Smith Street Medical Centre
&
Skin Cancer Clinic

28 Smith Street, Charlestown

New South Wales, 2290

Smith Street Medical Centre & Skin Cancer Clinic

28 Smith Street, Charlestown

New South Wales, 2290

Opening Hours

Mon - Fri8.00am - 6.00pm
Saturday8.00am - 12.30pm
SundayClosed
 
After Hours GP services available
After Hours Phone: 1300 130 147

Book an appointment online

or

Phone (02) 4943 3066

Preventative Health

Skin Checks and treatment, Skin Cancer Clinic


Skin cancers are very common in Australia, mainly as a result of our climate and our love of spending time in the sun, along with the fact that many of us have fair skin.

The three major types of skin cancer are:       

Basal cell carcinoma: the most common form of skin cancer and begins in the epidermis (outer layer of skin
Squamous cell carcinoma: the second most commonn type of skin cancer, also begins in the epidermis
Melanoma: the most serious skin cancer, which begins in the skin cells called melanocytes that produce skin colour (meklanin).

Early detection is an important step in the management of skin cancers and their associated risk.

Regular self-checks of your skin and noting any irregularities and changes in skin pigmentations and moles promotes early detection.

Visiting your GP and having an annual skin check is recommended. Skin cancers are found on the areas of our body that are not exposed to the sun and these may not be detected when self-checking.

All of our GPs perform skin cancer checks and we have a Skin Cancer Clinic here where the doctors remove skin cancers that do not need to be referred to a plastic surgeon for removal.

Diabetes Annual Cycle of Care




It is important if you have diabetes, that you take good care of your health in order to prevent or manage any changes to your body that cause a deterioration to your health and lifestyle.

The Annual Cycle of Care is a health check that is provided by the practice nurses and doctors each year and helps to optimise your health and lifestyle and control your diabetes.

The check involves recording the following information and about you and putting in place any measures that are recommended to help you manage your diabetes better:

6 Monthly:
·         Measure height, weight and calculate BMI
·         Measure blood pressure
·         Examine feet (preferably done by a Podiatrist)
Yearly:
·         Measure HbA1c, cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, eGFR (blood test)
·         Test for micro albuminuria (urine test)
·         Provide self- care education
·         Review diet / Healthy Eating Plan
·         Review level of physical activity
·         Check smoking status
·         Review medication
2 Yearly:
·         Comprehensive eye examination (by an eye specialist or optometrist) 

Mental Health Assessment and Treatment


Beyond Blue
Black Dog Institute 
Lifeline
Headspace


What is a psychologist?

Psychologists study the way people feel, think, act and interact. Through a range of strategies and therapies they aim to reduce distress and to enhance and promote emotional wellbeing. Psychologists are experts in human behaviour, and have studied the brain, memory, learning and human development. Psychologists can assist people who are having difficulty controlling their emotions, thinking and behaviour, including those with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, serious and enduring mental illness, addictive behaviours and childhood behaviour disorders.

All psychologists are legally required to be registered with the national registration board, the Psychology Board of Australia, in
the same way medical practitioners must be registered. This means that they must be competent and follow a strict Code
of Conduct.

Not all counsellors or therapists are registered psychologists. Seeing someone who is registered ensures you receive high quality ethical treatment.
If I have a mental health problem, how can a psychologist help me?

Psychologists specialise in providing therapies for mental health problems. These therapies are effective at treating common mental health conditions including anxiety and depression and most childhood problems.

Can I go directly to a psychologist to receive treatment through Medicare?
You must be referred by your GP, your psychiatrist or paediatrician. Your GP will need to complete a detailed mental health assessment and prepare a Mental Health Treatment Plan before referring you to a psychologist. You should book a longer session with your GP to enable time for this.

What mental health problems can be treated under the Better Access initiative?
‘Mental disorder’ is a term used to describe a range of clinically diagnosable disorders that significantly impact on a person’s emotions, thoughts, social skills and decision-making. The Better Access initiative covers people with mental disorders arising from:

Alcohol use disorder                                           
Anxiety disorders

Adjustment disorder

Attention deficit disorder

Bereavement disorder

Bipolar disorder

Conduct disorder

Co-occurring anxiety and depression

Depression
 

Drug use disorder                     
 
Eating disorders
 
Obsessive compulsive disorder  
Panic disorder
 
Phobic disorder
 
Post traumatic stress disorder
 
Psychotic disorders
 
Schizophrenia
 
Sexual disorders
 
Sleep problems
 
 
Can I access any psychologist?
Under the scheme you can only see a registered psychologist with a Medicare Provider Number who you have been referred to by your GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician.
 
