Your best Health Insurance is Your GP v2.0

Yesterday we talked about risk. Risk is mitigated by knowledge and experience. I don’t know who said this, but I’m going to take a wild and crazy guess and say it wasn’t from Terry Pratchett’s wonderful Discworld series. This gives us another way to mitigate risk. Insurance.

Risks come at us everyday in our personal and professional lives. We accept that life involves risk. Risk happens.

‘Life is a risky business, no-one gets out alive’

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Health concerns us all, especially now, and we try to improve our health or at least to manage it. Some risks are foreseeable but some are not. These drive our uptake of health insurance. Health insurance is therefore a bit of a ‘grudge purchase’ – we don’t really want to buy it but we don’t want to do without it. Is it worth the money we pay for it? Some high profile voices say no. A past president of the AMA agrees:

A past president of the RACGP concurred:

if you increase the number of GPs by 1 per 10,000 people the death rate goes down 9%

Dr Bastian Seidel; Past President, RACGP

Your health is your wealth, as the saying goes, and you build wealth by spending wisely.

Some tests, treatments and procedures provide little benefit. And in some cases, they may even cause harm.
Use the 5 questions to make sure you end up with the right amount of care — not too much and not too little.

Do I really need this test, treatment or procedure?

Tests may help you and your doctor or other health care provider determine the problem. Treatments, such as medicines, and procedures may help to treat it.

What are the risks?

Will there be side effects to the test or treatment? What are the chances of getting results that aren’t accurate? Could that lead to more testing, additional treatments or another procedure?

Are there simpler, safer options?

Are there alternative options to treatment that could work. Lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier foods or exercising more, can be safe and effective options.

What happens if I don’t do anything?

Ask if your condition might get worse — or better — if you don’t have the test, treatment or procedure right away.

What are the costs?

Costs can be financial, emotional or a cost of your time. Where there is a cost to the community, is the cost reasonable or is there a cheaper alternative?

Your GP can be a great ally in navigating through the health system, a great support for you in times of need, and a great investment in your health. 

“Patients whose care is well managed and coordinated by their usual GP are less likely to cost the health system more in the long run because their GP-coordinated care will keep them out of hospital.

“Supporting general practice to continue managing these patients – who are growing in number each year – is an investment in health care that can help make the health system more sustainable.”

Past AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler

PartridgeGP works with you to help you make your best health decisions. We pride ourselves on great communication and we’re ready to share our professional skills and knowledge with you. This is only MORE important now, in the time of a global pandemic with a new vaccine on the horizon. The way forward is clear: make your appointment with us conveniently online right here – or call our friendly reception team on 82953200.

Better, for you.

Want more?

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

For everyone, we believe that having a usual GP or General Practice is central to each person’s care and recommend that people with any health issues that come to the attention of other health professionals should be advised to attend their usual GP or General Practice rather than a specialised service (ie a place not providing the holistic care a specialist GP would).   If  they say that they don’t have a usual GP or general practice, they should be helped to find one and to actually attend it. Call PartridgeGP on 82953200 or make an appointment online here.

(Hat tip: Dr Oliver Frank)

(TL;DR – Get a regular GP or General Practice and use them!)

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

If you’re employed, get a side hustle and get into business. If you’ve already got a business, get a network. Want to get started? Find your tribe here!

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

If you are a great GP or a great Allied Health Professional, and you want to serve your clients or patients to the best of your ability, without worrying about all the non clinical things that get in your way, lets talk. Call Mrs Hayley Roberts on 8295 3200 and have a coffee and chat with us as to how PartridgeGP can help you to help others.

Risk

In 1990 I watched Graham Gooch of England make 333 and 123 in a Test Match against India at Lord’s. It was a different time and a different country. Gooch looked decidedly unathletic (although apparently a fitness fanatic) and I certainly don’t remember the Indian pace attack as anything like the current potent crew. As Gooch approached his three hundredth run, the BBC cut to a horse race showing the usual tin ear of public broadcasters. It was compelling but hadn’t quite reached exciting. For those of you not baptised into the religion of Test Cricket, simply put, one fellow throws a small hard leather ball in a special way (bowling) at some wooden poles (the wickets) from a distance of 22 yards (the pitch) while another fellow (the batsman) uses a wooden club (bat) to prevent this. Other fellows stand around to catch or intercept the ball, and also provide commentary on the batsman’s skill, character, and parentage.

