Monthly Archives: February 2018

Important Changes to After Hours Doctor Services

Many people use after-hours doctor services when their usual doctor is closed. After hours doctors provide medical care either in your home or in special after-hours deputising clinics across Victoria.

They provide care strictly after hours meaning evenings, weekends and public holidays. They are not open during normal business hours when patients can access their own GP.

After-hours doctors fill an important gap in the provision and accessibility of acute care that does not necessarily require urgent hospital attention and therefore help to reduce the burden on emergency departments. They provide your regular doctor with a report of your consultation within 24 hours.

As of March 1st 2018, the Department of Health has imposed many restrictions on the type of service that an after-hours doctor can provide. These restrictions were introduced to reduce the use of after-hours doctors for routine or non-acute reasons that should be dealt with by your local doctor.

From March 1st 2018, after-hours doctors will no longer be able to provide:

• Repeat prescriptions (unless at the specific direction of your regular doctor)
• Immunisations and injections
• Preventative health activities such as skin checks, cervical screening, hearing checks etc.
• Ear syringing
• Mental health plans
• Chronic disease management plans
• Medication reviews
• Referrals to […]

February 22nd, 2018|Clinic News|

Changes to Codeine Prescribing – Effective 1st February 2018

Effective from February 1st 2018, the Therapeutic Good Administration (TGA) have ruled that all medications containing codeine will no longer be available without a prescription. This includes medicines that contain codeine in combination with other analgesics such as Panadeine, Nurofen Plus and Mersyndol as well as various generic pharmacy brands of pain relief and/or cough and cold medication.

Why have these changes occurred?

Until now, medications containing low dose codeine have been available over the counter. The TGA ruling has now made products containing codeine a Schedule 4 medication, meaning they can only be obtained with a Doctor’s prescription.

Codeine is an opioid product belonging to the same family of analgesics as morphine. Its use in the long term can lead to codeine tolerance, meaning a person becomes ‘tolerant’ to it effects, requiring higher and higher doses to obtain relief. It also induces withdrawal effects such as headaches, muscle aches, nausea, insomnia and mood affects.

Another reason for this change is that codeine is often combined with another analgesic such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. When people become tolerant and use high doses of these combination products, it is easy to exceed the recommended daily dose of paracetamol […]

February 4th, 2018|Clinic News|