South Wangaratta Medical Centre Policies

Our patient information is available for new patients to read prior to the first appointment or to provide the specific information for current patients of South Wangaratta Medical Centre. 

If you are unable to attend an appointment please advise reception ahead of time. We appreciate as much notice as possible however at least 2 hours is preferred. We understand that sometimes it is not always possible to give 2 hours notice however we do expect contact before your booking to allow us to fill the appointment spot and advise the doctor. 

It is our practice policy to charge a $30 minimum fee per missed session where no notice has been provided. A session is defined as any appointment made with any of our clinicians including nurses. 

Please note that if you have failed to attend an appointment you will not be able to make any subsequent appointments until the fee has been paid.

Your doctor will advise when results are expected to arrive at the practice. Please make an appointment to correspond with this time. 

It is the patient’s responsibility to arrange a follow-up appointment with your doctor to get your results.

If you have opted in for SMS communication and the GP would like to discuss the results with you, you will receive a text message prompting you to make an appointment.

Please note, our administration and nursing staff are unable to provide results over the phone. An appointment will need to be made with your usual Doctor.

At our practices patients are required to make an appointment with their doctor for all new or repeat prescriptions.

Face to face consultations are preferred to ensure patient safety.

It is encouraged that you book appointments ahead of time to ensure you receive future prescriptions/medications before any current prescriptions run out.

Request for prescriptions and repeat prescriptions for drugs of dependance (including schedule 8 medications, opioids, strong pain killers, benzodiazepines)
Patients should be aware of their responsibility to make appointments for the request of prescription drugs of dependence such as opioid analgesia, benzodiazepines and opioid replacement therapy.
Please note that:
  • All requests for repeat scripts for drugs of dependence will go to your usual doctor.
  • All requests require a clinical review by your doctor. If it appears to your doctor that there is no improvement in your daily function or quality of life from the controlled substance, your medication may be discontinued.
  • As a patient, you agree to, and understand that, your usual doctor reserves the right to perform random or unannounced urine drug testing. This is a safety issue.
  • It is our policy that any appointment regarding drugs of dependence is conducted face to face. Telephone or telehealth appointments are not available for drugs of dependence.
  • Patients are responsible for their prescriptions. Lost prescriptions will not be replaced.
  • It is patients’ accountability to keep medications in a safe and secure place, such as a locked cabinet or safe. If medications are lost, misplaced, or stolen your doctor may choose not to replace the medications or to taper and discontinue the medications
  • Patients have the responsibility for taking medications as directed and understand that increasing the dose without the close supervision of your doctor could lead to the cessation of prescribing
  • Early requests for repeat scripts will not be performed
  • Patients are accountabe to schedule appointments for the next opioid prescription before leaving the clinic
  • Patients have the responsibility to set appointments to review ongoing therapy. This should be monthly and made at the last clinic appointment. No walk-in appointments for medication refills will be granted

We strive to improve for your benefit, please direct any queries or complaints to our practice manager – Teresa by calling 03 5713 9299.

If you have a complaint you may also contact the office of the Health Services Commissioner

Phone: 03 8601 520 or toll free 1800 136 066

This policy outlines the collection and use of health information for patients attending South Wangaratta Medical Centre. 

This policy applies to all patients that agree to the terms and conditions listed below, and sign consent on the South Wangaratta Medical Centre patient registration form.

As a patient of our medical practice, we require you to provide us with your personal details and a full medical history so that we may properly assess, diagnose, treat and be proactive in your health care needs.

We aim to protect the privacy and secure storage of your health information. You can request a copy of our privacy policy, which includes information about the collection, use and disclosure of your health information. We require your consent to collect personal information about you and to use the information you provide in the following ways.

  • Administrative purposes in running our medical practice
  • Billing purposes, including compliance with Medicare and Health Insurance Commission
  • Disclosure to others involved n your health care, including treating doctors and specialists outside of this medical practice. This may occur through referral to other doctors, or for medical tests and in the reports or results returned to us through referrals.
  • Disclosure to other doctors in this practice, locums etc. attached to the practice for the purpose of patient care and teaching.
  • For research and quality assurance activities to improve individual and community health care and practice management. Usually information that does not identify you is used but should information that will identify you be required you will be informed and given the opportunity to opt out of any involvement.
  • To comply with legislative or regulatory requirements e.g. Notifiable diseases
    For reminders which may be sent to you regarding your healthcare and management.

You can decline to have your health information used in all or some of the ways outlined above but it may influence our ability to manage your healthcare and provide the best outcome for you. 

We enforce a Zero Tolerance Policy at both of our clinics.

We do not tolerate violent, abusive or threatening behaviour from patients, families or friends of patients.

This includes physical and verbal abuse and discriminations (racism, sexism etc.). 

If you do threaten staff or other patients, we will immediately notify the relevant authorities

Any form of violent, abusive or threatening behaviour will result in being exited from the practice.

When a patient is exited from the practice they are no longer able to attend South Wangaratta Medical Centre in the future.

Please help us keep our clinics a safe space for all!

Our clinics are not currently accepting any new nursing home patients.

Our clinical team is currently at maximum capacity and are only able to provide nursing home support to patients who regularly receive their care at the clinic, as part of our commitment to continuity of care.

Doctors at this practice run by scheduled appointment only. We do not provide walk-in appointments. 

If you need to discuss your care please book an appointment so the doctor can discuss it with you. 
It is our practice policy that patient phone calls are not put through to the GP without an appointment. A message will be passed through to the relevant person. We will endeavour to respond within 2 business days.
Urgent care should be sought after at your local emergency department.  
Our  email address is not continuously monitored and is not our preferred means of patient communication. There is a risk that important clinical information sent to this address may be missed or not picked up, particularly time critical information. In  addition  we urge all patients to carefully consider the issue of security before sending medical information via unencrypted email. 
Vaccines should be stored in a specialised vaccine refrigerator. If you are not purchasing the vaccine directly from the centre, please take the prescription to your preferred pharmacy for ordering and dispensing and collect from the pharmacy immediately prior to coming to the medical centre for vaccination. Otherwise, the vaccine may be stored at the medical centre. Do not take the vaccine home to be stored in your domestic refrigerator. This can cause a breach in cold chain and may result in the GP declining to vaccinate. A replacement vaccine would need to be purchased at your own expense.

Home visits are available to regular, active, patients at the treating GP’s discretion. It has been decided that a 5km is a reasonable distance within which home visits will be conducted.
Home visits are conducted during the practice’s opening hours and are scheduled and confirmed by the GP.

If the GP deems it is not safe, not reasonable or unable to provide a home visit, the patient is informed and the date and time and a synopsis of the conversation are to be recorded in the patient’s medical record. An alternate service such as telehealth or video consultations, after-hours services, or GP telephone advice lines will be offered to the patient. The alternate service offered is also recorded in the patient’s medical record.

While in many situations a face-to-face consultation will be the preferred option, there are scenarios where a video consultation that is clinically justifiable will enable more convenient and accessible healthcare delivery without compromising patient and healthcare worker safety.

Copyright 2021 Northeast General Practice Services Pty Ltd trading as South Wangaratta Medical Centre.