785 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden, Auckland.   Ph 09 638-9200
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 !  Marsden Medical Practice - Clients only Surgery News

Surgery News is a regular newsletter to registered patients of Marsden Medical Practice. It began as a circular posted at regular intervals but in view of increasing demand for on-line information it has evolved to be part of our website. We welcome comments and suggestions

How To Get the Best from your General Practitioner

1.  Book adequate time.   Warn the receptionist if you have several issues to discuss or need a comprehensive health check like an insurance medical or full body skin check.   You will need longer than the standard 15 minute consultation.

2.  Book one consultation for each family member.  Feel free to bring along family members but extra children or family members need their own appointment so they too can have sufficient time with the doctor.

3.  Think ahead.  Jotting down what you need to cover in the consultation can be a big help,   especially if you are likely to forget some things.  If you need a prescription repeat you are able to phone, fax or e-mail your request (see prescription policy)– but try to do this at least 24 hours before you run out of medicine.

4. Get your GP all the information. Arrange to transfer any medical notes from other health providers such as an after-hours clinic. Keep the receptionist informed of any change of contact details.

5. Relax. Speak to your doctor as you would a friend. Being open and frank during your consultation will help both you and your doctor – and your confidences will be respected.

6. Remember your allergies. Your doctor should have a record of your allergies, but it never hurts to remind him or her – just to be on the safe side.

7. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion. It’s completely reasonable, and your doctor may make a suggestion about who you can approach. If you feel embarrassed about doing this, one easy way to get around this is with a little white lie, such as “My daughter/wife/husband thinks it’s a good idea to get another opinion.

8. Make plans for the future. Some older people have genuine concerns about medical intervention or being kept alive in the event of a stroke or terminal illness. If you make your thoughts known, your GP can often express your wishes if you no longer can.

9. Make yourself known. Tell the receptionist who you are when you arrive.

10. Bring an interpreter or a chaperone if you would like one.

11. Call if you are running late – and leave a contact number so that staff can inform you if there is a delay at the surgery.

12. Speak up if it’s urgent. If you think your appointment might be urgent, you may be able to see the practice nurse more quickly for an initial assessment. When you arrive, tell the receptionist if you think it’s an emergency – such as chest pain or difficulty breathing.

Women’s Health

Breast Cancer screening & mammography

The practice offers screening for breast cancer as early detection represents one of the most effective ways of reducing the mortality and morbidity from this disease.   As of December 1998 women in Auckland aged between 50 and 64 years can obtain screening mammography free of charge through the Breastcare Screening Programme.   The combination of clinical examination and mammogram represents the best way of detecting early breast cancer at a stage when treatment offers the best outcome. We provide recalls for entry onto this screening programme and reminders for 2 yearly screening.


Cervical screening. .  

We offer reminders to all women attending the Surgery about the benefits of regular cervical cancer screening tests.   Normally this should be done every   three years.   While younger women often have all their smear tests up to date in New Zealand we still find that 70% of all diagnosed cervical cancers occur in women aged over 40 years. For those women who wish to have a female smear-taker please make this clear when you phone for an appointment.   Trish holds a weekly womans’ health clinic for family planning advice, smear tests etc.

’Flu vaccinations

Influenza vaccinations are available from mid March.   As in previous years the Ministry of Health recommends these for everyone aged 65 and over for whom vaccination remains free. This year free influenza vaccination has been extended to those who suffer from respiratory disease e.g asthma, or chronic bronchitis and   heart disease or diabetes.   The immunisation otherwise is $20.

Influenza vaccination remains proven prevention for the strains of influenza immunised against and should be considered for all those in whom their jobs or recreation exposes them to infection e.g service industries, teaching, large office situations. why bother?

Flu vaccination is available by phoning the surgery and booking a time with the nurse.

Registration with your family doctor.


Members of your family may not have had any reason to visit the surgery and it may well be that the surgery doesn’t have basic information.   Increasingly access to publically-funded health services are requiring this information.

It is becoming more important to register with your local GP, a concept that is common in the UK and some other countries.   If you feel that a family member or relative is not registered with us could you please contact reception or let us know by secure e-mail. Recent changes to health subsidies are reducing prescription prices to certain age-groups if they are registered with a Practice participating in a PHO (Public Health Organisation). Some of these changes will increasingly make the Community Services Card (CSC) redundant - but to gain the government subsidy it is necessary to make sure you are registered with a GP.