I moved to Australia and one of the instant upgrades was supporting the Australian cricket team. Staying up in 1995 to listen to Steve Waugh wearing bouncer after bouncer after bouncer as Australia finally rolled the West Indies in their own backyard was incredibly exciting. Part of that excitement was risk. The players had arm/chest guards, gloves, pads, boxes, helmets, and increasingly large bats but the spectacle and danger of confronting 140-150 kilometre missiles was enthralling.

It had a lot of value for the players involved and for the audiences in the West Indies, Australia, and around the world. The West Indies are a collection of independent island countries who only come together as the West Indies for cricket. Much the same could be said about Australia and it’s Federation of States (especially in light of recent border shenanigans). Australia had been planning this assault for years. The West Indies were coming off a long period of world domination and were raging against the dying of the light as their great players aged.

Fast forwarding again, I went back to England in 2013 to watch the Australian team play England at Lord’s. One of the Australian players to watch was a star of the future – Phillip Hughes. He didn’t have the most auspicious day at Lord’s but certainly looked a player of the future. It was to be his final Test Match. Hughes was a short man, like many of the great batsmen, and so had become accustomed to bowlers aiming at his chest and head. He was an accomplished player of this style of (short pitched) bowling. Sadly, in 2014, Hughes was batting in a State game and despite all of his protective apparel, was hit in the neck by a short pitched ball. He was incredibly unlucky to be hit in the neck in precisely the wrong spot. Wikipedia recounts:

causing a vertebral artery dissection that led to a subarachnoid haemorrhage. The Australian team doctor, Peter Brukner, noted that only 100 such cases had ever been reported, with “only one case reported as a result of a cricket ball”

The risk that made the matches in the West Indies so enthralling and the risk that added value to that spectacle was the same risk that ended with Phil Hughes’ death. Certainly players, spectators, and officials thought long and hard about this risk afterwards. As a result of this we now have something called a stem guard which is a little bit of plastic that protects that very vulnerable area of the neck. Hopefully this particular type of injury will never happen again with these consequences. The amount of short pitched bowling decreased, for a while, but then returned to previous levels (perhaps regressed to the mean). Then, something else happened. 

Today we can see players like Neil Wagner eulogised for bowling into the batsman’s armpit, shoulder, and head. This line of attack into the batsman’s blind spot can hit them, hurt them, or just put them off their game. Wagner recently won a Test Match for his country like this (with two broken toes).

“Neil Wagner was outstanding,” Stead said. “I’m not sure there are too many individuals that could do what he did in that Test match.

Further statistics during the current Australia vs India test series show a clear advantage gained by short pitched bowling. Furthermore, almost uniquely in top level sport, this involves the some of one team doing what they do best against some of the other team doing what they do worst (bowlers bowling at bowlers batting).  Is this too much risk and who makes this decision and on what basis?

This conundrum – the risk of injury and death versus the benefits of economic value resulting from the spectacle – mirrors some situations we face in medicine and life:

Lockdowns vs Targeted Protection

New Vaccines vs New Viruses

Medication vs Lifestyle

I don’t have a universal answer for this, in cricket, life, or in medicine. I firmly believe that we should have these conversations and come to answers that are transparent and workable. From the macro level in Australia and the world to the micro level in the consult room, I think this is the way we should manage risk. We should be mindful of risk in all of our consultations and all of our dealings with patients. If you would like to be part of a team that can afford and prioritise the time taken to consider risk in each and every consultation and dealing then the way forward is clear: make your appointment with us conveniently online right here – or call our friendly reception team on 82953200 or…

here are the steps!

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

For everyone, we believe that having a usual GP or General Practice is central to each person’s care and recommend that people with any health issues that come to the attention of other health professionals should be advised to attend their usual GP or General Practice rather than a specialised service (ie a place not providing the holistic care a specialist GP would).   If  they say that they don’t have a usual GP or general practice, they should be helped to find one and to actually attend it. Call PartridgeGP on 82953200 or make an appointment online here.

(Hat tip: Dr Oliver Frank)

(TL;DR – Get a regular GP or General Practice and use them!)

