Medical care on the Peninsula, provided in a welcoming, personal environment by specialist qualified GPs. A bright, well equipped and fully computerised clinic.

At Tanti Creek General Practice we strive to provide high standards of care. We treat you as an individual and believe the patient-doctor relationship that develops over time improves health care. As a smaller practice, we are able to get to know you better. We encourage patients to take an active role in their own health care. While we can capably manage a wide range of medical problems, we also work with others to get you the best outcomes. We assist in referrals to appropriate specialist and allied health services when required.

Tanti Creek General Practice is a partnership of experienced and broadly skilled general practitioners: Dr Alisdair (Ali) Barnes and Dr Neville Steer.

We are also committed to on-going medical education to maintain and update our knowledge and skills in relation to new medical developments.

Tanti Creek General Practice is a fully accredited General Practice. Our practice is monitored and assessed for quality of service.

Training the next generation of doctors is part of modern general practice. We host and supervise Monash University medical students in the later years of their training as well as being involved in other educational and examination activities. We know our doctors-in-training learn from and enjoy our patients as much as we do and hope they feel inspired to become the GPs of the future.

Also within our recently expanded clinic

Melbourne Pathology collection centre: Open 0830-1230 weekdays for pathology testing, ECGs and Holter Monitoring.

Mornington Skin Cancer Clinic: Providing a specialised skin cancer assessment and treatment service

Contact

Find us at: 128 Tanti Avenue, Mornington Victoria 3931

Call us on: (03) 5975 0022

Fax us via: (03) 5976 4978

Appointments

Telephone bookings can be made by calling (03) 5975 0022, or in person at our reception.

Practice hours: Monday to Friday

  • Appointments with a doctor are generally between 8.30am and 5.30pm
  • A practice nurse is available between 9.30am and 3.30pm
  • Reception is open between 8.30am and 6.00pm

Appointments are not available at weekends or on public holidays.

After hours options:

  • Emergencies — Dial 000
  • Telephone locum service ALMS 132 660 after hours
    (Not available on Saturday mornings)
  • Ring nurse on call for advice 1300 60 60 24
  • Attend Emergency Department at local public hospitals
    • Frankston Hospital, Hastings Rd, Frankston Tel 9784 7777
      (ask switchboard for Emergency Department)
    • Rosebud Hospital, 1527 Point Nepean Rd, Rosebud Tel 5686 0666
      (open 24 hours per day)
  • Attend Medicentre at Frankston Hospital, Tel 9783 8522
    (Melways reference 102 E4)

What to expect during a consultation

When you arrive at the practice you will be greeted by our receptionist. Please bring your Medicare card with you and your current concession card if you have one..

As a new patient, you will be asked to complete a registration form (to be returned to the receptionist) and a separate medical form which you give to the doctor or nurse that first sees you. The medical form includes information such as your current and past medical problems, medications and allergies. Our practice nurse is available to assist you with this if required. The nurse may also check your blood pressure, height and weight. You may like to print and complete these at home prior to your appointment.

At the first visit and all subsequent visits, it will help if you write down the health problems that are currently of concern to you on a visit card provided on arrival at the practice at each consultation. This Visit Card is provided at reception and is also available for download, and you may choose to complete it at home and bring it with you. The visit card helps the doctor plan the consultation process and efficiently use your time to meet your needs.

What is the consultation process?