Vaccination against meningitis or influenza  - is it effective?

Vaccination against viral and bacterial illnesses has been topical lately. The chief concern with any vaccination is the same as for any medication, namely is it effective and is it safe?

The early trials of the New Zealand meningitis strain have established it's safetly across a wide variety of New Zealand children before the vaccination roll out to schools and surgeries up and down the country. It's effectiveness is a rather more difficult question to answer definitively. We know that the vaccine produces antibodies directed against the disease causing bacteria (known as Neisseria meningitidis) and it should offer children protection against the disease. Whether the large scale vaccination against this organism will be reflected in reduced death rates from this form of bacterial meningitis is yet to be determined but is carefully being monitored. Certainly to wait untill a child is infected with the organism is a bit like shutting the horse after the horse has bolted. Even with the best treatment given very early in the course of the disease the outcome is often very serious or even fatal.

When it comes to influenza vaccination the information is more established with regards to effectiveness. The vaccine has an exceptionally strong safety record and the effectiveness is well proven. The only difficulty with the influenza virus is that there are many strains that mutate quite rapidly. This year's vaccine is designed to target the strains most likely to lead to influenza in New Zealand this winter. It does not prevent colds or less serious forms of respiratory infection. It is especially important for people who have pre-existing conditions, the elderly and those in crowded work situations or in those whose work could not be interrupted by 7-10 days absence due to sickness. There is treatement for influenza, once contracted but it must be given early to the individual affected (or his or her immediate family as prophylaxis) and shortens the course of the disease and it's severity. However, once again, as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

 !   News

Health Subsidy cards - Do I qualify for one?

The government currently subsidises your GP care to some degree if you have a Community Services Card (CSC) or a High User Health Card (HUHC).

This card entitles you to a $15 reduction on each consultation with the your GP and a reduction in the maximum prescription co-payment at the Pharmacist (from $15 per item to $3 per item).  Please ask for details at reception if you think you may qualify for this subsidy (or follow this link for more information)

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Capitation and Marsden Medical

Times are changing in the delivery of traditional General Practice Services in New Zealand .  There is an increasing trend to private medical care in some areas and subsidised medical services are more targetted to the socioeconomic profile of the physical area where the surgery is located. Each area of Auckland can be divided into "deciles". Those areas in Auckland considered low income according to Census information are assigned a higher decile rating.  General Practices have traditionally served a local community without regard to the street address!  The " pepper potting" of state housing estates in high affluence residential areas was a government policy in the 1930s and has resulted in an Auckland that doesn't necessarily suit the decile boundaries that define health subsidies currently.  Notwithstanding several concerns about the fair implementation of distributing any government subsidy for primary healthcare Marsden Medical has joined a Public Health Organisation (Procare Network Auckland) in order to offer our registered patients any advantages of the new government health subsidy structure.






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Why we went to the WEB

For several years we have considered the use of a practice website to improve the quality of information offered at the practice and to provide a portal for the immense array of medical information on the web for our practice population. Only recently have we felt that the demand was sufficient to bring in the service and that the technology was robust enough (and simple enough) for us to enter into the process.

The internet has also proved to have been a cost-effective way of providing information about changes and improvements at our practice to those people whom we see only infrequently and provide a place to show the general public what services we offer at the Practice.

While we are not offering on-line consultations to patients we do not know, we have found that timely information to established clients - especially when they are overseas - has proved invaluable, often followed up by a face- to- face visit on their return to New Zealand. We have provided lines for secure communication from web to our e-mail addresses on our website and encourge you to use them as an alternative to phoning although our response will obviously not be as immediate. Our replies - especially to unencrypted e-mail addresses will not use identifying information ( see our privacy policy). You may be asked to book for an appointment if the query is too complex or to call the surgery. At present we have no facilty for on-line bookings but we have published our timetables so that you can book with the clinician that you know best.

We have also found that the website makes a useful download resource for various medical questionnaire sheets (e.g see our travel medicine vaccination guide - travelvax).

We are currently implementing e-mail requests for repeat prescriptions (only for existing patients at the practice obviously) and payment of these services by Paypal - a secure on-line credit card system.

We hope you find these services of value.

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