Collins Street Medical Centre

AGPAL Accredited General Practice

Quality and Innovation in Healthcare

Health News

This Summer Remember - UV. It all adds up

Your skin is like a memory bank – it remembers all the sunburns, all the tans and all the time you spent exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, without sun protection.


SunSmart Victoria, UV. It all adds up warns that UV damage can still occur during day-to-day activities, challenging the idea that it is only tanners or those with visible signs of sun damage that get skin cancer.

This incidental UV exposure, which can be as simple as doing jobs around the house or socialising outdoors with friends, can all add up – with dire consequences.

If you have concerns about your skin or a suspicious spot or mole, make an appointment to see one of our GP's for a Skin Cancer Check.

For more information about this SunSmart Campaign visit: www.sunsmart.com.au

Improving our Communication with our Patients

Collins Street Medical Centre is increasingly seeking to communicate with our patients via secure electronic means.

This would include email / SMS health reminders, on-line appointment bookings, SMS appointment reminders and in the future video consultations and patient uploading basic health information. To do this we need to ensure we have your email address, mobile phone number and of course your consent.

If you haven’t been to see your GP for some time or haven’t updated you contact / personal details for some time you can provide your current information by completing and submitting the CSMC Registration Form

We believe in providing our patients with appropriate preventative health information, recall / reminders and other health related information that will support your health and well-being. As a patient of CSMC you will be included in our preventative health management program; you have the right to opt-out and should you wish to do so please advise one of our team or your GP.

The practice adheres to the Australian Privacy Principles and does not send spam information. You can view our Privacy Policy here .

Before You See the World - See Your Doctor

Travel Health

Why Should I Consult my GP Prior to Travel?

Travellers overseas have up to a 50% chance of suffering travel related illness. Each year, over 500,000 Australians put themselves at risk of illness with potentially serious infection.

Prior to travel it is a good idea to have a medical check-up for personalised advice on how to reduce your risk of illness. This will include advice on how to prevent infectious disease.

Immunisations may be necessary for protection against diseases you may encounter, for routine health measures or as legal requirements for entry into some countries.

As some vaccinations require a course over weeks to months, you should speak to your GP as early as possible prior to your departure. Generally 6 - 8 weeks prior is adequate.


To ensure you receive the best advice, your GP will need to know:

  • the countries you will be visiting
  • length of stay in each country
  • time of year in each country
  • type of accommodation ( hotel, tent, etc )
  • type of travel ( bus, backpacking, etc )

Collins Street Medical Centre has on-line links with up to date travel health information, to ensure you receive the most accurate information possible.

After You Return.

Some illnesses can emerge weeks or even months after you have returned home from your trip eg -Hepatitis B symptoms typically appear 3 - 4 months after infection. You should keep this in mind, especially in the case of intestinal diseases. If the illness is severe or does not improve after 3 - 4 days, you should contact your GP.


Collins Street Medical Centre is an accredited Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre.

Please read on to find out about the Travel Advice our GP's can provide and information about booking your "Travel Health Consultation".

Read more...

Congratulation to our Sophie! Youth Mindfulness App Idea Selected for Samsung Adappt Initiative

Sophie, one of our front desk superstars continues her passion for helping people outside of her time at CSMC. Sophie helps out with a youth mental health organisation called Shout Out! based in Darwin; creating and monitoring a lot of their online social media and their administration. One of her initiatives was to create an online directory for mental health services in Darwin - making it easier for youth to find mental health services suitable to their needs.

You can check it out at their website - http://shoutout.strikingly.com

Shout Out - Youth Mental Health


But the BIG news is that they then came up with another innovative idea - a youth mindfulness app, In The Zone . They pitched the idea to Samsung as part of the Adappt initiative which joined forces with Suicide Prevention Australia to put the callout for the most innovative Big Idea for a mental health app, and they WON !!! So the next stage is a 3 day intensive bootcamp where they will learn how to create the actual app and make it accessible to the public!