A consultation is a structured process. It has the following steps and our practice nurse may assist with some of these:

  1. History taking covers the presenting problem and background health issues. During this time we try to understand how and when the problem developed and how it affects you. If you decide to have someone else present, it is important that you are aware we may need to ask quite personal questions.
  2. Examination covers the affected areas as well as other aspects which may be significant. You may be required to undress to your underwear behind a screen. If a breast, genital or internal examination is required you are covered with a sheet. You can have our nurse present if you would like or a trusted friend or family member.
  3. Investigations. During the history and examination, the doctor is mentally forming possible diagnoses. This then may direct certain investigations. Some tests such as ECG, lung function tests can be done at the practice. Others may require referral for blood testing, xray or ultrasound.
  4. Diagnosis. A diagnosis may be made during the above stages or may require evaluation over time. A condition may be evolving and need time to assess.
  5. Management plans. We may recommend a course of management involving medication, lifestyle changes, physical or psychological treatments. This will be discussed with you including the possibility of adverse effects and the risks of not having treatment. As well as referral for treatment such as physiotherapy, we may refer you to a medical specialist for an opinion or treatment. (Note – a referral is only done after doing an appropriate assessment.)
  6. Reviews. Many medical problems require a review to consider the results of investigation or response to treatment.
  7. Record keeping. We use a computer program called Best Practice to record your health information. Your medical record is important and we will spend time making sure essential information is updated. Your privacy is protected using high levels of security. All staff are trained in the management of health information and confidentiality.
  8. Preventive health and lifestyle advice. In addition to managing your presenting problem we may recommend certain actions to help improve or protect your heath. This may require a return visit to address these issues.

Appointment Types

Standard appointments

Standard appointments are booked at 15 minute intervals. If you have several issues or a complex problem we encourage you to book an extended appointment. We will try to complete your care efficiently at the one visit when possible. Longer appointments are billed at a higher rate but the gap remains about the same (see Practice Fees and Costs).

During a scheduled appointment, some patients ask for another family member to be treated as well. Please don’t be offended if we advise you to arrange a separate appointment. “Squeezing” patients into your appointment can have a negative impact on the quality of advice given or cause other patients to wait longer and is discouraged.

Extended Appointments and Medical Examinations.

Complex or multiple medical problems will require a longer appointment to allow adequate time for proper assessment and treatment. Please feel comfortable to ask for an extended appointment if you feel it is required.

Medical examinations for drivers licenses and other purposes require special bookings with the doctor and nurse. Please explain the type of medical exam to our receptionist who will be happy to make the required scheduling. Check with the employer or institution about any forms required to bring with you (and be sure to complete all relevant sections beforehand). You will also need to bring a form of identification such as your driver’s license and your glasses if you have them.

Procedures and Skin Care

Tanti Creek General Practice has a well equipped Procedures Room for minor surgery. Most conditions will require a prior appointment to assess the most appropriate management. Your doctor will then make arrangements for a procedure booking.

Dr Steer has a special interest in skin cancer management and is Director at the new Mornington Skin Cancer Clinic co-located with the general practice. He works with our other GPs who also have skin cancer training. We employ high magnification dermoscopy and digital photography to improve skin cancer detection and accuracy of diagnosis. Under local anaesthetic, we can biopsy or remove skin lesions.

In addition to surgical treatment we can treat skin conditions with cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen), hyfrecation (electrical diathermy) and chemical treatments such as Aldara and Efudix. For more complex skin cancer, we will work with a specialist dermatologist or plastic surgeon to get the best results for you.

We are also able to treat minor fractures and wounds that require suturing.

4 Year Old ‘Healthy Kids Check’ and Immunisation

A Government initiative since 2011 is the ‘Healthy Kids Check’. This is a health screening for pre-school children aged between three and five. It includes an overview of the child’s development and checks such as eyesight, hearing and motor skills, as well as the option of providing the routine four year old immunisations at the same visit.

The Healthy Kids Check takes approximately 45-60 minutes depending on whether immunisations are required. The visit commences with the nurse who completes most of the assessment, followed by a review with the doctor.

The aim of the check is to identify any concerns you may have with your child’s general health or development in preparation for school. It is not for the treatment of ongoing or acute illness. The check is connected to Family Benefits payments, but is otherwise optional. For our existing patients, there is no cost to you for the visit and any immunisations are bulk-billed.

