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All patients require a pre-booked appointment to see a doctor at the practice. Appointments can be made either by telephone, call us on (03) 6336 0555 or come into our Mowbray surgery to make an appointment personally. If you need follow up care the best time to make your next appointment is immediately after you have seen your doctor.
If you realise that you are unable to attend your appointment we ask that you contact us soon as possible to cancel your appointment. We may levy a charge for missed appointments if a patient misses three consecutive appointments, and we are not notified of a cancellation.
Please note that because we "fit in" emergencies for such things as heart attacks, skin lacerations or removal of foreign bodies, our doctors can sometimes run behind time.
We don't however like to keep you waiting. If you require insurance, driver's Licence or similar examination please advise our staff to book a double appointment.
If you think that you may need extra time with your doctor, for any reason, ask for a longer appointment.
Note: In case of a medical emergency situation the fastest and most reliable method of contacting the practice is via the telephone. Currently, appointments cannot be made 'online' via email. The Practice employs email for non-clinical communication services only. We are concerned about the security, confidentiality and the timely collection of messages transmitted through the use of email.
The Practice expressly excludes email as a method of communicating clinical information. No consulting services, including the making of appointments, will be conducted by email.

Payment Arrangements

We ask that you settle your account at reception after the end of the consultation with your doctor.
New patients and overseas students, whom can claim a rebate are expected to pay their account in full after their first consultation.
Existing patients must pay the GAP after their consultation.
We prepare a Medicare claim form as a courtesy for our patients and post it on their behalf, after it has been signed. Medicare cheques become overdue six weeks after the consultation. If the Medicare cheque has not been paid before it goes into arrears a handling and accounting fee of $5 will be added for each additional month the account is overdue (please note that the value of this fee may change without notice, please ask for details).
If we form the opinion that a debt will remain unpaid we will then decline further medical services at his practice and place the account with our debt collection agency.
We consider that it is the patient's responsibility to ensure that we always have a valid postal address to send health notices and also accounts.
If you have genuine difficulty paying your account, you should speak to either your doctor or our Practice Manager who can arrange a repayment term that will be suited to your personal situation. If such a repayment term is agreed, it is very important that it be honored.

Phone Calls

Please note that it is important to keep doctors off the telephone when ever possible, as otherwise they will start to run behind time.
Doctors will not normally be able to take telephone calls when consulting. Our reception staff will assist you and, where necessary, pass on any relevant messages to your doctor. If our receptionist considers the matter is urgent or serious and requires a doctor's immediate attention you will be able to speak to your doctor (when available).
Most times, you will not need to speak directly to the doctor, for example, to obtain your pathology and imaging results, or to make an appointment, etc. as our receptionists or a member of the nursing staff will be able to satisfy your requirements.

Test Results

Our nursing or reception staff will be able to provide you with your doctors' comments on test results (blood test, X-rays, etc) over the telephone after the doctor has reviewed the results. Please call between 12 midday and 5 pm if possible to obtain this information.
Please note that you will have to properly identify yourself to our staff so that we can ensure that your privacy is protected.

New patients (what to do)

If you are new to our area and looking for a doctor to consult please check if we are currently accepting new patients.
We will also ask you to sign a Transfer Request that will allow us to obtain a copy of your medical file from your previous doctor.
Patients who have special needs, such as authority prescriptions for restricted Schedule 8 medication should ensure that their current treating doctor writes to the practice well before they transfer so that the necessary arrangements can be put in place to provide new patients with the medication they need. Note that for patients regularly taking S8 medication, we prefer that they live in the local area. Please note that this practice has a policy not to prescribe S8 or other potentially addictive medication on a patient's first consultation.
Please note we require new patients to pay their fee in full at the time of their first consultation.

Overseas Students

Our proximity to the Mowbray campuses of the University of Tasmania and the Australian Maritime College has resulted in our doctors seeing a substantial number of patients from South East Asia and the Pacific Rim.
We provide general medical services to Overseas Students. Overseas students find themselves in the challenging circumstances of a new country, culture, and language, and we do our best to try and help.
We ask all overseas students who visit the practice to pay their fee in full at the time the consultation is provided and then claim a refund through Medibank Private.
Please note we require new patients to pay their fee in full at the time of their first consultation.

Special Examinations (drivers licence, work medicals, ante-natal, etc)

You should identify the nature of the special examination when making an appointment. Our reception staff will then be able to ensure that necessary services, such as special rooms or equipment, are reserved for you at the appropriate time
Our Nurses also undertake a substantial amount of 'pre-screening' work on behalf of your doctor prior to your appointment. In some cases you may be asked to come in up to 30 minutes prior to your appointment to allow our Nurse to perform these tests.



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Interpreters (what to do if English is not your first language)

Good communication between the patient and doctor is vitally important. When a patient has difficulty using English the non-English speaking patient may choose to be accompanied by a relative or friend.
We do not use bilingual staff, relatives or friends as interpreters unless they are appropriately accredited, as we do not presume them to have the necessary skills to act as an interpreter.
Where a qualified interpreter is not available in person we use the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS). If you are booking an appointment for a patient who has a poor command of the English language could you nominate both the language and dialect the person speaks at the time of making the appointment so that the TIS can be booked.
If an unqualified interpreter has been used, as for example in an emergency, we ensure that the services of a qualified interpreter are obtained as soon as possible to ensure the patient has understood what has taken place.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How to Contact Us

We can be contacted by telephone on (03) 6336 0555.
We can be contacted by fax on (03) 6336 0550
for non-clinical matters.
NSMS phone number

Northern Suburbs Medical
Service (NSMS) Launceston Tasmania Australia

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