“Samsung Adappt is a movement of young Australians designing apps that make a difference. Samsung believe that apps are about more than stalking friends or sharing selfies or ordering takeout. You know, making human life comfier. In fact, we’re just crazy enough to believe that this technology can be about something more… making human life better.”

In the Zone - A Big Idea - Samsung Adappt Initiative


‘In The Zone’ was created by the team at ‘Shout! Youth Mental Health’, a project of the Multicultural Youth of the Northern Territory (MyNT).

You can check out Sophie’s app idea called In the zone
- http://www.adappt.com.au/ideas/in-the-zone/

Great work Sophie, we’re all proud of your efforts!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Get involved this October!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a special time to acknowledge and support the many women, men and families across the country affected by breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Australian women, with one in eight women diagnosed by the time they turn 85. This year 15,600 Australian women and 145 men are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer.


Breast Cancer Network Australia

Despite improvements in diagnosis, treatment and management in recent decades, 42 Australian women are diagnosed each day and seven will lose their lives to the disease. Raising awareness is an important part of reducing the impact of breast cancer on Australian women and families.

The month is filled with pink reflections and celebrations. Many of BCNA’s corporate supporters provide their customers with a way to show their support during October.

See more at: https://www.bcna.org.au/


Use this as a reminder to make an appointment with one of our GPs for your next breast check.

Collins Street Medical Centre welcomes Dr Aiko (Tiarni) Tomita

Collins Street Medical Centre is pleased to welcome GP Dr Aiko (Tiarni) Tomita to our practice.

Dr Tomita joins the team at Collins Street, having recently relocated to Melbourne from Sydney. Prior to working in Sydney Tiarni also worked in rural NSW.

Dr Aiko (Tiarni) Tomita.

Tiarni gained her RACGP Fellowship in 2012, after completing her B. Medicine at the University of Newcastle in 2001. In her spare time, she worked for University of Oxford and completed her PhD in medicine in 2015. She is appointed as Visiting Associate Professor for Tokai University in Japan.

Tiarni enjoys seeing variety in General Practice and her particular interests are: Mental Health, Family Planning, Sexual Health, Contraceptive advice ( trained implanon provider ), Women and Men’s Health.

Tiarni speaks fluent English and Japanese.


Tiarni will start consulting from Friday 19th June and will initially be available Tuesday afternoons and Fridays.

Meet Your Kidneys - Kidney Health Week 24-30 May 2015

Every day more than 56 Australians die with kidney related disease; an estimated 1.7 million aged 18 years and over already has at least one clinical sign of existing chronic kidney disease.

This year’s Kidney Health Week theme, Meet Your Kidneys, educates Australians about the role of kidneys in regulating blood pressure and about keeping a look out for risk factors leading to kidney disease.

Meet Your Kidneys - Kidney Health Week May 2015

Read more...

2015 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program Delayed Until April

There will be a delay to the start of the 2015 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program.

Two of the strains in the 2015 trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine composition differ from those in the 2014 vaccine, which complicates the vaccine manufacturing process. This will result in up to one month’s delay, bringing the start of the annual influenza vaccination program to April.

This year we will be running dedicated “FLU VACCINATION CLINICS” and you will be able to book via our on-line appointment system.

2015 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Reminder for AprilOnce we have received a supply of the Flu Vaccine, we will be advising our patients via SMS – so please ensure you have checked we have your mobile telephone number.
Within the SMS message there will be a link that will take you to the on-line Flu Clinic booking.


In 2015 for private flu vaccine there will be 2 types of flu vaccine available:

1. Standard -  3 strain coverage  ~    $15

2. "Super"  -  4 strain coverage   ~   $26


Again, once we have received supply of flu vaccine, we will advise our patients via SMS.

Frozen berries associated with Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A and frozen berry products recall

Issued by: Dr Michael Ackland, Deputy Chief Health Officer, Victoria

Key messages

The Department is not recommending Hepatitis A vaccine for people who are well and have consumed the products that have been recalled. Immunisation is only recommended if a patient is a contact of a confirmed case of Hepatitis A.

