The Doctors at Summerhill Medical Centre believe that your health is their focus and offers a range of bulk-billed general practice services . The following is a list of their services (for information about fees):
Many of the doctors are skilled at minor surgery. Procedures such as excisions of moles or skin cancers, and resection of ingrown toenails are regularly performed. Liquid nitrogen is available at the surgery to treat skin conditions such as warts and solar or seborrhoeic keratoses
Dressing / Wound Management
If you require a new dressing, a dressing review or removal of sutures etc, our Practice offers a Dressing Clinic from 12:30pm to 2.00pm on Mon-Fri. Please note that Medicare does not remunerate the practice for wound dressing supplies. Accordingly, the following out-of-pocket may apply to the costs of the dressing.
- Small dressing: $5.00
- Large dressing: $10.00
The Centre for Social and Economic Modelling predicts that Type 2 Diabetes in Australia will double over the next 40 years and that 1 in 7 will have it by 2050. It projects that the prevalence of complications experienced by an expected 1.6 million Australians known to have diabetes will include 270,000 heart bypass operations, more than 250,000 strokes and 750,000 kidney complications.
Summerhill Medical Centre’s highly experienced GPs recognise the importance of managing the four major areas of diabetes management:
- blood glucose
- body weight
- blood pressure
Our GPs use medications if required, encourage increased exercise levels and provide patient counselling, as do the Practice Nurses.
GPs refer to Dieticians, Diabetic Educators, Diabetes Australia and Endocrinologists who specialise in diabetes. These practitioners work together with patients to optimise diabetic control and provide copies of results for ongoing comparison and motivation.
Dermatology and skin cancer checks
Summerhill Medical Centre provides a comprehensive skin cancer diagnosis and treatment service.
The GPs are experienced in using Dermascope to diagnose Melanoma and Non-Melanoma skin cancer. The Dermascope is an instrument that provides a magnified view of the skin using a polarising light source.
Our Doctors perform excision (surgical removel) of skin lesions or biopsy (sample excision) where there is uncertainty. These procedures are performed during booked excision clinic sessions. The surgical wound is usually sutured by a simple stitching technique however we also perform more complicated wound closures using skin flaps and skin grafting techniques. All lesions are photographed prior to excising and all excised specimens are sent for histological diagnosis (Pathology).
The GP’s providing the service all participate in a surgical audit process through the Pathology provider.
Full skin checks are recommended for patients with a past history of skin cancer, older patients and anyone with a history of prolonged sun exposure over their lifetime, particularly fair-skinned patients.
Chronic Disease Management
What is Chronic Disease Management?
If you have a chronic medical condition, your Doctor may suggest a GP Management Plan. If you require treatment from two or more health profressionals (allied health), your Doctor may also put a Team Care Arrangement in place for you.
What is a GP Management Plan?
A GP Management Plan is a plan of action agreed between you and your GP. It identifies your health care needs, sets out the services to be provided by your GP and lists the actions that you need to take.
What is a Team Care Arrangement?
A Team Care Arrangement plan lets your Doctor work with, and refer you to, at least two other health professionals who will provide treatment or services to you.
You may be eligible for Medicare Benefits for specific allied health services if your Doctor prepares both types of plans for you.
Eligibility for a Chronic Disease Management Plan:
Anyone with a chronic or terminal medical condition can have a GP Management Plan in place. Please speak to your Doctor at your next visit.
Chronic Disease Management Service at Myall Medical Practice:
At Summerhill Medical Centre, we are committed to improving the overall health of our community. Preventing disability and disease is an integral part of our purpose.
Summerhill Medical Centre is a major provider of Chronic Disease Management health care services. This service is delivered by our highly skilled and experienced Registered Nurses on behalf of our General Practitioners and currently supports a high number of registered patients who suffer from chronic diseases such as, but not limited to, diabetes, coronary heart disease, arthritis, obesity and asthma.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Australia accounting for 30% of all deaths in 2013, including 28% for males and 31% for females. On average, one Australian dies as a result of CVD every 12 minutes.
After analysing nearly 200,000 Australian GP records over five years, the Baker International Diabetic Institute released data in February 2011 finding that more than 50% had sub-optimal total LDL or bad cholesterol levels and 33% sub-optimal total cholesterol and HDL or good cholesterol levels.
Our highly experienced doctors recognise the importance of individual cardiovascular risk assessment on all adults aged over 45 and younger in high risk groups.
Our GPs take detailed patient histories which include family history of coronary heart disease and familial hypercholesterolemia and past history of diseases including coronary heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome and smoking status. Test your risk today at: cvdcheck.org.au
All of our highly experienced vocationally registered GP’s manage patients with allergies.
Allergies cause many clinical conditions such as hay fever, asthma, dermatitis, eczema and food intolerances.
Some allergies respond to minimising exposure to the causative agent such as dust mites while some people with severe allergies may require referral for further diagnosis and treatment.