Medicare rebates are available for psychological treatment by registered psychologists under the Australian Government’s Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative. This scheme provides considerable assistance to people living with mental heath problems, allowing them greater access
to psychologists and providing more affordable mental healthcare.
 
Can I request a referral to a specific psychologist or does my doctor have to choose?
 
Your doctor must first assess that you require the services of a psychologist. Your doctor may allow you to request a specific psychologist or may refer you to a psychologist that he/she recommends. The psychologist in question must be registered and have a Medicare Provider Number for you to be able to claim the Medicare rebate.
 
If I am already seeing a psychologist, can I access Medicare benefits?
 
In order to receive a Medicare rebate, you must be referred to a psychologist by an appropriate medical practitioner (GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician). The doctor must first make an assessment that you need the services of a psychologist. If you are already seeing a psychologist, discuss this with your doctor.

How many sessions with a psychologist am I entitled to?
 
The Australian Government has recently announced several changes to the allowable number of treatment sessions a person can receive from a psychologist each year under the Better Access program and claim a Medicare rebate.
 
Eligible people can receive:
 
• Up to 10 individual sessions in a calendar year. Your referring doctor will assess your progress after the first six sessions.
• Up to 10 group therapy sessions in a calendar year where such services are available and seen as appropriate by your referring doctor and the psychologist.

What will it cost me?
 
The cost to you will vary depending on the length of the session and the fee being charged by the psychologist. If the psychologist decides to bulk bill then you will not have to pay anything. However if the psychologist does not bulk bill then you must pay the difference between what the psychologist charges you (a fee set by the psychologist) and the Medicare rebate. This will vary and you should check this with the psychologist before commencing your treatment.

How do I pay?
 
The settlement of the account is your responsibility (unless the psychologist bulk bills you). You may claim a rebate by lodging a claim through Medicare. When billed you pay the full amount of the consultation and use your detailed receipt to claim a Medicare rebate.
 
If the psychologist decides to use the bulk billing method, you assign your right to a benefit to the psychologist as full payment for the psychological service. The psychologist cannot make any additional charge for this service if it has been bulk billed, and will receive the relevant Medicare rebate or ‘benefit’ from Medicare Australia for the service provided.
 
Does the Medicare Safety Net apply to my out-of-pocket expenses under this scheme?
 
Yes. You are responsible for paying any charges in excess of the Medicare rebate for services under this scheme. However, these out-of-pocket expenses will count towards the Medicare Safety Net. The Medicare Safety Net is designed to protect high users of health services from large out-of-pocket expenses.
For more information on the Medicare Safety Net, go to: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/medicare/medicare-safety-net

What about my private health insurance?
 
You cannot use your private health insurance ancillary cover to top up the Medicare rebates for these services. You need to decide if you will use Medicare or your private health insurance ancillary cover to pay for psychological services you receive. You can either access rebates from Medicare by following the claiming process or claim where available on your insurer’s ancillary benefits.
 

Asthma Action Plans


                  WHAT IS ASTHMA?
                                                                 
Asthma is a condition of the airways. People with asthma have sensitive airways in their lungs which react to triggers that set off their asthma.  this makes it harder for them to breathe.
 
Three main factors cause the airways to narrow:
Airways diagram - large
  • The inside lining of the airways becomes red and swollen (inflammation)
  • Extra mucus (sticky fluid) may be produced, which can block up airways
  • Muscles around the airways squeeze tight. This is called ‘bronchoconstriction’
     
One in ten people in Australia has asthma - that's over two million people!
Asthma affects people of all ages. Some people get asthma when they are young; others when they are older.

What should I do if I think I have asthma?
If you suspect you might have asthma, you should see your doctor for a professional diagnosis. The good news is that most people can control their asthma with medicatons and lead a normal life. Once your asthma is well controlled you should experience only occasional symptoms, and asthma attacks (or flare-ups) should be rare.

Note: If asthma is left untreated the long term inflammation of the airway can cause permanent damage to the airway. This can lead to Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease (COPD) so it’s important to see your doctor if you have any concerns.
              
 Asthma Action Plan
 All asthmatics should have regular check-ups with their General Practitioner make an appointment online and have an Asthma Action Plan done so that they can manage their asthma and help to prevent having asthma attacks.