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

If you’re employed, get a side hustle and get into business. If you’ve already got a business, get a network. Want to get started? Find your tribe here!

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

If you are a great GP or a great Allied Health Professional, and you want to serve your clients or patients to the best of your ability, without worrying about all the non clinical things that get in your way, lets talk. Call Mrs Hayley Roberts on 8295 3200 and have a coffee and chat with us as to how PartridgeGP can help you to help others.

COVID clearance certificates and PartridgeGP

Did you know medical certificates expire? They have an end date! So when an employer or other entity asks for a clearance certificate, this is what we are going to write:

Dear Employer,

The whole point of a medical certificate is to certify someone unwell or unfit. This is why there is a beginning date AND an end date. At the end date, the patient is no longer certified unwell/unfit. I have enclosed the negative COVID results and you will note your employees certificate has reached its end date. I further enclose professional advice from our professional organisation in regard to this. It follows that the certificate of ‘clearance’ you are suggesting is unprofessional and those who would provide one are acting similarly.

I hope this information finds you well.

Regards

Doctor Nick
Specialist GP

Hope this helps! If you are still unwell or need any further information, say hi to your PartridgeGP and book in here for a phone or face to face consult!

Fewer Opioids More Options PartridgeGP Movement Theory

Did you know that here have been some big changes with the pack sizes of immediate release opioids/narcotics under the PBS as of June 1?

 

Me neither!

 

What does this mean in English? It means that doctors will be unable to prescribe large packs of addictive medication without ringing the government and asking for permission (with good reason!). 

 

Why?

 

Some good information can be found here

 

But to summarise:

 

The drugs work in the short term – but they don’t keep working

We have better and safer options

These drugs kill people

 

These changes haven’t been well publicised…but here they are:

 

 

pbs changes1

pbs changes 2

pbs changes 3

 

And:

 

Patients who require long-term treatment of chronic pain with opioids will still be able to access larger pack sizes and prescribers will be able to prescribe repeats where they meet the new restrictions requirements.


For chronic pain, increased quantities and/or repeats may be authorised by Services Australia where the patient meets the restriction requirements. Increased quantities to extend treatment up to one month may be requested via telephone/electronic authority request, and up to 3 months’ supply (up to 1-month quantity and up to 2 repeats) may be requested via an electronic/written authority request.


To be eligible for treatment with high strength opioids such as morphine, patients will need to be unresponsive or intolerant, or have achieved inadequate relief of their acute pain, following maximum tolerated doses of other lower strength opioid treatments.


These new arrangements apply to all PBS listings for opioid medications and therefore there will also be amendments to the tramadol and paracetamol/codeine restriction requirements.


All new and amended restrictions will be updated on the PBS website (pbs.gov.au) from
1 June 2020.

 

What does this change mean for prescribers?


The new opioid listings for reduced pack sizes will provide a simplified way for prescribers to  prescribe smaller quantities of immediate release opioids for acute, short-term treatment.


Prescribers must ensure that patients meet the relevant restriction criteria when prescribing opioids under Restricted Benefit and Authority Required (STREAMLINED) PBS listings. The ‘streamlined authority code’ is located on the relevant PBS listing on the PBS website. To prescribe an Authority Required (Telephone/Electronic) item, the prescriber is required to request authority approval from Services Australia through the Online PBS Authorities System or by calling 1800 888 333.


To ensure appropriate use of opioid medicines for the management of pain, patients must be referred to a pain specialist or alternative prescriber for clinical review if opioid use exceeds or is expected to exceed 12 months. The date of the review and name of the medical practitioner consulted must be provided for every authority application.

 
low angle photography of a road
Moving Forward

 

So from June 1:

 

  • If these addictive narcotic medications are required, your GP may prescribe smaller packs for your use
  • Please please please speak to your GP about any issues you are having – we have lots of options including counselling, physical therapy, diversional therapy, physiotherapy, non-drug therapy, other medications, and referrals to non-GP specialists for complex problems
  • We still care, we still want to help, we want to be safer and better for you
  • If you are on medications for 12 months or more, you will need to have a formal consult with another GP or specialist in addition to your usual GP to keep getting medication on a PBS (subsidised) prescription. 