Immunisations recommended for children in the National Immunisation Schedule are free (consultations bulkbilled)

Please contact our clinic if you wish to book your child for a Healthy Kids Check: Advise our receptionist of the reason for the appointment, whether your child has been seen by a doctor at the clinic previously or not, and whether or not your child will need his/her four-year-old immunisations. Please note: If your child is new to our clinic there will be a little extra paperwork and time involved as for all our new patients.

Need a referral to a physio,podiatrist or psychologist for Medicare?

If your health professional (physio,podiatrist or psychologist or other) advises you to get a referral so you can claim Medicare benefits, the Government has special requirements. We are able to help with these but will need to see you to assess your eligibility as required by Medicare. The process requires patients have a GP management plan and a “team care arrangement” (or for a psychologist referral a mental health assessment and plan) in order to obtain these benefits. These consultations require a longer appointment time and must be done in person for you to obtain the Medicare benefit.

Appointments for Health Assessments

These include Assessment for Children with a Disability or possible Autism, Refugee Health Assessment, Aboriginal Health Assessment, Annual Health Assessment for People Aged 75 years and older, and the Diabetes Annual Review.

These appointments generally require special arrangements and longer appointments. Please advise our receptionist if booking for any of these.

Running Late?

Please arrive at the practice a few minutes before for your appointment time. We do not overbook and mostly we are running on time. If you are a new patient, arrive 15 minutes before your appointment. This allows you time to check in and fill in a registration form with your medical history prior to your appointment with the doctor. Alternatively, you can download a registration form here, fill it out at home, and arrive 10 minutes beforehand.

Arriving late results in a “traffic jam” with appointments and may require that we reschedule your booking.

Need to cancel?

If you are unable to keep your appointment, please advise us so we can offer the time to another patient. Appointments should be cancelled as early as possible but at least 2 hours before your appointment time. If you do not cancel an appointment, a booking fee of $20 will be applicable as we can not provide your time to another patient.

Non-attendance for longer appointments such as for an extended appointment, medical examination or procedure will require payment of a booking fee of $35.

Waiting Times

We schedule our bookings at realistic intervals so we can be on time. To help us achieve this, you can ask for an extended appointment if you have a number of issues. (It will not cost you more for an extended appointment). Despite the best plans, the nature of general practice is that problems may be more serious or complex than anticipated, requiring immediate attention and a longer “unplanned” appointment. Naturally we can not guarantee call you at exactly the minute of your appointment each and every time, but we will do our best for every patient. Sometimes this means spending a bit longer with a distressed or very sick patient or dropping things to respond to a life threatening emergency (which happens about every 2 weeks in our practice). Your cooperation and support is appreciated.

Services

We provide a wide range of health care for men, women, infants and children of all ages. Nursing home, palliative care and home visits are provided in the Mornington area when appropriate.

  • General medical consultations including diagnosis, health advice and management
  • Counselling and psychological/ mental health care
  • Family planning and contraceptive advice; Pap smear tests; insertion of implanon (contraceptive implant)
  • Health screening and preventive care and advice
  • Immunisations for children and adults
  • Shared antenatal care
  • Minor surgical procedures and skin cancer care
  • Chronic illness management
  • Wound management
  • Travel advice and immunisations (We are an approved Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre)
  • Occupational health and pre-employment examinations
  • Adolescent health care (see below)

Adolescent Health Care

We understand that young people have particular health concerns and at times may need confidential health advice. Young people aged 15 and over are able to acquire their personal Medicare Card at a Medicare Office (Shop 105, Village Shopping Centre, Main Street, Mornington). From a legal perspective, adolescents who are capable of making decisions about their health are entitled to do so. Young people will be asked whether specific information they disclose about their health can be shared with their parents or guardians or whether they wish the information to be completely confidential. Relevant information is only shared in a situation where a person’s well-being or life is at serious risk. This is discussed first with the patient concerned as is the case with any adult.