These plans let you know what to do when you are feeling well, what to do when you are feeling unwell such as when you have a cold, and what to do when you are having an asthma attack.

 It is important to have these check-ups even when you have not had an asthma attack for a long time as you are still at risk of having an attack and need to check that the medication you are taking (or not taking) is still appropriate for you. 
 
Asthma Australia

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Health Assessments


Improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians through better access to Medicare services. Ask us about Closing the Gap and book in to see your Doctor for your annual health assessment.

Closing the Gap

Annual Health Assessments for 75 and overs


A health assessment of an older person is an in-depth assessment of a patient aged 75 years 
and over. It provides a structured way of identifying health issues and conditions that are 
potentially preventable or amenable to interventions in order to improve health and/or quality 
of life.
The purpose of this health assessment is to help identify any risk factors exhibited by an 
elderly patient that may require further health management. In addition to assessing a 
person’s health status, a health assessment is used to identify a broad range of factors that 
influence a person’s physical, psychological and social functioning. 
Department of Health

45-49 Year Old Health Assessments


What is a health check?

 

A health check is an examination of your current state of health, often carried out by your GP. From the moment we are born, and even before, we undergo a variety of tests to ensure we are on the right track to good health. As we get older, many of us become more vulnerable to illness. In order to reduce this risk, a number of health checks or screening tests are recommended at different stages of our lives.

Why are health checks important?

 

The aim of a health check is to help find, prevent or lessen the effect of health issues. It’s like getting your car serviced before it breaks down. It’s better to avoid disease than to treat it. Although some checks can be uncomfortable, they provide your GP or specialist with an opportunity to look at your lifestyle, medical history and family history to find out if you’re at risk.

Having a regular doctor or practice has several advantages. Most importantly, you will build a relationship over time and are more likely to feel comfortable talking openly. Also, your doctor will get to know you and understand your health needs and concerns. By having a regular doctor or practice, your medical history stays in the one place, and is more likely to be kept up to date.

What can a health check involve?

 

A health check generally involves:

  • updating your medical history and examining your health issues
  • performing tests if required
  • a follow up of any problems identified
  • advice and information on how to improve your health.

There are a number of health checks recommended at different stages of life.

 

Health Check Information

Make an appointment with the nurse and your doctor for a 45 - 49 year old health check.

Activity Assessments


Physical activity or exercise can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health and well-being benefits.
 
Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life. A minimum of 30 minutes a day can allow you to enjoy these benefits.

Benefits of regular physical activity
If you are regularly physically active, you may:
reduce your risk of a heart attack
manage your weight better
have a lower blood cholesterol level
lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers
have lower blood pressure
have stronger bones, muscles and joints and lower the risk of osteoporosis
lower your risk of falls
recover better from period of hospitalisation or bed rest
feel better – with more energy, a better mood, feel more relaxed and sleep better.
A healthier state of mind
 
A number of studies have found that exercise helps depression. There are many views as to how exercise helps people with depression. Exercise may block negative thoughts or distract people from daily worries.
 
Exercising with others provides an opportunity for increased social contact. Increased fitness may lift your mood and improve sleep patterns. Exercise may also change levels of chemicals in your brain, such as serotonin, endorphins and stress hormones.
Physical Activity

Book an appointment to speak to your doctor for a physical assessment.

Book Online

Adult Immunisation including for pneumonia and flu


PEOPLE ELIGIBLE FOR FREE INFLUENZA VACCINE
Under the Natonal Immunisation Program (NIP), the following people are eligible to receive free influenza vaccine:
  • Pregnant women
  • People aged 65 years and over.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged:
          - Six months to less than five years (this is the new eligible group in 2015).
          - 15 years and over.
  • People aged six months and over with medical conditions predisposing them to suffer influenza, namely:
          - Cardiac disease, including cyanotic congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease.
          - Chronic respiratory conditions, including severe asthma, cystic fibrosis, Bronchiectasis, suppurative lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic emphysema.
          - Chronic neurological conditions that impact on respiratory function, including hereditary and degenerative central nervous system diseases, spinal cord injuries and neuromuscular disorders.
          - Immunocompromising conditions, including immunocompromised due to disease or treatment (e.g. malignancy, transplantation and/or chronic steroid use), asplenia or splenic dysfunction, and HIV infection.
          - Diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
          - Renal disease.
          - Haematological disorders, including haemoglobinopathies.
          - Children aged 6 months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.
INFLUENZA VACCINATION FOR CHILDREN
Influenza vaccinaton is strongly recommended for all individuals who are at risk of influenza complications, including pregnant women. Children aged six months to less than nine years should receive two doses of influenza vaccine in the first year and one dose in subsequent years. The second dose should be administered even if it is late in the influenza season, as it primes the immune system for later years. While two doses in the first year is recommended, one dose does provide some protection and is preferable than no doses. If a child aged six months to nine years inadvertently does not recieve the second dose within the same year, the child should have two doses administered the following year.