We have an excellent network of specialists who manage allergies. Summerhill Medical Centre administers desensitisation to patients when prescribed by Allergy Specialists. Allergy testing for airborne allergens and immunotherapy are also offered at Summerhill Medical Centre. If you suffer from chronic hayfever or allergy from dustmites you may be interested in a desensitisation therapy (i.e. immunotherapy). It works by gradually exposing the person to gradually increasing doses of the specific allergen(s). Over time, this results in the person’s immune system becoming progressively less sensitive – or less reactive – to the allergen(s).
Food intolerances such as fructose malabsorption and lactose intolerance cause many symptoms in patients and GPs refer for diagnostic breath tests for these conditions and then to dieticians and specialists with expertise in this area.
We diagnose and manage patients with coeliac disease as well in conjunction with Gastroenterologists and Dieticians.
Almost 2 million Australians suffer asthma, with asthma affecting 1 in 4 primary school children, 1 in 7 teenagers and 1 in 10 adults.
Asthma, and other atopic allergic disorders, such as rhinitis, are increasing worldwide and Australia has the third highest prevalence of current wheeze in 13-14 year olds.
Our experienced GPs recognise the importance of diagnosing and managing asthma. Our GPs use peak flow meters and now with in-house spirometry testing we can test and better monitor your asthma. They perform regular reviews and provide asthma management plans and preventive and reliever medications as appropriate. They also refer those with severe disease to Respiratory or Allergy Specialists.
Musculoskeletal Conditions / Sports Injuries
Musculoskeletal conditions, such as back pain, cause significant morbidity in our community. With our ageing society joint degeneration and osteoarthritis is increasing. Obesity also increases joint degeneration and osteoarthritis.
Acute injuries are common and can be from sports, accidents or just wear and tear. Keeping fit, avoiding being overweight, wearing good footwear and doing regular stretching can help reduce the risk of injury.
The GPs at Summerhill Medical Centre can assess and manage your musculoskeletal or sports injury issues with referral for imaging if appropriate and to Allied Health Professionals, Sports Medicine Physicians, Rheumatologists and Orthopedic Surgeons.
Many conditions settle with conservative management such as rest, ice, elevation and short term anti-inflammatory medication either topically or orally if required.
Back pain is often helped by early mobilisation, such as walking and recovery from joint surgery is also helped by early mobilisation.
Mental illness will affect 1 in 5 Australians and depression will be one of the greatest health issues worldwide by 2020 according to the World Health Organisation.
All our GPs are experienced in recognising the early signs and symptoms of mental illness to ensure access to effective treatment and are aware that early treatment improves outcomes.
Mental illnesses significantly affects feelings, thoughts, behaviour and interactions. Mental illnesses include depression, which affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorder, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia and drug and alcohol addiction.
Treatment can include counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness, the over the counter medication St John’s Wort, prescribed medications, referral to a Psychologist or Psychiatrist and less frequently hospital admission.
Check your mental health online at: blackdoginstitute.org.au
Life expectancy of Australian men is 79 compared with 84 for Australian women.
The four most common causes of death and illness in men are:
- heart disease
- cancer including lung, skin, prostate and bowel cancers
- accidents such as car and bike accidents
- lung disease such as emphysema
Our GPs recognise prevention is vital to improve men’s health outcomes. As men tend to attend doctors less frequently than women, our GPs try and work opportunistically and then encourage men to return for regular checkups.
The risk of heart disease can be significantly lowered by not smoking or ceasing smoking, eating a healthy diet, maintaining and healthy weight with a BMI between 20-25 and a waist under 95cm and exercising regularly.
Chronic health conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes need to be managed, working to achieve targets which lower risk. The 45-49 year old health check can be used as a basis for an extensive health check and is covered by Medicare.
Our GPs recommend tests for checking for blood in the stools each 2 years over 50 and colonoscopy in those with a family history of bowel cancer.
They advise men between 19 and 32 to regularly examine their testes to check for testicular cancer. They discuss the option of screening for prostate cancer with a PSA and digital rectal examination from 50 and 40 in those with a family history.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a common condition affecting 1 in 7 men between 40-49 and increasing to 1 in 4 over 70. A yearly check of the prostate can help detect this and it is important to discuss with your GP any changing urinary symptoms such as frequency, slow stream, dribbling or nocturia.
Erectile dysfunction is another common condition in men affecting 1 in 5 men over 40 and 2 in 3 men over 70. It also can be a warning sign of medical illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes or depression. It is important to raise this issue with your GP and Summerhill Medical Centre’s GPs can investigate and treat this problem.
Depression affects 1 in 6 Australian men. Young men commit suicide four times more than young women and men over 65 also have a very high suicide rate.
Depression can be associated with medical illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or chronic pain or death of a partner and isolation. Men often do not seek treatment for mental illness and can increase the use of alcohol or non prescribed drugs. Our GPs encourage men to discuss these issues and then provide the appropriate intervention and support which can include counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, referral to a Psychiatrist or Psychologist or medications.
GP Management Plans and Team Care Arrangements
Summerhill Medical Centre GPs provide GP Management Plans and Team Care Arrangements for patients with chronic medical conditions. They form a framework for agreeing on management goals with individual patients and identifying actions to be taken by patients. These goals are then reviewed with the patient each 3 to 6 months.