Women’s Health

All our doctors are interested and experienced in assisting women care for their health. While some women are a little embarrassed with male doctors, Dr Steer has many years of experience with procedural obstetrics and office gynaecology and is part of the Frankston Hospital shared antenatal care program. Pap tests and managing menopausal and menstrual problems, early pregnancy care, contraceptive advice and insertion of Implanon are done by all our doctors.

Travel Health and Immunisations

We can give you advice and vaccinations to help make your travel as safe as possible. We are a licensed centre for administering Yellow Fever vaccinations required to travel for some parts of Africa, Central and South America.

If you are requiring a travel health consult, please advise the receptionist who is happy to make the required scheduling with the doctor and nurse. Some travel advice is more complex than others, particularly if you plan to travel through multiple countries or particular parts of Africa, South America or Asia. Advice can change according to previous history of vaccination, trip duration, season and type of travel. Children, pregnant women, the elderly, people with health problems and particularly impaired immunity have different requirements: travel advice must be tailored to individuals.

Timing: Various travel health arrangements and in particular vaccinations need to be done well in advance. We stock common travel vaccines but not less common or more expensive ones, which may need to be ordered in. Plan to see the doctor about two months ahead of your departure. A separate appointment should be made for each person travelling.

Before your appointment, if possible download a pre-travel assessment form here and complete this prior to your travel consultation. Delivering or faxing (FAX 5976 4978) this to the clinic, addressed to the doctor you will be seeing, will help facilitate advice and arrangements.

Please note that the Australian government (Medicare or Pharmaceutical Benefits) does not cover the cost of travel vaccines.

Cultural Background

There are times when a patient’s cultural or ethnic background can be important in the way it impacts on health. There are some illnesses which are more prevalent in certain people or when cultural health practices differ from the common practices in Australia. For these reasons you may be asked about your background.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders encourage indigenous people to advise their health provider of their cultural background so that their health needs can be better addressed.

Interpreters

When a patient has difficulty understanding English, we recommend the use of a trained interpreter. This protects the privacy of the patient and assists them in discussing issues of a personal nature. The Australian Government provides a free confidential service (Translating and Interpreting Service) available 24 hours per day by contacting 13 14 50.

Practice Fees and Costs

Tanti Creek General Practice is a privately funded medical facility. Our fees reflect the cost of providing and maintaining a modern medical service to the community. These fees cover our office expenses, property maintenance, insurance, IT systems and support, staff wages, rent  and borrowing costs in addition to payment to the doctors for their expertise, responsibility and time. Typically this is about 50% of the fee. A lot of work is also done when patients are not present — reviewing test results, reports and patient files, attending to professional development and managing the business of the practice.

The Australian Government provides a Medicare rebate for patients when they receive a medical service although this amount is not sufficient to cover the full cost of the service. As a result there is a Gap Fee.

Bulkbilling occurs when the doctor accepts the Medicare rebate as the full fee. It is our view that bulkbilling results in doctors spending less time with their patients as they are forced to increase the number of patients they see per hour in order to stay viable. This practice has a policy of not bulkbilling but working hard to care for our patients. We do this by focussing on the needs of the patient rather than trying to move patients in and out quickly.

Tanti Creek General Practice is not a bulkbilling practice. As an exception, we bulkbill DVA patients and to encourage childhood immunisations, we bulkbill children for standard immunisations.

Fees

Your fee will depend on the type of consultation:

  • Standard consultation — under 20 minutes — $75 (ªGap $37.95)
  • Extended consultation — over 20 minutes — $110 (ªGap $38.30)
  • Prolonged consultation — over 40 minutes — $145 (ªGap $39.45)
  • Surgical procedures — fee varies depending on Medicare item number

ª The ‘Gap’ is the amount you pay after receiving the Medicare rebate, that is, the actual cost to you. Payment is required at the time of your visit. Note that if you have previously registered your bank account details with a Medicare office, our receptionist can arrange for your rebate to be directly credited back into your bank account, usually within 24 hours.

If payment is not made on the same day an account fee of $10 is payable.