In adulthood it is important to ensure on-going protection against vaccine preventable diseases. The following information provides advice on specific diseases that are important to be protected against in adulthood.

MEASLES MUMPS & RUBELLA (MMR)

Measles outbreaks occur in some communities mainly as a result of unvaccinated travellers and visitors importing the disease from overseas. It is therefore important to ensure that you are adequately protected and the following should be considered:
·         Most people born before 1966 will have been exposed to wild measles virus and therefore do not require vaccination.
·         People born after 1966 require two doses of MMR vaccine (at least one month apart).
 

WHOOPING COUGH (PERTUSSIS)

It is important that adults are vaccinated against whooping cough to ensure adequate protection against this disease. Despite whooping cough immunisation programs being in place, epidemics can occur every three to four years, but in vaccinated populations the outbreaks are smaller.
Whooping cough vaccination in adults also offers protection for babies who are too young to be immunised in their first few weeks of life. Whooping cough is a very serious disease in babies and some have died as a result of this disease.
A history of having this disease does not mean life-long immunity, therefore vaccination is still necessary. Adults who have received a course of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis as a child require a booster at 50 years of age. All adults aged over 65 years of age require a booster dose if 10 years have passed since their last dose. If you are unsure, please discuss your vaccination needs with your doctor.
Women who are planning a pregnancy, pregnant or post-delivery should discuss their vaccination needs with their doctor or nurse as soon as possible.
 

PNEUMOCOCCAL DISEASE

A single dose of pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for adults at 65 years of age. Adults who have not received a dose at 65 years of age should have a single catch-up dose as soon as possible. Adults who have a medical condition (for example, cardiac, liver and congenital diseases) are at risk of catching this disease and should discuss this with their doctor as soon as possible as they may require additional vaccinations to ensure that they are adequately protected.
 

INFLUENZA

Annual seasonal influenza vaccination is recommended for any person aged 6 months and over who wishes to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with influenza. Please click here for information about influenza and click here for information about influenza vaccination. Australian Government advice and recommendations on the National Influenza Vaccination Program are available on the Immunise Australia website and links to Australian Government resources (including factsheets, posters and brochures) is available here.  
 

YELLOW FEVER

Yellow fever is a viral haemorrhagic fever occurring in some regions of Africa, Central America and South America. Yellow fever is a quarantinable disease in Australia. People who are one year of age or older must hold an international vaccination certificate if, within six days before arriving in (or returning to) Australia, they have stayed overnight or longer in a declared yellow fever infected country. Travellers should seek medical advice on vaccination for their individual medical circumstances, particularly about the suitability of yellow fever vaccine for infants, pregnant women and those who are immuno-compromised.
 
Yellow fever vaccinations must be provided by an approved yellow fever vaccination clinic. These clinics will provide a vaccination certificate in the form approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and completed according to WHO requirements. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is valid for ten years and begins 10 days after vaccination.
 
For the location of your nearest yellow fever vaccination clinic, please click here.
 
Immunisation providers wishing to become an approved yellow fever vaccination clinic must contact their local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055. Only those providers who are approved by the Public Health Unit, and are issued an individually numbered stamp, are authorised to provide yellow fever vaccination.
 
Further information on yellow fever for travelers and professionals can be found in the Australian Government's Yellow Fever fact sheets. The webpage also contains details for for approved yellow fever providers to order the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis in the form approved by WHO
 

Q FEVER

Q Fever is caused by a bacterium, Coxiella burnetii, that can be spread to humans from cattle, sheep and goats. Workers in the meat and livestock industries are most at risk of Q Fever.
 The Australian Q Fever Register holds information on the Q Fever immune status of individuals, accessible to registered organisations (primarily meat processors and medical practitioners). The Register holds details of Q Fever vaccination providers in a number of Australian states. To find contact details for Q Fever vaccination providers in NSW, contact your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055, or the customer service line of the manufacturer/distributor, CSL Ltd, on 1800 008 275.
Adult Vaccinations
book an appointment with your doctor to find out which immunisations you may need!