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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


Access and appointments

  1. How do I make appointments? Can I make appointments 'online?'
    Ring (03) 6336 0555 or call in at our surgery in person to make appointments. Currently, appointments cannot be made 'online' via email.
  2. Can I consult with a doctor 'online'?
    No. It is currently our strict policy on safety grounds not to provide consultation services 'online' via email.
  3. What should I do if I think that I need a longer consultation?
    You may think that you have a problem(s) that will take more time, say more than 10-15 minutes. If so, ask to be booked for a longer consultation - sometimes even half-an-hour or more could be necessary. (Also see "Why did my doctor charge me extra for a longer consultation?)
  4. Can I speak to my doctor on the telephone?
    Not unless the matter is urgent or serious and requires a doctor's immediate attention. Note that it is important to keep doctors off the telephone where possible, as otherwise they will start to run behind (see "Why do doctors run late?" and "How far behind is Dr. Jackson?").
    Most times, you will not need to speak directly to the doctor, for example, to obtain your pathology and imaging results (see 'Telepath'), to obtain a prescription (see 'Telescript), or to make an appointment, etc. as we find that our receptionists or a member of the nursing staff will usually be able to satisfy your requirements.
  5. Can I speak to another doctor (not my usual GP at the practice) about my medication?
    Yes, if the matter is urgent and cannot wait until your usual doctor (who normally would have prescribed the medication) is on duty.
  6. When are you open for business?
    See our Opening Hours page.
  7. Can I contact a doctor after hours?
    See our Services page.
  8. Do we take new patients?
    Check. Telephone us to see if we are currently taking new patients. But see elsewhere in this FAQ regarding issues such as obtaining your medical file, and if it applies, what is to happen if you are taking S8 medication, or wish to go on to the Methadone Maintenance Program (MMP).
  9. Do you see tourists/visitors to Tasmania?
    Yes. We welcome visitors to our State. Tourists and visitors should be medically prepared by bringing information about their condition with them - see elsewhere in this FAQ. Please also note that travellers will need to settle their account in full on the day that you are seen.
  10. Do you see refugees who have settled in Launceston?
    Yes. Interpreter services may be required.
  11. Why can't I get an appointment?
    The main reason is that the number of doctors we have is limited, and it is important to try not to overwork them. 'Overbooking' doctors is something that we do not want to do. Also, finding new doctors can be a difficult task, principally as a result of the health/manpower policies of successive federal governments.
    We try to have patients seen when they want to be seen; on the day if their condition requires it. Please note: we are constantly endeavoring to find and employ new doctors, refer elsewhere in this web site.
  12. What am I supposed to do if the doctors are all booked up?
    That's a tough one. Consider if your matter is urgent (if the receptionist has not realised that already) and if so tell the receptionist - all urgent matters have to be attended to somehow. Consider if your matter could wait a few days, or even a week or so, before you are seen. There are many problems that can wait.
    If you need a script or a test result, consider using our Telescript and Telepath services (see elsewhere in the FAQ and the Services page).
    It may be possible to deal with the matter over the telephone, discuss your situation with our Senior Nurse (or one of our other nurses if she is unavailable); the Senior Nurse may decide to talk to your doctor at an appropriate time or arrange other services for you.
    In the end, it might be necessary to refer you to the Emergency Department at the Launceston General Hospital, but we prefer to avoid this if at all possible, unless it appears that is the best thing to do anyway.
  13. Why am I sometimes kept waiting to see the doctor?
    Your time is valuable and we do not want to keep you waiting; this is particularly important for workers who have taken time off work to see the doctor, and for busy mothers of young children. However, it is unfortunately true that having to wait to see the doctor can be a fact of life (and all doctors seem to have 'waiting rooms').
    Doctors can be delayed for a number of reasons including: urgent cases arriving unexpectedly such as heart attack victims or bleeding lacerations, patients unexpectedly telling a doctor about a very important problem that can't wait, doctors being called away on an urgent hospital visit or home visit, or even unexpectedly heavy demand for immediate or same day appointments. If you feel that you have waited too long, tell our receptionists so that they can do something about it for you.
  14. How many problems can I raise with my doctor in the one consultation?
    As many as you think that you need to. However, if you 'save up' a lot of problems, there may well not be enough time in a single consultation to deal with them. You and your doctor may have to 'prioritise' the problems into an order of importance, and deal with the most important ones first, leaving others until a later time.
    If you know that you are going to ask about a lot of problems at once, consider asking for a longer consultation (also see "Why did my doctor charge more for a longer consultation?").
    Tip: it may be a better strategy to attend the doctor more often, rather than leave it until you have what might be too many problems to deal with in the one sitting.
  15. How far behind is Dr. Jackson?
    Ring to find out - he's doing his best, we guarantee it.
  16. Can I take mobile phone calls/receive SMS text messages while I am seeing the doctor?
    Only if you want him/her to run behind (see "Why do doctors run late?", "How far behind is Dr. Jackson?" and possibly "Why did my doctor charge more for a longer consultation?").
NSMS phone number

Northern Suburbs Medical
Service (NSMS) Launceston Tasmania Australia

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