Welcome to our September newsletter. Spring has sprung, and although we are still in for rain, rain and more rain, we hope we can say farewell to some of those winter bugs! This month we will be updating you on changes to our fee structure as of 1st October, the medicare safety net, and the availability of oral antiviral treatment for eligible patients with Covid-19 infection. Our team have also been busy getting their steps in for ‘’Move Against Cancer’’ to help raise money for the Cancer Council Central Coast and Dr Elly is back on her bike smashing goals again.
R U OK DAY SEPTEMBER 8th
The last few years has been challenging for everyone which makes it even more important for us all to stay connected and, reach out to those around us.
R U OK? Day is a national day of action to remind us that every day is the day to ask, “Are you OK?”.
You don’t need to be an expert to reach out – just a good friend and a great listener.
Use these four steps and have a conversation that could change a life:
1. Ask R U OK?
3. Encourage action
4. Check in
If you’re worried about someone or are struggling yourself please contact your GP or the following 24/7 services;
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467,
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78
At Your Family Doctors at Erina – we are here for you!
CHANGES TO OUR FEE STRUCTURE
With expenses at Your Family Doctors at Erina continuing to climb, and your Medicare rebate covering only half of our private fees, our team have sadly realised to allow us to survive as a business, we are no longer able to bulkbill children under the age of 16 starting from 1st October 2022.
Due to Federal government policies such as the Medicare freeze the Medicare rebate value has not kept up with inflation. The Medicare rebate of $39 for a consult less than 20 minutes equates to less than 50% of the Australian Medical Associations (AMA) recommended fee of $86. As we are a private business with staff, equipment and rent to pay, this greater than 50% discount that we have provided to date, is not sustainable.
The majority of our medical services will have a out of pocket cost of around $40 – $50. Childhood immunisations will continue to be bulkbilled, as will care plans, care plan reviews, and health assessments, depending on eligibility.
If you are a family with high medical needs, you may reach your safety net, which means your rebate will become higher, dramatically reducing out of pocket expenses. It is recommended all family members are on the same medicare card to ensure all transactions contribute to your total. To find out more about the medicare safety net, click here – https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/medicare-safety-nets
If you are someone who has previously been bulkbilled, unfortunately it is unlikely this can continue. Of course, we remain committed to supporting those families in considerable financial distress. If this applies to you, please contact our practice manager. For patients on a means tested aged pension, or a disability pension, we will work with you to determine a sustainable way of providing the care and compassion you deserve.
This news article may provide you with more context;
*Individual Doctors fees may vary
*The same fees apply for telehealth
Thank you so much for your understanding, and please show kindness to our team as we continue to navigate our way through this very trying time.
ANTI-VIRAL TREATMENT FOR COVID-19
Life-saving oral antiviral treatments are now available to more people at risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19.
You may be eligible if you are:
✔️ 50+ with 2 risk factors
✔️ An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person aged 30+ with 2 risk factors
✔️ 18+ and immunocompromised.
Antiviral medicines only work within the first few days of symptom onset, so it’s critical that you get tested as soon as you feel unwell.
If you’re at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, talk to your doctor about antivirals and make a plan for treatment options if you test positive for COVID-19.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or any concerns and are unable to get in touch with your GP, you can call Healthdirect 24/7 on 1800 022 222 or the NSW Health Flu and COVID-19 Care at Home Support Line on 1800 960 933.
For more information about oral treatments for COVID-19, visit: https://www.health.gov.au/news/covid-19-oral-treatment-eligibility-expanded-from-11-july-2022
Make sure your Covid-19 vaccinations are up to date. Some people with severe or complex health needs may need extra doses. Have a chat to your GP or practice nurse if you are unsure. Vaccines can be booked 3 months after your last dose or COVID-19 infection.
At YFD have the Pfizer vaccine available for our patients by booking on line https://www.hotdoc.com.au/…/your-family…/doctors…
For other locations or vaccine types book at; https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/booking/
MOVE AGAINST CANCER IS BACK THIS SEPTEMBER
Move Against Cancer is back again for September 2022! Dr Ash Bowden together with the Cancer Council are encouraging as many Coasties as possible to keep fit and active, all in the name of raising money for cancer.
#MoveAgainstCancer is a step challenge encouraging you to move more and connect with each other during the month of September. It’s the Central Coast’s biggest step challenge and, after the success of the last two years we are all excited to be stepping again!
YFD is proud to have put together another fabulous team in 2022 to do as many steps as possible throughout the month of September to help raise funds for Cancer Council NSW – Central Coast. 10,000 steps a day is the recommended step goal for a healthy adults, however less than 1 in 5 Australian Adults reach this goal.
So far over 600 Coasties have signed up and $37,418 has been raised to go towards a cancer free future.
If you would like to sponsor our team please follow the link. https://www.doitforcancer.com.au/fundraisers/yourfamilydoctorsaterina
Read more of the benefits of Exercise in cancer reduction in our blog; https://yourfamilydoctors.com.au/exercise-and-cancer/
WOMEN’S HEALTH WEEK (5 – 11 September)
This years theme is about raising awareness of women’s health issues, including menopause and perimenopause, pelvic health, health checks, mental wellbeing as well as physical activity. This year, we’re urging women to book a health check with their GP – it’s ‘me time’!
This guide tells you what checks you need and when ……. https://assets.jeanhailes.org.au/…/whw22_health_checks…
For more information about Womens health week ……https://www.jeanhailes.org.au
CHRONIC DISEASE MANAGEMENT
Chronic disease is very common in Australia, with over half the population suffering from at least one chronic illness. The incidence of many of these chronic health conditions are on the rise due to factors such as change in lifestyle and increased life expectancy. They can lead to disability and premature death however with appropriate management, a team-based approach and a healthy lifestyle people can live healthier and longer lives with their chronic condition
To assist you in managing your chronic health conditions and achieving your health goals your GP can provide you with a GP Management Plan. This will includes identifying your health needs, goals that you hope to achieve, and a treatment plan including lifestyle measures. Once a plan is in place it should be reviewed and updated regularly by your GP.
If you have complex care needs which require the involvement of other health providers, such as a physiotherapist, dietician, podiatrist etc, you may be also be eligible for a Team Care Arrangement (TCA). This will enable you to receive a Medicare rebate when you visit specific private allied health services providers for up to 5 sessions per calendar year. In most cases there will still be some out of pocket expenses which still count towards the extended Medicare safety net. Not everyone qualifies for a Team Care Arrangement so please check with your GP or practice nurse if you are eligible.
For more information on Chronic disease management and taking control of your health clinic here –
DR ELLY SMASHING IT AGAIN ON THE BIKE
Dr Elly is still kicking cycling goals and had a very successful week at the 2022 AusCycling Masters National Championships this month. Elly took out the gold in the Time Trial and silver in the Criterium (her first time competing in this event!). We are so proud of our superstar riding doc who only started riding a bike seriously a few years ago when recovering from an injury. It just goes to show, anything is possible if you find something you love and are passionate about!
We hope you enjoyed reading our September Newsletter. You can also like us on facebook or instagram to keep up to date with the latest Covid changes, important health information and to see what the YFD team has been up to. Our website is also a great source of information, so please check out our blog for health information written by our team. Stay well.
Love Team YFD xx