 

We are here to help you

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PartridgeGP

Bookings

If you would like to work with us, call Dr Nick on 8295 3200 or click here

movement theory

Movement Theory

Bookings

Risk and COVID19

Did you know that they just released data from 17 million anonymised patients in the UK and analysed risk factors for #covid19 ?

Full Paper here

We are only a phone call (with video if needed!) away if you need more information.

SA has guidelines – the roadmap back!

And in the future

Did you also know that we can Test You for COVID 19 / Coronavirus if

Unexplained fever / chills
Unexplained cough/sore throat/short of breath
High risk settings:

Aged care and other residential care facilities
Healthcare settings
Military – group residential and other closed settings, such as Navy ships or living in accommodation
Boarding schools and other group residential settings
Educational settings where students are present
Childcare centres
Correctional facilities
Detention centres
Workplaces where social distancing can’t be readily practised
Remote industrial sites with accommodation (e.g. mine sites)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rural and remote communities, in consultation with CDCB
Settings where COVID-19 outbreaks are occurring, in consultation with CDCB

Testing at
Australian Clinical Labs 670 Anzac Highway Glenelg IN YOUR CAR

82952877

You still need a doctor’s referral so
Partridge GP here for phone consults at http://bit.ly/2XmM0n5 or by calling 82953200 or
HIT THE BIG BLUE BUTTON! at http://www.partridgegp.com.au

We’re here to serve you during this difficult time as we always have
To make a phone appointment click here http://bit.ly/2XmM0n5 or call us on 82953200

Coronavirus Help Desk – Partridge GP (update with Repat drive through clinic info)

We find ourselves at the start of a seeming pandemic.

 

Coronavirus – latest government info – CLICK HERE

 

If unwell with cough/cold symptoms, stay home and use the phone

 

CALL coronavirus hotline 1800 020 080

free advice, home testing after doctor advice

CALL healthdirect 1800 022 222

free advice

 

If further advice needed

 

CALL PartridgeGP 0882953200

phone consult, private fee, no Medicare rebate

CALL/ATTEND

nRAH

Flinders Medical Centre

Lyell McEwin Hospital

coronavirus clinics

free, can see and/or swab

 

updated re the Repat drive through clinic

 

Accessing the Repat Collection Centre:

Patients must be booked into this service to ensure a controlled flow

Bookings are to be made by the practice by ringing 8222 3000

The practice is to advise patient of date and time of booking

Fax the request form to SA Pathology on 7117 5085

The service is available between 8.00 am and 4.30 pm Monday to Friday

Access is via Gate 4, 216 Daws Road, then follow the signs

Please ask patients to remain in their car and the SA Pathology staff will come to them

Instruct the patient to remain in isolation until the results have been communicated to them by you (their GP)

 

The Royal Adelaide Hospital

7 days a week 0900-2000 – walk in, just follow the signs!

Royal Adelaide Clinic Location HERE

NEW Southern Suburbs Coronavirus Priority Care Clinic

 453 Morphett Rd, Oaklands Park 7 days a week, walk in 1000-2000

 

How Do I Self-Isolate- click HERE!

AND HERE

OR HERE!

 

 

 

coronaadvice

 

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Drive through COVID in Victoria!

Oh…you thought I meant testing!

I meant THIS

 

1552719486937

 

In other news

We find ourselves at the start of a seeming pandemic.

Coronavirus.

In addition to the medical risks to themselves, their friends and families, and their patients, GPs have to consider the risks to their livelihood and practices.

We can’t help our patients if we are ill.

We can’t help our patients if our practices are closed.

We can’t help our patients if we are isolated at home.

There may be solutions. One, from Dr Todd Cameron and Dr Sachin B Patel, is outlined in the following videos.

 

1. GPs to instigate protocols in the way they see patients

2. GPs to alter the things they need to see patients face to face for

3. GP Practices to support the GPs who pay them to do so

4. Use telehealth and have MBS item numbers 23/36 cover this in this time of need

The videos are here

 

And here

 

So what can you do as a GP to make these things happen?

Stephen Covey talks about a circle of influence and a circle of concern. Your circle of influence should be larger than your circle of concern or you just worry about things you can’t change. Let’s go further and consider a circle of impact.

Where can you apply your time and skills to make a change?

