 Waterwords Rd, The Gap)
For specific opening times, clinic phone numbers and addresses, click here then choose your preferred location.
Medical Centres open on New Year’s Eve (31 December 2019)
BRISBANE: Alexandra Hills, Annerley, Carindale, Carseldine, Chermside, Clayfield, Corinda, Ferny Grove, Lutwyche, Mango Hill, Pullenvale, Rothwell, Taigum, Toowong, The Gap (Waterworks Road), Windsor
GOLD COAST: Arundel, Merrimac
CAIRNS: Smithfield, Woree
TOWNSVILLE: Hyde Park
For specific opening times, clinic phone numbers and addresses, click here then choose your preferred location.
Medical Centres open on New Year’s Day (1 January 2020)
BRISBANE: Chermside, The Gap (Waterworks Rd)
For specific opening times, clinic phone numbers and addresses, click here then choose your preferred location.
SmartClinics Strathpine has moved
Hi Strathpine patients
SmartClinics Strathpine has now permanently closed but our Doctors are only short drive away!
A number of SmartClinics Doctors will be working on Queen’s Birthday public holiday on Monday, October 7th.
To book an appointment call the surgery on the number listed below or book online by clicking on the location name then tap the pink booking button.
Chermside – Open from 7am til 11pm. Ph: (07) 3177 9500
Annerley – Open from 9am til midday. Ph: (07) 3848 9299
The Gap (Walton Bridge) – Open from 9am til midday, then from 5pm til 6:30pm. Ph: (07) 3300 1900
Ipswich – Open from 8am til 2pm. Ph: (07) 3202 2000
Need to see a GP after hours or on the weekends?
If you are looking for an after hours medical centre or GP appointment on the weekend, we have a number of medical centres which remain open when most other medical centres are closed. This can often save you waiting in an emergency department at your local hospital, or having to wait until your regular GP re-opens the following day.
Find out which is your closest after hours or weekend medical centre by clicking here.
2020 EKKA Doctor Appointments
While the EKKA has been cancelled this year, Friday 14th August is a public holiday in Brisbane!
If you need to see a Doctor in Brisbane this Friday or over the weekend – we have you covered… see a SmartClinics Family Doctor near you.
BRISBANE MEDICAL CENTRES OPEN THIS EKKA FRIDAY & WEEKEND:
Chermside – Open every day from 7:00am -9.30pm
Annerley: Open on Friday (8:30am – 1:30pm), weekend appointments also available.
Walton Bridge on Waterwork Road open Friday 9am to Midday, weekend appointments also available.
Alexandra Hills – Open Friday and Saturday
Deception Bay – Open on Friday and Saturday
West End – Closed on Friday but open on on Saturday and Sunday
Windsor – Closed on Friday but open on Saturday morning
Carseldine – Closed on Friday but open on Saturday morning
Toowong – Closed on Friday but open on Saturday morning
Taigum – Closed on Friday but open on Saturday morning
Corinda – Closed on Friday but open on Saturday morning
Patients with appointments will have preference except in emergencies. You can make an appointment with any of our doctors online or by telephoning or presenting to the surgery. Please let our receptionist know if you require prompt attention for matters such as chest pain, burns, eye injury etc.
Appointments are normally made at 10 minute intervals, however this may change if there have been emergencies or if the surgery is very busy.
We have made running on time a high priority, but emergencies do happen. It’s a good idea to phone the surgery before your appointment to check whether your doctor is running on time. If you feel you require a longer consultation please discuss this with the receptionist prior to making an appointment.
5 Misconceptions about the Flu
When you spend enough time working around doctors and their patients, you hear a lot of very interesting bits and pieces about common illnesses like the flu. A lot of people believe things that they’ve heard, or carry oral traditions passed down from their parents, or simply misunderstand something that is otherwise factual.
We spoke with some of the SmartClinics GPs to put together a list of common misconceptions about the flu to help you know more about the flu than the average person. Here are our top 5 misconceptions about the flu.
The flu shot can give you the flu.
This is a very common misconception about the flu shot. It probably arises from the fact that the flu vaccine is sometimes made using deactivated flu viruses or specific genetic components of the flu virus that trigger an immune response in the human body. However, the fact is, there is no active or viable influenza virus contained in any flu shot that you’re receiving via a needle.
