Monthly Archives: December 2017

New National Cervical Screening Guidelines

From the 1st of December this year, significant and important changes have been made to the cervical cancer screening program.

Until now, sexually active women between the ages of 18-69 years were screened on a two yearly basis with a Pap smear test. The new program replaces the smear with a five yearly Cervical Screening Test (CST) for women between the ages of 25-74 years. Extensive studies have shown that cervical cancer is incredibly rare in women under 25 and screening women under this age (i.e. 18-25) has not reduced the number of cases of cervical cancer or deaths from cervical cancer.

The CST detects the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), the cause of 99% of cervical cancers. The traditional Pap test examined cervical cells looking for abnormalities that could lead to cancer. The CST looks for HPV, which is the cause of those cellular abnormalities.

The test procedure is the same. Your Doctor will still use a vaginal speculum to take a cell sample from your cervix, however, the sample is suspended in liquid rather than smeared onto a glass slide like a traditional pap test.

Your first CST will be performed when you are due for […]

December 21st, 2017|Clinic News|

Preparing for your blood collection

Having blood collected isn’t a pleasant experience, so proper preparation is essential to ensure a viable sample is taken the first time.

This is especially important if your Doctor is requesting tests that require fasting, such as cholesterol and blood glucose. In order to prepare for a blood test, the recommendations are:

  • Come well hydrated; drink plenty of water the day before and the day of your test.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Fasting tests require you to have had no food for 10-12 hours. An overnight fast is preferable.
  • Fasting for longer than 12 hours can distort results.
  • You can have water during the fasting period but no coffee, juice, tea, soda or alcohol.
  • You can continue to take your medication as normal unless you have been specifically advised not to.
  • Let the nurse know if you have a preferred arm, or if you have veins that have been difficult to access in the past. Smaller needles can be used in the veins of the hand for some people, though this can be a little more uncomfortable and not suitable when several blood tubes are required.
  • Let the nurse know if you are feeling anxious […]
December 21st, 2017|Clinic News|

Health Assessments for patients aged 75+

If you have recently turned 75 or will turn 75 in the coming year, you will likely be invited for an annual Health Assessment with your Doctor and Practice Nurse.

An initiative of the Department of Health and fully funded by Medicare, annual health assessments are designed to identify health issues and conditions that are potentially preventable and to reduce your risk of hospitalisation.

A broad range of questions and examinations are performed to provide your Doctor with a complete overview of your physical, mental and social health and overall quality of life.

Based on this assessment, your Doctor and Practice Nurse can assess the need for additional services to help keep you well and maintain independent living. This could include home help, taxi concessions, disabled parking applications, mobility aids, specialist referrals and medication management. They can also assist in linking you in with community groups for social gatherings.

We encourage you to participate in these annual assessments and to speak to your Doctor or Practice Nurse for more information.

December 21st, 2017|Clinic News|

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a condition where the airways become blocked when a person is asleep. It is a serious medical condition that affects a person’s health and quality of life.

The severity of the condition can vary between individuals, meaning there may be partial or complete restriction of the airway during sleep. The restriction may last from several seconds to up to a full minute. The lack of oxygen causes the person to ‘wake’ briefly, generally followed by a snort or loud snore and a gasp which restores airflow. They tend to fall back asleep immediately with no idea that this has occurred.

This can happen hundreds of times per night.

Normal sleep – less than 5 apnoea episodes / hour

Mild sleep apnoea – between 5-15 episodes / hour

Moderate sleep apnoea – 15-30 episodes / hour

Severe sleep apnoea – more than 30 episodes / hour

Sleep apnoea tends to affect men more than women and has been strongly linked to obesity. It is estimated to affect one in four men over 30 years of age. Post menopausal women are also commonly affected, especially if they are also overweight.

Other contributing factors include:

  • Alcohol consumption – especially […]
December 21st, 2017|Clinic News|

Common Issues in General Practice: Migraines

The common migraine is a very painful type of headache. For unknown reasons, they tend to affect women more than men suggesting that hormones may play some role.

