Do I have to make an appointment or can I just walk in?
Vitalis Family Medical Practice primarily works on an appointment basis. Please contact the practice to make an appointment. Walk-in patients are welcome; however, patients with appointments and emergencies are treated with priority.
Why do doctors sometimes run late?
Nobody likes to be kept waiting. Our staff understand this and endeavour to manage all appointments as punctually as possible. However, due to the unpredictable nature of a medical practice, doctors may run behind time. We regret any inconvenience caused due to these delays. Please feel free to contact our surgery staff to confirm whether your doctor is running on time before you arrive for your appointment.
If you are running late, do not worry. Just kindly call our reception staff and notify us of your delay and they will be happy to reschedule a more convenient time.
What if I have multiple problems that I need to discuss with the doctor? Do I need a long consultation?
A second appointment may be required if you have more than one problem or more than one family member who has a medical problem and needs a consultation.
It is possible to book a double consultation for:
- Medical examinations
- Mental Health consultations
- Discuss with the Doctor if you're not sure
What if I have an urgent problem?
We keep a number of appointments open each day for patients who are sick and need to be seen quickly. To get access to these appointments please ring our receptionist at 7am. Throughout the day, our Nurse will assess any urgent enquiries and determine whether a same-day appointment is required.
How do I get a medical certificate?
Please book a consultation for a doctor to verify and certify that you have a medical condition that requires time off work. We cannot backdate a medical certificate.
Can I request prescriptions without the need to see a doctor? *
Most prescriptions provide enough repeats to last until your condition needs to be reviewed by the doctor. A consultation will usually be necessary when you need repeat prescriptions, particularly if you have not seen the doctor for 6 months or more.
In certain circumstances (e.g. lost script), a request for a repeat prescription can be left with our Reception staff. A prescription will be provided at your doctor's discretion. Please allow 2 working days.
A fee applies (see section on fees) for prescriptions provided without a consultation. Your pharmacist may be able to collect the script or we can post it to you or your pharmacist so that you are not inconvenienced with another visit to the Practice.
Can I request a referral letter to the specialist to be done without the need to see a doctor? *
Please book an appointment with your doctor if you require a referral letter.
It is important that your specialist receives information about your other medical problems, a list of your other medications and notification of allergies. These factors may affect your care. This is part of your comprehensive care that is best provided during a consultation.
Your doctor may be willing to write a referral letter without seeing you if it is for a follow up consultation with a specialist, or if you have lost the original referral note.
Please allow 2 working days for the letter to be provided.
Although there is a fee for referral letters provided without a consultation, we will email or post the referral to your specialist to avoid the inconvenience of another visit to the Practice. The usual fee for a referral letter is $15-20 (see section on fees) for a brief referral letter, but a longer letter will attract a higher fee, based on the time taken by the doctor.
Is it possible to have a telephone consultation?
If you wish to speak with your doctor by telephone, please leave your request with our receptionist. Medicare does not offer rebates for non-face to face consultations and therefore private telephone consultation fees apply.
Where possible, the doctor will call you back at the end of the consulting session, or arrange an appropriate time.
Please let the receptionist know if the matter is urgent and your inquiry will be assessed by our duty Nurse.
I have recently had some tests done by the doctor - how will I know if the results are ready?
The doctor will advise when your results are expected to arrive at the practice. Please phone the practice on 8123 1133 to find out whether your results are in and then make an appointment to obtain these results.
Do you have a reminder system?
Vitalis Family Medical Practice has reminder systems in place for lots of different health conditions with the underlying benefit of preventative care. If you have your PAP smear done at our clinic, you will be placed on a reminder system and sent a letter when your next test is due. If you are over 75 years of age, you will be on a reminder system for a health assessment by our practice nurse. If you are a diabetic, you will be placed on a reminder system for regular check-ups with your GP, the dietitian, podiatrist and other allied health personnel. Each doctor has their own reminder systems in place and it is important that you take notice of your reminder letters and ring to make an appointment when you get a letter.
My personal details have recently changed - how do I change this on my medical records?
Please inform our staff of any changes to your name, address, phone number, Health Care Card, and Pension Card or Medicare Card.
Who owns my medical records?
Patient medical records are the notes made by the doctor to assist the doctor to provide medical care. All patient records are therefore the property of Vitalis Family Medical Practice. By attending an appointment at Vitalis Family Medical Practice, you have implicitly given the doctor permission to take notes of the consultation. However, under the Privacy Act 1998 (Cth) you have the right to view and access a copy of your records.
How can I request to view or access a copy of my medical records?
Requests to access personal health information should be directed to your treating doctor. It is the discretion of your doctor to provide you with either an up-to-date summary of your medical records, or a copy of your full medical record.
Can Vitalis Family Medical Practice charge a fee for providing me with a copy of my medical records?
Yes. Under the Privacy Act 1998 (Cth), Vitalis Family Medical Practice can charge a reasonable fee for the administrative tasks of providing a copy of your medical records.
Can I be denied access to my medical records?
Full or partial access to your medical records may be refused in circumstances where:
- disclosure of health information may result in physical or mental harm to your or any other person
- the information may impact on the privacy of other individuals
- information relates to the existing or anticipated legal proceedings
- if access would prejudice negotiations with the individual
- where denying access is required or authorised by law
Can I transfer my medical records to a doctor at a different medical practice?
Yes. While there is no legal obligation for a doctor to transfer patient medical records, the doctors at Vitalis Family Medical Practice honour the professional courtesy. This is done by the doctor at the new practice submitting a formal request to transfer medical records on behalf of you, the patient. You will be asked to sign a consent form authorising the request. Vitalis Family Medical Practice charges $30 to transfer your medical records to another practice. This is to cover the administration time, printing and postage costs.
How long will Vitalis Family Medical Practice keep my records for?
It is a legislative requirement that Vitalis Family Medical Practice retains a copy of patient medical records for a minimum of 7 years for adults, and up to 25 years for children from the date that the patient was last provided with medical treatment or services by the doctor or medical practice.
At Vitalis Family Medical Practice, it is our policy to retain patient medical records indefinitely.
How do I transfer my Medical records from my old practice/doctors to this practice?
If you would like to have your medical records transferred to us from another medical practice, please ask the receptionist and this will be organised for you. Please be aware that most medical practices charge a small fee to transfer medical records to cover the cost of printing and postage.
You can choose to download a transfer of medical records form and fill it out prior to coming in. This will shorten your waiting time in the clinic. Click here to download the form.
I am unhappy with the care I have received - how do I make a complaint?
If you are dissatisfied or have a complaint regarding any aspect of your care, please discuss the matter with your doctor or with practice staff. We have a formal practice complaints policy; please ask a member of staff for a copy of it should you need it.
Vitalis Family Medical Practice is not open; what do I do?
Vitalis Family Medical Practice provides after hours care for our patients through National Home Doctor Service, an accredited service who acts on behalf of Vitalis Family Medical Practice. To arrange a home visit out of normal surgery hours, please call 13 SICK or 13 7425.
*Photo ID is required in order to collect any patient information from reception. If a third party such as a friend or a family member comes in to collect something on your behalf, please make sure you let our receptionists know the name of that person. This is to ensure we have been given your consent to release the information to that person in line with privacy regulations.