Saltwater Medical

Practice Policies

We are a private medical practice with policies and procedures specific to our practice.

To help you get the most out of your relationship with us, we’ve compiled this list of useful information about our key processes and policies.

If you can’t find the answer to your question, please feel free to call our reception team on 5301 9828.

Our goal is to provide high-quality, personal, and caring health services. To monitor and improve our services we invite patients to fill out a brief survey after their consultations. We also engage an external company to run an independent survey process every three years and we publish the results and our responses in reception.

We genuinely wish to hear from you if you are dissatisfied with the service you have received so we can resolve your issue and improve our care. 

If you have any concerns, suggestions, or even compliments, please feel free to contact our Practice Director/Co-owner, Jennifer Kettleton-Butler.

If we have been unable to resolve your issue, you can contact the Office of the Health Ombudsman:

Office of the Health Ombudsman
PO Box 13281, George Street,
Brisbane, QLD, 4003
Telephone: 133 646

If you wish to request a transfer your care to another practice, please ask your new doctor to send us a medical records transfer request form that is signed by you. Within 14 days of receipt of a signed transfer request, we will send a health summary (including information about any health reminders that were in our system), free of charge, to your new practice. We then deactivate your record with us so we can maintain an accurate database of active patients which means you will no longer receive health reminders from us or be able to make an appointment at Saltwater Medical without calling reception to reactivate your record. We aim to send health summaries within 14 days of receipt of a valid transfer request form, as they go through an internal checking process with our doctors to ensure the information being released is accurate and done in strict accordance with privacy laws.

We are happy to send a copy of your complete medical record at Saltwater Medical, but due to the administrative and postage costs involved, a $100 fee applies. To ensure we are meeting our privacy obligations, you will need to contact us in writing with your request for your complete medical record, provide proof of your identity, and pay the fee before we can release your complete medical record. The process to compile a complete medical record is quite involved and can take up to 30 days from the date of satisfying the requirements set out above.

You can contact our practice by phone, fax, or mail and our staff will use security questions and processes to ensure they identify you correctly.

You are welcome to drop in and speak to our reception staff at any time, however, please note our opening hours and that we are closed for lunch each day between 12.15am-12.45pm.

We strongly discourage the use of email or social media to transmit your private health information to us and we take no responsibility for the privacy of your information if you choose to use these channels for this purpose.

For security and privacy reasons, we will not:

  • divulge your personal information to anyone other than yourself unless we have your prior consent.
  • use email or social media to send your health information to anyone, including yourself.

We will only respond to general enquiries via our social media channels, and they are not monitored regularly.

Medical issues are best dealt with in scheduled consultations with your GP, as this gives your doctor the ability to review your chart, take a history, do an examination, and follow due and safe medical process, which results in high quality medical care.

  • Our doctors unable to take ad hoc patient phone calls as they are consulting all day with patients in scheduled appointments.
  • We encourage you to schedule an appointment, either face-to-face (or via telehealth) at a convenient time if you need to discuss medical issues with your doctor.
  • This includes requests for prescriptions, referrals, and medical certificates.
  • For administrative assistance, our reception team may be able to help, however they cannot give out results over the phone.

Our phones open at 7.30am Monday-Friday. We reserve a limited number of ‘On-the-Day’ appointments each day for existing patients experiencing acute issues. These appointments are NOT published online, so you will need to call the practice as early as possible and be triaged into one of them. We encourage patients to plan routine appointments (e.g. prescription renewals, screening, skin checks, referral renewals, medicals etc) ahead of time as we are generally fully booked many days in advance. Planning routine appointments helps avoid delays/frustrations and ensures our limited number of same day appointments are used for acute issues. 

If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 000 or go to the Emergency Department of your nearest hospital.

We take pride in delivering high-quality healthcare, which is why your appointment time is booked and held especially for you.

  • Please notify the reception no later than 4-hours prior to your appointment if you are unable to attend.
  • We reserve finite time and practice resources especially for you.
  • We are fully booked each day and resource our practice accordingly, so giving appropriate notice of your cancellation is not only the respectful thing to do, but it also allows us to offer your appointment to other patients on our waiting list.
  • Patients who fail to attend a confirmed appointment without adequate notice will incur a $50 non-attendance fee which is not eligible for a Medicare rebate. No further appointments will be made until the fee has been paid.
  • Our doctors give you the courtesy of running on time (barring medical emergencies) and we appreciate your punctuality in return. If you arrive unreasonably late (greater than 5-minutes) you may be rescheduled so that the doctor is not late for other patients. A fee may also apply.
  • Repeated non-attendance or late attendance may result in the inability to book further appointments.

A telehealth consultation can be arranged, however these need to be scheduled into an appointment in your doctors list and will be charged in accordance with our fee schedule. In some, but not all instances, a Medicare rebate may be available. Please be aware that you will be required to pay the estimated consultation fee in advance.

