25/Mar/2021

Hamilton Medical Centre will receive 50 vaccines per week, starting from the week of Monday 12 April 2021

Having a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is one way we can protect our community against coronavirus. COVID-19 vaccines help to prevent serious illness and death from COVID-19, and they are free for everyone in Australia. Hamilton Medical Centre is pleased to advise that we are an approved vaccination provider for COVID-19 vaccines.

 

Vaccine rollout

COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out to people in phases, with those most at risk receiving their vaccinations first. Phase 1b began on Monday 22 March 2021 in General Practices around the country. Each week, more and more practices will be added to this phase.

The Phase 1b rollout includes the priority population groups below:

  • People aged 70 years of age or older;
  • Health care workers;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults over 55 years;
  • Younger people with an underlying medical condition, including people with a disability; and
  • Critical and high-risk workers, including Australian Government officials about to be deployed overseas on official government business.

To find out if you are eligible to receive the vaccine now, visit https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility and complete the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker.

 

Booking your appointment

COVID-19 vaccinations are voluntary and free. When it is your turn to get vaccinated, our practice will contact you directly, via SMS or phone call. We have identified hundreds of patients who are eligible during Phase 1b, and with only 50 vaccines per week, it will take us time to get to each person. Please, try to be patient, and understand that we are working hard to ensure the most vulnerable patients in our community are prioritised. Please do not phone the practice requesting to book a vaccine appointment unless you have specifically been directed to do so by our staff.

 

Preparing for your vaccination

Before your vaccination appointment, you should make sure your details are up to date with Medicare.

If you don’t have your account set up, you can:

  • enrol in Medicare, if you’re not already enrolled.
  • set up your Medicare online account if you’re enrolled in Medicare, but don’t have Medicare linked to myGov.
  • get an Individual Health Identifier (IHI), if you’re not eligible for Medicare.

You can also read this patient factsheet developed by the Australian Government Department of Health: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-preparing-for-covid-19-vaccination

Please do not come to your vaccination appointment:

  • if you are feeling unwell with fever, cough, runny nose or other symptoms that could be from COVID-19
  • if you are waiting for COVID-19 test results, or have tested positive for COVID-19
  • if you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, or
  • if you are in quarantine.

If you have had another vaccine, for example the influenza vaccination, in the 14 days before your COVID-19 vaccine appointment. Please let us know as we may need to reschedule your appointment.

To keep you and our community safe, before and after vaccination, it is important that you continue to:

  • Stay 1.5 metres away from other people and avoid handshakes and contact with people outside your household.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell and get tested for COVID-19. You must stay at home until your results come back.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use hand sanitiser.
  • Always cough or sneeze into your arm or a tissue and put the tissue in the bin straight away.
  • Download the COVIDSafe app to help health officials let you know if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, visit www.health.gov.au

 

Post-vaccination

After receiving any vaccine, you may experience minor side effects. Most side effects are mild and last no more than a few days.

Common reactions to COVID-19 vaccinations include:

  • a sore arm
  • headache
  • low level fever
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • tiredness, or
  • joint pain.

You can use the COVID-19 vaccine side effects symptom checker if you have concerns about any symptoms after your vaccine. The checker is also available through the National Coronavirus Helpline, 1800 020 080, 24 hours a day.

 

Who to contact

You can ask your doctor for specific advice about side effects. Please call us if you would like to book an appointment.

If you think a COVID-19 vaccine has caused a side effect, you can report it. Reports of suspected side effects help the TGA monitor COVID-19 vaccine safety. Our [practice/clinic] can report side effects to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on your behalf, or you can report your side effects yourself. Visit the TGA website to find out how.

 

Post vaccination resources

The Department of Health has developed resources about what you can expect after your vaccination. You can access these resources here:

Patient resource – After your COVID-19 (AstraZeneca) vaccination

https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2021/03/covid-19-vaccination-after-your-astrazeneca-vaccine-covid-19-vaccination-after-your-covid-19-astrazeneca-vaccination.pdf

For more COVID-19 vaccine related resources, visit the Department of Health website.