If I get sick this winter, it means that the flu shot didn’t work.
The flu vaccine has an extremely high effectiveness rate. Many people come down with symptoms similar to the flu and assume that the flu shot didn’t work. However, chances are good that if you find yourself with these symptoms, you most likely have a cold or a similar respiratory illness. If you find yourself feeling seriously unwell, you should absolutely get checked out by a GP or other medical professional. However, generally speaking, you stand a far better chance of avoiding flu infection if you’ve received a flu shot than if you have not.
Healthy people don’t need to get a flu vaccine.
The flu can make even the healthiest people feel extremely unwell. It is a serious disease and can have an even more serious impact on anyone with pre-existing conditions, such as asthma or heart conditions. The flu can play havoc with your immune system and leave you vulnerable to illness from other sources. It is also very non-discriminatory. Influenza can overwhelm healthy immune systems, so relying on your overall level of health to avoid getting the flu is unlikely to be a particularly effective strategy.
In order to stay healthy throughout the flu season, we strongly recommend that you get a flu shot.
Some flu vaccines are better than others.
There are many types of flu vaccines, some more appropriate for different groups of people than others. However, generally speaking, all flu vaccines in a like-for-like comparison are equally as effective. Of course, the method in which you receive your vaccination may be more or less effective than others, depending on your personal factors such as age, health and any allergies you may have to components in some flu vaccines.
No one dies from the flu anyway.
People absolutely do die from the flu. Each year, anywhere from around 500 to 4,000 Australians die from the flu. Different years and severities of flu strains produce different fatality levels. Young people, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems from other health concerns are more likely to die from the flu. However, of those that don’t die, many experience debilitating symptoms and require hospitalisation. It can greatly affect work and personal life and may leave a person open to infection with other illnesses.
Fast Flu Facts:
The flu vaccine can reduce a child’s risk of requiring paediatric intensive care during flu season by up to 74%.
Improved uptake of the flu vaccine has led to a reduction of around 40% in adult hospitalisations for flu-related health issues.
Adults who receive a flu shot may reduce their risk of being admitted to the ICU with the flu by up to 82%.
Among pregnant women, a flu shot can reduce the chances of being hospitalised with the flu by up to 40%.
Among those hospitalised with the flu, those who have received a flu shot are 59% less likely to require admittance to the ICU, and of those who are admitted, those with the flu shot require on average 4 fewer days of hospitalisation.
Book Your Flu Shot Now
Getting the flu shot can help maintain your health through the flu season and ensure that you’re able to continue functioning happily and healthily. Additionally, by getting the flu vaccine you are greatly reducing your chances of getting the flu and potentially spreading it those around you, such as workmates, family or even people on your commute.
Prostate checks are a part of life for most adult men. It’s a necessary step to ensure that you stay on top of your health and become aware of any abnormalities before they evolve into serious problems.
For many men, it can be a nervous time. General Practitioner, Dr Sir-Kit Leong, from SmartClinics Clayfield in Brisbane has answered some of the most frequently asked questions by patients. Take a read and if you’re still unsure, book an appointment with your GP for a chat before committing.
When should men start getting prostate exams?
Once you reach 40, you should be getting a prostate exam every two years or so. Some men for various reasons may want to start getting prostate exams earlier in life which is also fine.
Can all doctors perform a prostate exam or do I need to go to a specialist?
Both general practitioners and specialists can do a prostate exam. Many men see their regular GP for this exam.
What will happen at my first prostate exam?
This largely depends on the nature of the consult. If you’ve never had a prostate exam before, it would often involve the GP taking a thorough history of your health background, examination and tests.
PSA is likely the most common form of test, and simply involves a blood test.
The test that many men feel nervous about is called a DRE (digital rectal examination) however it is no longer recommended as an initial screening test for prostate cancer. Only if you begin exhibiting signs or symptoms synonymous with prostate cancer, is your doctor likely to refer you on for further test / specialist consultation.
Is a prostate exam painful?
A prostate exam should not be painful. If it’s a PSA (blood test), the blood drawing may cause minor discomfort.
What are the warning signs of prostate cancer?