When a GP Management Plan and Team Care Arrangement is in place, patients with chronic diseases can then be referred to Allied Health Providers.
These Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) referrals entitle patients to five Medicare subsidised sessions per calendar year. They facilitate communication between GPs, specialists and Allied Health professionals, which enhances patient care.
Antenatal and Shared Care
Summerhill Medical Centre GPs provide GP Management Plans and Team Care
Our GPs are experienced in providing antenatal health care provide Shared Antenatal Care with the Royal Women’s, Mercy Maternity, Northern and Sunshine Hospitals. They enjoy providing this service and find it very rewarding.
Shared Antenatal Care enables women to be seen regularly by their Doctor of choice who is familiar with their medical history. It reduces the number of Hospital visits and waiting times at Hospital Outpatient Clinics.
A shared antenatal record is completed by the GP and Hospital and it is important to bring this to each visit.
It is important to inform Reception Staff that a shared antenatal consultation is required when booking an appointment.
Our experienced Practice Nurses also see antenatal patients prior to the Doctor.
Certain medical conditions such as diabetes may mean that women are not suitable for shared antenatal care
We provide all childhood vaccinations that are free to holders of Medicare cards.
Currently babies are immunised against Hepatitis B at the hospital on the day of their birth. They then have vaccinations at 6 weeks, 4 months and 6 months and then at 12 months, 18 month and 4 years of age.
Adolescents receive vaccinations primarily via their schools but catch up vaccinations can occur at the surgery.
Pneumococcal disease is the name of a range of illnesses caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae and can cause blood and brain infections such as meningitis.
Pertussis Vaccination and Illness – Whooping Cough
Whooping cough or Pertussis rates in Australia in 2011 reached a 20 year high with over 38,500 cases being diagnosed.
Sadly several babies died from complications of whooping cough often caught from unvaccinated adults affected with pertussis. This has led to a change in the immunisation schedule with infants being vaccinated at 6 weeks, 4 months and 6 months.
The pertussis vaccine is also provided free to all expectant parents and parents of newborns. Parents and other carers will be eligible for the free vaccine as soon as the expectant mother enters the third trimester, until the baby is six months.
This expanded eligibility is based on new international evidence which shows that the whooping cough vaccine is safe and effective when administered to pregnant women in the third trimester, up to at least two weeks before birth. Expectant mothers will transfer protective antibodies to the unborn child, and be protected when her child is born.
There are 300,000 deaths annually worldwide from Pertussis. The Pertussis vaccine is good at decreasing the risk of severe disease and death but does not prevent the illness altogether. Those immunised are less likely to transmit infection to those around them if infected and experience a more mild illness.
Flu Vaccine and Influenza
As many of our patients travel on public transport, work in large air conditioned offices and travel frequently on planes they are at elevated risk of influenza and so we recommend and provide the annual influenza vaccine.
Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious viral infection that is responsible for major outbreaks of respiratory illness around the world, usually in the winter months. Unlike the common cold, influenza can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis, which often require hospitalisation.
The flu virus is especially dangerous for elderly people, pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and very young children, as well as for people with underlying medical conditions. It is estimated that each year, flu contributes to an average of 13,500 hospitalisations and more than 3,000 deaths among Australians aged over 50 years.
Immunity decreases over time and vaccination is recommended each year to ensure you continue to be protected. Vaccination is recommended in autumn to allow time for immunity to be strengthened before the flu season starts.
Measles immunity is often low in the 19 to 32 year old age group and measles outbreaks have occurred often from people travelling from overseas. It is advisable to update measles vaccination if in this age group or immunity can be determined by a simple blood test.
Rubella immunity also often decreases and is a special risk to pregnant women. Immunity is checked and vaccination provided to non immune women prior to pregnancy. After vaccination pregnancy must be avoided for one month as it is a live vaccine.
Immunity to chickenpox is also important pre-pregnancy. Children now receive this vaccine at 18 months of age but many adults are non immune and if this is confirmed by a blood test, 2 injections are given over a 2 month period.
People 65 and over are at higher risk of pneumonia and a free vaccine is given against this. It is given earlier to high risk groups.
Cervical Cancer Vaccine
Girls are now able to receive the vaccine against cervical cancer at 12 via school. This Australian discovery is being used around the world and recent data confirms its success in significantly lowering pre-cancer changes the past 4 years since its introduction.
As travel vaccination can be complex, we recommend that you see a doctor to discuss your itinerary and determine your vaccination requirements. Travel immunisation can take up to six (6) weeks to complete so consult your doctor as early as possible.
Yellow Fever Vaccinations
Summerhill Medical Centre is approved as a government accredited vaccination centre for Yellow Fever.
Prospective travellers will require a consultation with one of our GPs to review their medical history, risk of exposure, country vaccination requirements (for all countries being visited / transited) in line with the guidelines and requirements from the most recent NHMRC Australia Immunisation Handbook.
Where the Yellow Fever vaccine is given, the practice will provide the required certificate: “International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis.”