Migraines can be very distressing and disabling. An attack can last anywhere from four hours to several days. Symptoms experienced can be extensive but commonly include:

  • Pain and throbbing of the head
  • Pain exacerbated by movement
  • Feeling vaguely unwell (especially beforehand)
  • Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhoea
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Sensitivity to noise (phonophobia)
  • Sensitivity to smell (osmophobia)
  • Visual disturbances such as flashing lights, blind spots, fuzziness, difficulty focusing, often referred to as an ‘aura’.
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Confusion
  • Numbness in the extremities

Many people who experience migraines state that they can ‘feel’ a migraine coming on before the other symptoms begin. They report symptoms such as yawning, food cravings, a stiff neck, fatigue, irritability and depression as early warning signs of a migraine to come.

Aura symptoms affect up to 20% of migraine sufferers. They can be more than just visual disturbances. They can also present as parathesia or numbness of the skin or of a whole limb. It tends to affect one side of the body only and […]

December 21st, 2017|Clinic News|

New National Cervical Screening Program

From the 1st December 2017 there will be a new test replacing the pap smear test. New evidence about cervical screening has found that screening for human papillomavirus (HPV)(with reflex liquid based cytology) every five years is more effective than, and just as safe as, screening with a pap smear every two years. Because of this more effective test women only need to screen every five years regardless of whether or not they have had the HPV vaccination.

Once you have had the new test and the result is normal you will be placed onto a 5 yearly reminder program.

*The screening age of women is now 25-74 years*

We do want to encourage our female patients to still see their usual doctor for a general health check yearly.

This check may include:

  • Breast Check
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Bone Health
  • Skin Check
  • Reproductive and Sexual Health Check
  • Immunisation
  • Monitoring of weight, physical activity, family history in the context of screening.





December 21st, 2017|Clinic News|

Compound Training

Weight training is one of the best ways to reshape your body, lose weight and gain strength and improve bone and general health. Whether you are new to weight training, keen to give it a go, or a season lifter, these five compound moves should form the basis of your workout as they work multiple muscles at the same time to build strength quickly for maximum results. Be sure to consult with a professional trainer to correct your form before attempting any heavy lifts, or if you have any injuries that may affect your ability to perform these lifts.


    Deadlift                       Squat                 Lunge                       Bench Press              Military Press

The Deadlift

  • Works the quadriceps, gluteals, lower back and abdominals.
  • Builds core strength.
  • Works more muscles than any […]
December 19th, 2017|Clinic News|

Managing Anxiety

Anxiety is a medical condition characterised by persistent, excessive worrying. It is often associated with depression but it is important to recognise it as a condition on its own as well.

Anxiety disorders are thought to affect one in four Australians at some stage of life, to varying degrees of severity. It is more common in women than in men.

A mild level of anxiety can actually be a beneficial thing. It can be an early warning that the situation we are about to enter is dangerous. However, when these thoughts start to enter multiple aspects of your life, or start to affect your ability to find enjoyment in life, work and relationships, this is where it becomes a disorder and finding a way to manage it becomes necessary.

There are a multitude of types of anxiety including generalised anxiety, social anxiety, specific phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, separation anxiety, agoraphobia and post traumatic stress disorder (to name a few).

Some of the most commonly describes feelings or symptoms include:

  • Feeling worried or afraid most or all of the time
  • Nervousness or feeling tense or scared
  • Feelings of panic
  • Feelings of being detached from your […]
December 19th, 2017|Clinic News|

Doctors On Leave

The following Doctors will be away over the Christmas/New Year period

  • Dr Jane Healy               2nd – 8th January 2018
  • Dr Meredith Day           1st – 14th January 2018
  • Dr Sharon Woolf           25th December – 7th January 2018
  • Dr Louis Cukierman     12th – 26th January 2018
  • Dr Lisa Prichard             23rd December – 7th January 2018
  • Dr Jenny Butterley         27th January – 10th February 2018





December 11th, 2017|Clinic News|