Nannas Frozen Mixed Berries Recall - Hepatitis A Link

  • The consumption of Nanna’s Frozen Mixed Berry 1kg packet has been linked with Hepatitis A infection in at least five adults. This product has been recalled. As a precaution, three further products have also been recalled - Creative Gourmet mixed berries 300 gram and 500 gram packets AND Nanna’s Raspberries 1 kg packets
  • Anyone with any of these four products in their freezer, regardless of batch and best-before date, should discard the product or return it to the point of sale for a refund.
  • Hepatitis A virus can take between 15 to 50 days to develop and the onset of the illness in recognised cases ranges from early January to early February. Symptoms of Hepatitis A include abdominal pain, nausea, fever and chills and yellow skin or eyes.
  • Anyone who has consumed berries and is unwell should consult their GP, who should consider testing for Hepatitis A in cases with symptoms that are compatible.

VIEW UPDATE: Department of Health: Latest Media Update - Hepatitis A in Frozen Berries (20/02/2015)
As at 5 pm 20 February there are 14 cases nationally, 3 in Victoria; 5 in New South Wales, 5 in Queensland and 1 in WA.


I have eaten this product but don’t feel unwell – what should I do?

Monitor yourself and others who consumed the product for symptoms of fever, nausea or abdominal discomfort. Symptoms may appear between 15 and 50 days after catching the virus from eating the product. If symptoms appear, see your doctor immediately.

In the meantime, practice good hygiene. Steps you can take include:

  • Wash your hands with soap and hot running water before handling food, after going to the toilet and after handling used condoms or having contact with nappies or the anal area of another person.
  • Clean bathrooms and toilets often, paying attention to toilet seats, handles, taps and nappy change tables.

I have eaten this product and am feeling unwell – what should I do?

It is important to identify symptoms early to help prevent the disease spreading. If you have symptoms including fever, nausea or abdominal discomfort, see your doctor immediately.

If I have eaten this product – should I get a Hepatitis A vaccination?

The Department of Health and Human Services is not recommending routine Hepatitis A vaccination for people who have consumed the recalled products and are well. If you have any concerns about your health you should see your doctor for advice.


If you require more information - go to:
Vic Health or Better Health Vic 
Fact Sheet for Patients and Consumers - Hepatitis A and frozen berry products recall 

You can contact the practice or
Nurse on Call 1300 60 60 24

Victorian Hearing Commencing Audiology Hearing Clinic Sessions

Victorian Hearing will be commencing Hearing Clinic sessions at Collins Street Medical Centre (10.00am – 2.00pm ) from Friday 14th November and then fortnightly from that day.

Victorian Hearing

Victorian Hearing work collaboratively with their patients to make the best choice for their hearing future. Their university qualified Audiologists have over 50 years of combined experience and are always abreast of current technologies, advances and practices in audiology. The service is locally owned and run, ensuring patients get objective, unbiased advice as they have no alliance with any particular supplier.

Services provide include:
  • Lyric 24/7 hearing aid fitting
  • Diagnostic hearing tests
  • Tinnitus management
  • Customized ear plugs
  • Hearing aid repairs & maintenance
  • Assistive listening device advice & sales

For more information or to make an appointment patients need to phone Victorian Hearing on 1300 736 995
www.victorianhearing.com.au

Changes to General Practice Services - Medicare Rebates

Changes to General Practice services –
1st November, 2014 !

The Federal Government plans to introduce changes to Medicare rebates for a range of GP services.

If you are receiving Chronic Disease Management services, a Medicare benefit will only be able to be claimed for the same patient on the same day for:

  • a General Practitioner consultation      OR
  • a Chronic Disease Management service/s  ( Care Plan, Team Care, Review of Plan )

A General Practitioner cannot claim a Medicare benefit for a consultation if they are also claiming a Chronic Disease Management service (for the creation of a new care plan or for a review of an existing care plan) on the same day.

This measure will affect General Practitioners providing Chronic Disease Management services and patients with a chronic medical condition or complex care needs.