If you haven’t been for a prostate exam for some time, it is well worth keeping an eye out for the warning signs of prostate cancer. Some of the warning signs include:
Changed urination patterns. This can include urinating more frequently or finding it necessary to urinate more often at night. Finding it difficult to empty your bladder, or a weak/interrupted flow can also be a warning sign.
Blood in urine or semen. Sometimes this may be accompanied by pain or a burning sensation.
Erectile dysfunction or otherwise abnormal function. If you’ve found yourself having difficulties gaining or maintaining an erection, and can’t identify any other likely cause, this may be a symptom of prostate cancer.
Discomfort sitting or bending – this can be an indication that your prostate is abnormally enlarged.
These warning signs can vary significantly between individuals. The absence of symptoms does not necessarily mean the absence of prostate cancer. Other symptoms may include weight loss, swollen feet, fatigue, or muscle pain elsewhere in the body. To be sure, it is important to book yourself in for a prostate exam.
If you are healthy and have no symptoms/signs, think about doing a prostate exam from 40 years old.
A prostate exam is advisable every one to two years once you reach the age where there is an increased risk of prostate cancer from around 50 and order.
Regular prostate exams can help establish a history and baseline of what is considered normal. It’s important to take your doctor’s recommendations on how often you should be undergoing a prostate exam.
How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
Prostate cancer can be diagnosed by following tests, remembering they ought to support the context of the patient’s signs and symptoms.
PSA Test: The PSA test seeks to identify the presence of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) within the blood. Elevated levels of PSA may be an indicator of prostate cancer. For this reason, it’s important to have regular checkups with your doctor, so that PSA levels can be tracked over time.
Radiology test: MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is useful scan to visualize the prostate and proven to be highly effective in detecting prostate cancer changes
Additionally, your doctor may conduct a biomarker test. Biomarkers, found in the blood or urine (or tissue, if you’ve had a biopsy) are substances produced by a cancerous tumour or antibodies produced by the body to combat the tumour. Almost all diagnoses of prostate cancer will require a biopsy at some point.
Many SmartClinics Doctors are working over the Easter break in case you need medical assistance. Click on the location below to find out opening times, clinic phone numbers, address details and appointment information.
Getting a vasectomy is a big decision, so it’s important that you have all the facts. We’ve thrown together a quick list of the questions our doctors commonly receive, but remember – this isn’t medical advice. If you’re looking to get a vasectomy in Brisbane, it’s important that you book a consultation with your GP and get the facts face-to-face. Find a Vasectomy Doctor in Brisbane.
What happens during a vasectomy?
During a vasectomy the two tubes (vas deferens) that carry sperm from your testes to a “storage” area near the prostate gland are clamped or cut. As a result, sperm can no longer leave your testes and will not form part of your ejaculate.
Do you still ejaculate after a vasectomy?
Following your vasectomy, you will still be able to ejaculate, with no noticeable difference in volume. Sperm forms less than 5% of your total volume of ejaculate, so you won’t be missing much.
Is having a vasectomy painful?
Most people will experience little or no pain during their vasectomy. There may be some minor discomfort, such as a feeling of pressure or some poking in the general area, but that should be the extent of it. If you’re getting your vasectomy in Brisbane through SmartClinics, our doctors will ensure you experience the minimal amount of pain or discomfort possible.
Are you put under for a vasectomy?
Some doctors will give you the option to be put under a general anaesthetic, but it’s quite rare and barely necessary. The vast majority of vasectomies are performed under a local anaesthetic which is more than adequate.
How effective is a vasectomy?
A vasectomy is extremely effective and is the most effective method of contraception available to men. Its effectiveness is almost 100%. The vast majority of failures are in fringe cases involving unqualified or inexperienced doctors. When you get a vasectomy in Brisbane with SmartClinics, you can rest assured that you are in highly experienced, professional hands.
How long after a vasectomy does pain last?
Once your local anaesthetic has worn off, you may feel some minor discomfort. The level of pain you’re likely to experience should be manageable with some over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol. If the pain is significant, chat to your doctor.
What does a vasectomy feel like?
A vasectomy barely feels like anything. There will be barely any pain and only minor discomfort. It’s a very minor surgery and you shouldn’t feel much at all, either during or afterwards.
How long does it take to recover from a vasectomy?
