All Gungahlin Medical Centre doctors keep up to date with progress in medical science through participation in a continuous cycle of training and learning. This involves attendance at medical conferences, subscription to medical journals and utilisation of internet resources. Doctors also participate in seminars and case presentations at Canberra 11ish and Calvary hospital.
The Practice provides a forum within which doctors can consult each other on medical issues and doctors meet together regularly to discuss difficult cases and develop protocols for patient management.
While the quality of health care received by patients is primarily dependent on the skill and diligence of doctors, the practice environment in which they work is also very important.
This includes the physical facilities of the Practice, the quality of the medical records, policies covering patient appointments and privacy, the respect and care extended to patients both by doctors and staff.
In order to encourage medical practices to embark on continual improvement in these areas, the Government introduced a programme of accreditation some years ago. Practices which meet the requirements of the programme are said to be “accredited” and are eligible for various government grants. Practices’ conformity with the Schemes’ requirements are tested thoroughly every three years by a visit from an expert team of Practice Inspectors. They look at every aspect of the Practice including the quality of the facilities, the medical work of the doctors, to the attitude of the receptionists.
The Gungahlin Medical Centre is fully accredited.
Preventative health care
Research shows that many health problems are related to diet and lifestyle choices. Gungahlin Medical Centre doctors therefore, as a matter of course, raise these matters with patients and recommend responses.
Our computerised electronic notes make it possible both to send reminders to patients about tests and treatment agreed on in earlier consultations; but also to contact patients with particular kinds of health problems (eg diabetes) that need regular follow up. Patients who do not wish to be contacted in this way should advise their doctor.
Research shows that chronic disease accounts for around 80% of the total burden of illness in Australia. This is attributable to a range of factors, including: advances in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases and injuries, demographic movements; lifestyle changes. Chronic illnesses can compromise quality of life, are long term and persistent, and can lead to a gradual deterioration of health. Chronic illnesses include cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma and arthritis. An option for patients with chronic disease is preparation of a Care Plan. Care Plans drawn up by Gungahlin Medical Centre doctors typically include a detailed overview of the patient’s health history and treatment.These health summaries can be retained by the patient for presentation at hospital or to other health professionals. Care Plans also identify treatment objectives and methods, patient self care options and the identity of other health professionals involved in the care.
Telephone contact with doctors
Normally, doctors do not take telephone calls from patients since that will interrupt a consultation with another patient. In such cases the receptionist will take down contact details and message from the patient for a subsequent return call by the doctor.
We try to keep patient waiting times to a minimum. However the demand for medical care is unpredictable. One cause of the unpredictability is the need to treat patients requiring emergency care. A second cause is that some appointments take longer than scheduled. You will greatly assist us in minimising delays if you advise us at the time you make your appointment whether you need a long consultation (more than 15 minutes).
The main language spoken is English. We can arrange for an interpreter if necessary.
Patients are encouraged to discuss any problem about treatment with their doctor or any other member of staff. If a patient feels he or she is unable to resolve the problem within the practice, the patient can contact The Health Complaints Commissioner by calling 6205 2222.
The Gungahlin Medical Centre has developed a policy about the collection, use and disclosure of the patient information that it holds. The policy also sets out the rights of the patients to access this information. If you would like to know more, please discuss the matter with your doctor or ask for a copy of our policy statement.