We endeavour to be fair and fully transparent with patients about our fees, which are required to cover the cost of delivering our high-quality service.

  • See our fees page for detailed cost and rebate information for our most common services.
  • We require full payment upon completion of your appointment, and you can pay by cash, credit card or debit card.
  • An administration fee of $25 will be added to accounts which are not settled on the day of your consultation.
  • For your convenience, once you have paid your account, we can often help claim your Medicare rebate on-the-spot* using our TYRO machine and a debit card (not a credit card or mobile phone).
  • Alternatively, we can send your rebate claim to Medicare for online assessment and they will usually deposit it into your Medicare-linked bank account within 48 hours. Please make sure your bank account details are up to date with Medicare.
  • You can also take your receipt to a Medicare office or use the MyGov app to claim your rebate.
  • Some item numbers for less common procedures and appointments are not able to be claimed using our Tyro machine and need to be further assessed by Medicare before they will pay the rebate into your Medicare-linked bank account.

Please feel free to ask our reception team or your doctor about any aspect of our billing policy.

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept DVA cards. Regrettably, the schedule rates offered by DVA do not cover the costs of providing our high-quality service. However, in recognition of your service, we do offer DVA card holders’ access to our discount fees. We suggest you use your Medicare card to access a rebate.

Medicare rebates do not cover work related medical issues. This means the full fee for your consultation will be payable at the end of your appointment and you will need to take the receipt to your employer or Workcover for reimbursement. We do not direct bill to WorkCover.

  • We use a reminder system which prompts you by letter (or an SMS) to schedule an appointment for important health reminders like skin checks, cervical screening, and immunisations etc. To opt out of reminders please advise our staff.
  • We use an SMS confirmation system to confirm appointments and require you to reply to confirm your attendance 24 hours prior. If you do not respond, or we cannot reach you, your appointment may be cancelled and offered to another patient.

A consultation is generally required for prescriptions, as this enables your doctor to properly monitor your health and check the medical condition for which the script is being written.

Repeat scripts without a consultation – online request service

  • In limited circumstances, for existing patients of the practice, your doctor may be willing to write a repeat prescription without a consultation.
  • There is a $30 fee for this service to cover the administrative costs and the doctor’s time to check your chart and record notes. There is no Medicare rebate available for this service.
  • Your doctor may be happy to write a repeat prescription if they’ve seen you within the last 3-6 months (depending on the condition) and if the medication has been previously prescribed at our practice.
  • If you would like to request a repeat prescription without a consultation, please visit our website (click on online services) to submit a request.
  • Please allow 48 hours for requests to be processed as they are written in and around the doctor’s consulting sessions.
  • Please ensure you manage your scripts to ensure you don’t run out at the last minute as this places unreasonable pressure on our staff and doctors.

For your safety, our doctors will not prescribe S8 drugs or drugs of dependence to new patients or via an online repeat prescription request.

You must have a consultation with a doctor to obtain a medical certificate. By law we are not permitted to backdate medical certificates.

To avoid further fees and/or delays, if you require a medical certificate, please ask at the time of your consultation.

A consultation is required for all referrals (including renewals) so that we can properly monitor your health and meet our medical and legal responsibilities. Writing a referral takes time and practice resources, which is why a consultation is required, as your GP will need to compile an up‑to‑date medical history, along with any other relevant results and information about your condition. A good referral from your GP will also help you get the most out of your appointment with the specialist.

  • A referral from a GP is also a Medicare requirement that enables you to claim rebates for your specialist appointment, so it is important that you obtain your referral before your specialist appointment.
  • Please be aware that most referrals expire after 12 months, and it is illegal for us to backdate.
  • Please ensure you keep your referral safe and that you have your referral organised well before your specialist appointment, as we are unable to facilitate last minute requests from your specialist or yourself.

Our practice collects personal patient health information and safeguards your confidentiality and privacy in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles and the Privacy Act (1988). You can view our privacy policy here. If you have any questions, please contact our Practice Director.

Please let us know if any of your information has changed since your last visit so we can update your record. This is especially important if you have changed address or contact details, have received an updated Medicare card, or if custody arrangements or your health status has changed.

We take no responsibility if you have not updated your details with our practice.

Home visits are available in limited circumstances for existing patients of the practice. Please discuss this with your doctor. After hours healthcare is provided by the National Home Doctor Service. If you require medical attention outside of our consulting hours, please call 13 74 25.

For the safety of our staff and patients we will have zero tolerance for violent, disrespectful, intimidating, threatening, sexist, racist, homophobic, or aggressive behaviour at our practice. Anyone who acts in this manner will be asked to leave and the police may be called. This behaviour will also result in the inability to continue to attend as a patient of our practice.

Our practice is fitted with CCTV for the safety of our team and our patients.

Please see our Patient Code of Conduct for more information on the behaviour we expect from all patients and visitors.