Here it is.

Join the AMA.

They have about 6000 GP members (my guesstimate). You can join for a monthly fee of somewhere between $15-130 a month as a GP or registrar. You don’t have to join the AMA – it is entirely voluntary. You can leave at any time, and take your money with you.

So join.

On your application, quite clearly state why you are joining and that this is THE thing you would like the AMA to make an impact on. The AMA have access to the politicians. From your membership to their ears.

Watch the videos.

Make your decision.

Join.

Take action.

Make a difference.

Good luck!

 

 

Coronavirus Help Desk – Partridge GP

We find ourselves at the start of a seeming pandemic.

Coronavirus – latest government info – CLICK HERE

 

If unwell with cough/cold symptoms, stay home and use the phone

 

CALL coronavirus hotline 1800 020 080

free advice, home testing after doctor advice

CALL healthdirect 1800 022 222

free advice

 

If further advice needed

 

CALL PartridgeGP 0882953200

phone consult, private fee, no Medicare rebate

CALL/ATTEND

nRAH

Flinders Medical Centre

Lyell McEwin Hospital

coronavirus clinics

free, can see and/or swab

The Royal Adelaide Hospital

7 days a week 0900-2000 – walk in, just follow the signs!

Royal Adelaide Clinic Location HERE

NEW Southern Suburbs Coronavirus Priority Care Clinic

 453 Morphett Rd, Oaklands Park 7 days a week, walk in 1000-2000

 

How Do I Self-Isolate- click HERE!

AND HERE

OR HERE!

 

 

coronaadvice

 

img_20200127_145549_wm7637784655035031070.png

GPs. Protect yourself. Join the AMA. Good reading for politicians!

We find ourselves at the start of a pandemic.

Coronavirus.

In addition to the medical risks to themselves, their friends and families, and their patients, GPs have to consider the risks to their livelihood and practices.

We can’t help our patients if we are ill.

We can’t help our patients if our practices are closed.

We can’t help our patients if we are isolated at home.

There may be solutions. One, from Dr Todd Cameron and Dr Sachin B Patel, is outlined in the following videos.

1. GPs to instigate protocols in the way they see patients – pivot to PHONE

2. GPs to alter the things they need to see patients face to face for – PHONE!

3. GP Practices to support the GPs who pay them to do so – BE SAFE!

4. Use telehealth and have MBS item numbers 23/36 cover this in this time of need

The videos are here

And here

So what can you do as a GP to make these things happen?

Stephen Covey talks about a circle of influence and a circle of concern. Your circle of influence should be larger than your circle of concern or you just worry about things you can’t change. Let’s go further and consider a circle of impact.

Where can you apply your time and skills to make a change?

Here it is.

Join the AMA.

They have about 6000 GP members (my guesstimate). You can join for a monthly fee of somewhere between $15-130 a month as a GP or registrar. You don’t have to join the AMA – it is entirely voluntary. You can leave at any time, and take your money with you.

So join.

On your application, quite clearly state why you are joining and that this is THE thing you would like the AMA to make an impact on. The AMA have access to the politicians. From your membership to their ears.

Watch the videos.

Make your decision.

Join.

Take action.

Make a difference.

Good luck!

Coronavirus and PartridgeGP

A new Coronavirus (similar to the common cold) has broken out in Wuhan, China. Many people seem to be worried.

The Symptoms

For now, our advice mirrors State and Federal Health advice:

UPDATED CORONAVIRUS ADVICE

Coronavirus

Call @PartridgeGP for a conversation, not to attend. Patients can also call Health Direct on 1800 022 222


If patients have travelled to China in the past 14 days and have symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or breathlessness, avoid contact with other
people, do not go into crowded places, or take public transport.

Patients should not attend general practice. They should be referred over the phone to the hospital emergency department and the ED should be informed to prepare for the patient’s arrival. The only testing should be in a public health setting.

Health Direct has a team of public health doctors for triage and assessment and referral to emergency. Public health will notify emergency departments in advance.

If patients at risk attend PartridgeGP this is what we will do:

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/pages/coronavirus-clinical-guidance.aspx

If you have cold and flu type symptoms or fever AND have recently travelled overseas to China or been with someone who has…SEE THE ADVICE ABOVE