If other services are required on the same day (spirometry, ECG etc), the maximum gap will usually be $50.

Materials, vaccines and medicines provided, and tests not covered by Medicare (e.g., 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and wound dressings) are not included within this amount.

Concession card discount: If you hold a pensioner or health care card, a discount of $10 on each item is provided. This means for most consultations the gap you pay will be no more than $28.  Special procedures or diagnostic tests are sometimes required and involve additional costs.

Credit card and EFTPOS facilities are available.

Other costs

Vaccines, dressings, sutures, medications and other supplies are not included in the cost of consultations and procedures and are billed separately. These are at a lower cost than can normally be obtained through a pharmacy. (Some vaccines are funded by the Government and are provided at no cost e.g. childhood vaccines).

Workcover and TAC

We do not bill Workcover or TAC direct for medical expenses.

These insurers do not cover the full cost of the service. You are billed directly as for other health problems and will need to seek re-imbursement from your employer, Workcover or TAC. If there is dispute with the insurer, Medicare will provide a rebate.

Repeat prescriptions

Where appropriate, we are happy for you to make a written, telephone or email request for repeat prescriptions. A fee of $17.00 applies and we will send the prescription direct to the pharmacy or to you as directed. For your safety, the decision as to whether to issue a repeat prescription will be made by the doctor after reviewing your medical record. There may be times when we may not be able to issue your prescription and request you to attend an appointment.

Please allow 2 working days for this to be arranged. If it is more urgent, you can attend the Quick Clinic for a same day appointment.

Referrals and Test Results

All referrals whether new or repeat require an appointment. Medicare regulations state that referrals can not be issued retrospectively. If for some reason you need to arrange a referral urgently, it may be possible to attend the Quick Clinic for this.

Referrals to health professionals (physiotherapist, psychologists etc) under the special Medicare arrangements can not be guaranteed because there are specific requirements described by Medicare Australia which need to be complied with. Your GP can advise you if you meet those requirements. For special Team Care Arrangements, the process will take approximately 7 days to arrange.

We advise an appointment to discuss test results. All test results have implications and you need to know the outcome of your test. Do not assume that we will contact you if there is an abnormality. Problems have occurred when results do not get sent or transmitted to the correct doctor. Your doctor will advise if you will receive your results in another way.

Telephone Calls

You may leave a message with our receptionist requesting a phone call from your doctor.

We do not provide a telephone consultation service — return calls are for a recent consultation only.

The doctor will telephone you later the same or following working day. This is usually between 6 pm and 7 pm. For the sake of our patients we do not interrupt appointment sessions to return telephone calls. If it is more urgent, you can speak to our practice nurse who will be happy to help you.

Your Health Information

Privacy and your medical record

All information provided by you to the practice is strictly confidential. Sharing of your health information with other health professionals will always be discussed with you. Your information is stored securely. If you wish to access your health information please discuss this with your doctor. Copies of specialist letters should be requested direct from the specialist concerned.

Because emails are not a secure transmission medium it is possible (although unlikely) that someone else could read it. We are not allowed by regulations to send emails containing health information to you.

Maintain up to date contact information

Please let us know of any changes to your contact details. We also record contact information regarding your next of kin in case of an emergency or if we can not contact you for an urgent matter.

Problems or Complaints

As a team we try to do our best and if you experience problems with our services we do want to hear about it. Usually talking face to face is best way for us to understand and respond to your complaint. We take complaints seriously and will do our best to resolve them. If you have an adverse outcome, we need to know about it so we can make changes to avoid similar problems occurring again. If you wish to advise us about a problem, please contact us either through telephoning our practice manager or sending a letter or an email to manager@tantigp.com.au. (Remember emails are not fully secure communications if you wish to maintain confidentiality.) Outline to our manager the issue which may help in some preliminary investigations to move towards a resolution.

In the event that you are unable to resolve the problem directly with us, the Health Services Commissioner is available for that purpose.