Recovery time from a vasectomy is different for every individual. Most men will be able to get up and be quite active later the same day or in the following days. Every doctor is different, but most will recommend a standard seven-day recovery period following your vasectomy (starting the day afterwards). It’s worth taking the time to recover, as it will help ease any sensitivity or discomfort in the area and reduce the risk of hurting it.
How painful is vasectomy recovery?
Vasectomy recovery, done right, should be almost pain-free. Take a few days and put your feet up. There’s no rush to get out and about after an operation on such a sensitive region.
What is the fastest way to recover from a vasectomy?
The fastest way to recover from a vasectomy is the same as any other minor operation – rest, and plenty of it. Taking it easy and eating healthily will help your body recover faster than anything else you can do.
Can you drive after a vasectomy?
It’s usually not recommended, however it is possible to drive home after a vasectomy. We recommend that you get a ride home from your procedure in order to allow the healing process to begin immediately. If you’re getting your vasectomy in Brisbane, we definitely recommend you dodge dealing with the traffic and let someone drive you home.
How soon can you have sex after a vasectomy?
You will need to wait until you are fully healed before having sex following your vasectomy. It is important to remember that you do not immediately become infertile after a vasectomy. It can take up to 20 ejaculations or a three-month period for any viable sperm to be completely flushed out of your system. You will need to schedule a follow-up appointment three months after your initial procedure to test your fertility. Until then, ensure that you use contraception.
How long does it take for a man to become sterile after a vasectomy?
During your vasectomy, the vas deferens (your tubes) will be separated from your testes. This means that your sperm can no longer be ejaculated. However, some active and viable sperm may remain in the vas deferens.
Where does all your sperm go after a vasectomy?
Because your sperm cannot leave the testes via the vas deferens, they simply stay in the testes. They will “dissolve away” and be reabsorbed by the body over your time. You do not stop producing sperm following a vasectomy – the pathway for that sperm to leave your body is simply removed.
What should you wear for a vasectomy procedure?
You’ll definitely want some support down there – leaving it all to flop around and potentially be sat on is going to greatly increase your level of discomfort. Wear tighty whities or some snugly fitting briefs. Avoid boxer shorts. In Brisbane, vasectomy doctors will likely give you some advice on what to wear at your initial consult.
Do you need to shave for a vasectomy?
You will need to shave prior to your vasectomy. If you don’t, your doctor may be able to have it arranged for you – but you should definitely check ahead of time. If you do decide to shave, just do a close shave with an electric shaver – you don’t want to run the risk of cutting yourself with a razor and leaving yourself open to infection.
Book a vasectomy appointment in Brisbane
If you have further questions, why not have a medical consult with one of our GPs? They’ll answer any queries you have and ensure you’re well informed about everything before you book a vasectomy appointment.
Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the recent floods. SmartClinics Fairfield Waters Medical Centre is currently closed and undergoing extensive renovation due to flood damage.
So we can continue to provide you and your family with medical care, we are opening a temporary medical centre in Hyde Park. GP appointments with your current Doctor will be available at the new clinic from 20th February, 2019. We expect to be operating from our new location for approximately 6 months while work is being completed at our Fairfield Medical Centre.
NEW CLINIC ADDRESS: Castletown Shopping World – find us near Friendlies Chemist
Corner Woolcock & Kings Road
Monday to Friday : 8:30am–5:30pm
Clinic fees will not change, and our phone and fax number will stay the same. We will keep you updated on the progress of our Fairfield clinic and hope to be moving back very soon!
If you have any concerns or questions, please call our friendly reception team on Ph: (07) 4778 4581
We look forward to seeing you at our new clinic soon.
Warm regards from the team at SmartClinics Fairfield Waters Family Medical Centre.
Getting a Vasectomy in Cairns? Here is all you need to know.
Dr Goldstein is a GP and also runs Cairn’s only dedicated Vasectomy service – Great Barrier Vasectomy. Dr Goldstein is originally from Toronto but has called Australia home since since 2006. He earned his Bachelor of Medicine at the Flinders School of Medicine in Adelaide and has been practicing in Cairns since 2014. Dr Goldsteing runs the Great Barrier Vasectomy service out of SmartClinics Woree. A specialist in Vasectomy procedures, Dr Goldstein will happily talk you through the entire process and answer any concerns you may have.
