Frequently Asked Questions

What should I bring with me when I come for a scheduled appointment?

Apart from medicare and your insurance information:

  • Referral letter from GP, family physician or other doctor
  • Medicare card, DVA card, pension card
  • Have your Private Hospital Insurance information with you
  • Reports, X-rays, MRI’s, CT scans etc and any other relevant information
Are my medical records kept private and confidential?
Your medical file is handled with the utmost respect for your privacy. Our staff are bound by strict confidentiality requirements as a condition of employment regarding your medical records. Ordinarily we will not release the contents of your medical file without your consent.
Do I need a referral to make an appointment?
You don’t need a referral to see your medical or Allied Health service provider at Active Health Portland for a normal appointment or as a private patient.

You don’t need to be a patient of our clinic to access the Allied Health service providers as a private patient. If you are on a Chronic Disease Management Plan, your normal treating doctor can refer to our Allied Health service providers under the Medicare scheme or as a private patient.

If you are required to see a specialist you will require a referral. This is partly to try to ensure that the specialist you are seeing is appropriate for you and your condition, and also because Medicare pays higher rebates for specialist services if you have been referred.

How can my family doctor help me to obtain specialist medical care?

Before seeing any medical specialist, it is always preferable to talk to your own family doctor, who can discuss your condition with you and advise on whether any specialist care is appropriate. If it is, he or she can help you to choose the specialist best suited to your needs. Your family doctor can help the specialist to care for you better by providing relevant information about your health. Communicating with the specialist will also enable your family doctor to care for you better during and after your specialist treatment.

What should I expect during my first visit with the doctor?
During your initial visit you will see the Practice Nurse first. The Nurse will take a medical, family and social history, record allergies, height, weight, blood pressure and ask about your smoking and alcohol status. If you are aged between 40-49 years they will also do a Diabetic Risk Assessment and ask about any family history with diabetes. You will then see the doctor who will explain the specific test or procedure you want, help you visualise the results and go over the risks. Your doctor may do a physical examination and ask you a bunch of questions. Once you go and have the test done then the doctor will decide what your diagnosis is and what the appropriate treatment will be.
What is a Chronic Disease Management Plan?
If you have a chronic medical condition your GP may discuss putting in place a GP Management Plan.

This is a plan of action agreed on between you and your GP which identifies your health care needs, sets out the services to be provided by your GP and lists any actions that you need to take.

If you and your GP decide you need treatment from 2 or more health professionals, your doctor may also put in place a Team Care Arrangement plan. These lets the GP work with, and refer you to, at least 2 other health professionals who will provide treatment or services to you.

If your GP prepares both types of plans for you, you may be eligible for Medicare benefits for specific allied health services.

To find out more about chronic disease management please talk to your GP.

What is a GP Mental Health Plan?
If you have a mental illness and are seeing your GP as well as several health professionals your GP may discuss putting in place a GP Mental Health plan.

Your doctor will work with you to decide what your mental health needs are, what help you require – including medical, physical, psychological and social needs, what result you would like and what treatment would be best for you. Once you and your GP have agreed on this information your GP will create the plan. They may then discuss this plan with the other members of your healthcare team. If there is any information you do not want other people in your healthcare team to know you should discuss this with your GP. Preparing this plan may take several visits to your GP.

A copy of this plan will be offered to you as well as kept on your medical file. A copy can also be given to other people such as your psychologist or your carer if you agree to this.