 

More information

After your COVID-19 vaccination, it is important that you continue to protect those around you by:

  • washing your hands regularly with soap and water
  • keeping 1.5m from others
  • making sure the COVIDSafe app is active on your phone
  • staying informed about local restrictions.

17/Mar/2021

Our practice fees are changing from 1 April 2021. This is the first change since July 2020, and is a decision we’ve made in light of cost increases in the last few months. We regret the need for this and aim to keep our services affordable for all patients, however Medicare rates alone do not allow us to run an efficient and effective practice. Private fees are necessary for us to continue to provide all patients with a high standard of care, and as such we’ve had to increase ours.

As always, we provide bulk billing for those aged 15 and under, and those aged 65 and older. Concession card holders continue receive a discount on the private fees.

You can see the full list of fees on our ‘Fee’ page

Should you have any queries, you may phone or email the practice, or speak with your doctor.


17/Mar/2021

In the lead up to Phase 1b of the COVID-19 Vaccination program, we’ll be sharing a series of videos and information, designed to deepen your understanding of the Vaccination process so far, and of what’s to come.

Is there a subject you’d like to learn more about? Contact us at admin@hamiltonmedical.com.au and we’ll find the information for you.

Prefer to dive headfirst into research yourself? Here’s a few links which provide answers to the most common questions regarding COVID-19 Vaccination:

National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance – FAQ’s
https://www.ncirs.org.au/covid-19/covid-19-vaccines-frequently-asked-questions

HealthDirect
https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/covid-19-vaccination

Department of Health
https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines

❗️Don’t forget❗️

The Vaccine Eligibility Checker is available to check when you are able to book a vaccination appointment. Find it here https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility


03/Mar/2021

Update from PBS for consumers:

Active Ingredient Prescribing

The goal of Active Ingredient Prescribing is to help people understand what medicines they are taking. Under new medicine regulations, doctors must include the active ingredient names when preparing prescriptions for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Repatriation PBS (RPBS) medicines. This will mean most medicines will be prescribed by their active ingredient, not the brand name.

Activities to Support Consistent and Standardised Medicines Information

Active Ingredient Prescribing is part of a wider government initiative to ensure consistent and standardised medicines information, to support safe and appropriate use of medicines.

Consumers’ ability to identify a medicine’s active ingredient is critical for medicine safety. Confusion surrounding the active ingredients in medicines poses significant risk to consumers. Research indicates that many consumers only know their medicines by their brand name, and can easily take multiple doses if they are prescribed two different brands of medicine containing the same active ingredient. This risk is increased for elderly or chronically ill patients who often take a number of medicines.

What is an Active Ingredient?

Active ingredients are the chemical compounds in medicines that have an effect in the body. Essentially, these are the chemicals in the medicine that make it work. The introduction of Active Ingredient Prescribing will mean these active ingredients are easier to identify on prescriptions.

When will Active Ingredient Prescribing begin?

The Department of Health has changed legislation to require the inclusion of active ingredients on all PBS and RPBS prescriptions, except for:

  1. Handwritten prescriptions;
  2. Paper based medication charts in the residential aged care sector;
  3. Medicinal items with four or more active ingredients; and
  4. Other items excluded for safety or practicality reasons.

The new legislative requirements for PBS prescriptions are mandatory from 1 February 2021. From this date, all eligible PBS and RPBS prescriptions will need to include the active ingredient, followed by brand if the prescriber believes it is clinically necessary. Consumers will start to notice active ingredient information on their PBS and RPBS prescriptions over the coming months.