There comes a time in every man’s life when he decides he’s had enough children (or doesn’t want any at all). At this point in life, a vasectomy can be a relatively painless and simple solution. It’s a nerve-wracking time and everyone always has plenty of questions. Thankfully, we have a couple of local doctors who are highly skilled in performing this procedure and are more than happy to help answer your questions about getting a vasectomy in Cairns.
How effective is a vasectomy in preventing pregnancy?
A vasectomy is the most effective method of birth control available to men. At almost 100% effectiveness, there are only very rare, fringe cases of the procedure failing to have the desired effect – and often when performed by inexperienced or unqualified doctors. If you’re getting your vasectomy in Cairns, visit our SmartClinics Woree and chat with Dr Goldstein – both are experienced professionals.
Is a vasectomy painful?
The actual vasectomy procedure itself won’t be painful. If you’re getting your vasectomy in Cairns through SmartClinics Woree, we’ll use a local anaesthetic. There may be some minor discomfort, such as pressure or a poke, but other than that you’ll barely know it’s happening. Afterwards, once the anaesthetic has worn off, you may experience minor discomfort, but it is usually manageable with OTC painkillers.
How long does the procedure take?
There are two different methods of accessing and dividing the vas deferens. These are called the “no scalpel vasectomy” and the “traditional vasectomy”. Both techniques take about 20 – 25 minutes. The procedure may be conducted under mild sedation depending on patient and doctor preference. Most men find the procedure day far less challenging than they may have expected, and this is aided by good preparation, and good self care followup.
What is the No-Scalpel Technique?
To access your tubes, an injection is given on both sides to make you numb and this stings for a few seconds and goes away quickly. Once under local anaesthesia, your doctor will make a small hole in the scrotum using a vasectomy forceps and ring clamp. Following this, he clamps the tubes and gently removes the delicate blood vessels to prevent bleeding. Then the cut ends of the vas are clipped and cauterised to ensure the sperm do not get through. There are no sutures or dressings after the surgery and you only need a follow-up check if you want one.
Do you still ejaculate after a vasectomy?
Following your vasectomy procedure you will still be able to ejaculate – your semen just won’t contain sperm, and there will barely be a noticeable difference in volume as sperm usually accounts for less than 5% of ejaculate.
Are you awake during a vasectomy?
If you decide to get a vasectomy in Cairns, we’ll keep you awake during the procedure, but you’ll have a local anaesthetic so there will be no, or minimal, pain.
How long does it take to recover from a vasectomy?
Most men are able to be quite active in the days immediately after a vasectomy. We usually recommend a seven-day resting period, although it can depend on each patient and what they consider to be rest or how active their lifestyle or work is. Everyone should at least take a day after the procedure to allow any sensitivity to subside somewhat.
How long does a vasectomy take?
A standard procedure should take around thirty minutes. If you’re getting a vasectomy in Cairns with Dr Goldstein, we’ll let you know how long your procedure will take and what you can expect before, during and after.
Can you drive home after a vasectomy?
We strongly recommend that you have someone else drive you home after your procedure. This will allow you to begin your rest and healing period immediately and minimise any stress on your body – getting you back into action sooner.
How long until I am infertile?
Following your vasectomy procedure, there is a high likelihood that you will retain some sperm in the vas deferens. It may take up to 20 ejaculations before they are completely flushed out. We strongly recommend you maintain regular contraceptive use for at least three months after your procedure or until you are proven infertile on a semen sample.
What does a vasectomy cost?
Costs vary greatly. If you’re getting your vasectomy in Cairns, you can expect to pay a total of around $650, some of which will be rebated by Medicare. Your final out-of-pocket expense will be around $450.
Do you need a referral to get a vasectomy?
You don’t need a referral to get a vasectomy in Cairns – just come by for a consultation and we’ll chat about your options. However, if you do bring a written referral from your doctor we’ll happily deal with them in return.
What clothing should I wear for a vasectomy?
We recommend you wear something supportive. Avoid boxer shorts – go for something that will help hold things up and fit snugly. This can help avoid undue stress on the area.
Should I shave before a vasectomy?
You may trim the area with electric clippers if that is an option for you. Do not wet shave with a razor. If you are unable to trim with clippers, that’s fine – we will take care of it for you when you come in for your appointment.