So what does this mean for YOU -

If your consultation is part of your Care Plan / chronic disease management ( eg. diabetes, asthma ) and you also have another unrelated issue you wish your GP to treat, from 1st November you will not be eligible to receive a Medicare rebate for both issues !

So, whereas in the past your GP may have bulkbilled you for these services, the change will mean that this is unable to continue and you will have an additional out of pocket expense.

You will of course still receive the same high quality care from your GP.

What can you do ?

We would suggest you contact your local parliamentarian and register your complaint.

Click here to locate your local member:   
Members of Federal Parliament - Victoria

( or go to www.directory.gov.au and select Commonwealth Parliament or State & Territory – Victoria. )

Kidney Health - Chronic Kidney Disease

Collins Street Medical Centre is participating in the Improvement Foundation initiative to focus quality improvement around Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and Cardiovascular Disease (CVD).

The aims of this quality improvement initiative are:

  • A 10% reduction in cardiac events over 12 months
  • To assess risk factor status (through the use of the Absolute Risk Assessment Tool ) in 20% of those in whom it is recommended and reduce the number of risk factors that are not at target by 20%
  • Increase the screening for CKD to 90% of the practice population who are at high risk.

Kidney Health Australia - Take the Kidney Test

Knowing the risk factors for CKD and asking your GP for a kidney health check can help detect chronic kidney disease early, and improve long term outcomes

The Facts: 
  • 1 in 10 Australians over 18 years old have indicators of  CKD
  • You can lose up to 90% of your kidney function before you experience any symptoms
  • CKD is a major risk factor for Cardiovascular Disease.


Risk Factors
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Cardio-vascular Disease
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Age 60 yrs +
  • A family history of kidney failure
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin

If you believe you may have any of the Risk Factors – you should discuss this with your GP at your next consultation.

For more information visit www.kidney.org.au.

Budget 2014 - Proposed Government Health Reforms

There are a number of proposals that were contained within the 2014 Federal Budget announced by the Treasurer on May 18th, 2014 (Co-payments, reduction in Medicare Rebate, changes to the Medicare Safety Net) relating to health care and visiting your GP).

We would stress that at this time these are PROPOSALS and have NOT been passed by Parliament.
Collins Street Medical Centre will ensure that our patients are kept informed of any changes that will affect them as a result of the budget and the Government Health Reform.

World Health Day 2014 - Small Bite, Big Threat:

Mosquitoes, flies, ticks and bugs may be a threat to your health – and that of your family - at home and when travelling. This is the message of this year’s World Health Day, on 7 April

Vectors such as mosquitos, sandflies and ticks may be a threat to you when you travel. Find out which diseases they cause and what you can do to protect yourself and your family.

Check out the WHO Health Day Boarding Pass before you travel

WHO Health Day Boarding Pass

WHO Health Day Boarding Pass

On World Health Day, celebrated on 7 April every year, the World Health Organization draws attention to a public health problem of global proportions and what needs to be done to address it. The date of 7 April marks the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948.

The theme for World Health Day 2014 is vector-borne diseases.

More than half the world’s population is at risk of these diseases, which include malaria, dengue, leishmaniasis and yellow fever. The poorest people in the world are the most affected. However, environmental change and the rapid and increased movement of people and goods around the world means that the risks are now much more widespread.

The World Health Day 2014 campaign focuses on vectors, the diseases they cause and simple precautions we can all take to protect ourselves and our families.

- Visit the WHO Health Day Website for More Information

Improvement Foundation Quality Improvement Award

Announcing the Improvement Foundation (I.F.) Quality Improvement Award Recipient

I.F. would like to congratulate Brett McPherson from Collins Street Medical Centre in Melbourne on winning the second Improvement Foundation Quality Improvement Award.


Brett’s application outlined how a very simple change can, through multiple PDSAs lead to significant improvements for patients, staff and the practice in IT adoption, data quality, operational efficiency and staff job satisfaction.

As the IF Award Winner for 2014, Brett will be travelling to Paris to attend the IHI/BMJ International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare.

- 19th Annual International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare, Paris 2014