Benefits of Active Ingredient Prescribing

  1. Consumers being able to identify their medicine’s active ingredients reduces the risk of people taking multiple doses of medicines because they accidentally take different brands with the same active ingredient.
  2. Consumers will be better informed about the medicines they are taking.
  3. The changes are also likely to increase the uptake of generic and biosimilar medicines, leading to the reduction of out-of-pocket expenses for the consumer.
  4. Active ingredient information will now appear on prescriptions, medicines packaging, pharmacy dispensing labels and in My Health Record Shared Summaries.
  5. Prescribers can still prescribe a brand of medicine if they believe it is clinically necessary and can include brand names on prescriptions along with the active ingredient.
  6. Consumers will still be able to choose the brand they want when they get their medicines from their pharmacy.


06/Aug/2020

Over the last few weeks, our practice has been preparing for an increase of COVID-19 cases in the Hunter Region.

We’ve made changes to the way patients enter our practice, ensuring only those with appointments who have been thoroughly screened are entering the practice.

From Friday 24 July, we’ve made it mandatory that all patients entering the practice wear a mask to not only protect themselves, but to protect our staff and doctors.

Our entire staff will be wearing masks while a patient is in the practice, and the consulting doctor will be in full PPE.

These changes are in line with our practice’s COVID-19 Policy.

We advise our patients to check the NSW Health Latest Updates page for information regarding cases and statistics.

We also advise our patients to visit the NSW Health Self-Isolation Guidelines and Information page if you have any concerns about when to isolate, if you think you may be a close or casual contact of a confirmed case, or if you are a parent or carer. Patients can also phone the COVID-19 Health Information phone line on 1800 020 080.

New COVID-19 cases in Newcastle
A second case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Newcastle today (August 6), who is a close contact of the teenager announced by Hunter New England Health yesterday. The District is continuing to investigate the source of that case’s infection. This latest case is a male in his 20s. Hunter New England Local Health District is urging anyone who attended the following venues at the specified times to immediately self-isolate and seek testing:

· Bennett Hotel, Hamilton – Friday 31 July, from 5.30pm to 10.00pm
· Greenroof Bar and Restaurant, Hamilton – Friday 31 July, from 10.00pm to 12 midnight
· The Hopsmith Sports Bar, Wests New Lambton – Sunday 2 August, from 5.00pm to 7.30pm.

Hunter New England Health also urges any patrons who visited the following venues at the times specified to be alert for symptoms, and if any develop to get tested and self-isolate immediately:

· Queens Wharf Hotel – Saturday 1 August from 9.30pm to 11.00 pm
· Sydney Junction Hotel, Hamilton – Saturday 1 August, from 12 midnight to 1.30am Sunday 2 August
· McDonald Jones Stadium – Sunday 2 August, 7:30pm to end of game, Newcastle Jets match.


04/May/2020

We are very excited to announce that Dr Katherine Hanks will be starting at HMC on Tuesday 19 May 2020. Dr Katherine will be working on Tuesday’s and Friday’s, and areas of interest include Women’s Health – Implanon and IUD Insertion, Children’s Health, Antenatal Care, Sexual Health and Aboriginal people’s health. Bookings are open NOW! Call us on 02 4961 1713 or book online 24/7.


13/Mar/2020

The staff and doctors at Hamilton Medical Centre are taking all advice from the Department of Health regarding COVID-19 extremely seriously. We have implemented new procedures regarding booking and attending appointments which are critical to help prevent the spread of this virus. This involves asking a series of triage related questions at each encounter, such as, when booking your appointment over the phone, and when attending your appointment. We kindly request that when speaking with our team, that you answer all questions honestly. This helps ensure that our patients, staff and doctors are kept as safe and as healthy as possible.

For FAQ’s regarding COVID-19 please go to https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/alerts/Pages/coronavirus-faqs.aspx

For the latest travel advice, go to https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

If you are experiencing ANY of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Sore Throat
  • Shortness of Breath

AND if you have travelled or transited through:

  • mainland China
  • Italy
  • Iran
  • South Korea

Do the following:

  • Call your doctor for advice – DO NOT ATTEND WITHOUT CALLING PRIOR
  • Attend your closest Emergency Department
  • Call Health Direct on 1800 022 222

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