Our GP Appointments

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Our appointments are generous

we give you more of our time and we respect yours

Appointments

We pride ourselves on providing our patients with generous consultations, and because we don’t overbook our lists, you’ll find we usually run on time – barring unforeseen medical emergencies.

Our consultations are billed according to the time taken with your doctor, or in some cases, the complexity of the procedure or service being provided.

Consultations with our doctors are made by appointment, either by calling us on (07) 5301 9828, or via our website for patients who are registered with our practice.

Appointments are essential as we are unable to accept walk-ins.

Standard Consultations

Our most common appointment type is called a Standard Consultation (Item 23) which is generally suitable for existing patients presenting with a single issue. Standard Consultations are booked into 20 minute time slots, which is quite generous compared to many other practices, who typically book their Standard Consultations into time slots anywhere between 6 to 15 minutes. We find that 20 minute Standard Consultations are more realistic and it allows our patients to better manage and understand their health issues without feeling rushed.

You may need a longer appointment if you have multiple complex issues, mental health concerns, or you need a care plan, a procedure, nursing support (e.g. vaccinations or dressings) or, if you have multiple people needing to be seen.

New Patient Appointments

We warmly welcome new patients to the practice, who will be booked into a 40 minute time slot for their first visit (Long Consultation – Item 36). This allows your doctor the time to take a thorough history, perform any relevant examinations and attend to your medical concern in a comprehensive manner. We find the vast majority of our new patient consultations take between 20-40 minutes. However, if your initial consultation takes less than 20 minutes, or more than 40 minutes, you will be billed accordingly. Please see our fee schedule below for more details.

Please note: All appointments are confirmed 24 hours prior to your consultation. If we are unable to confirm your appointment (either by SMS or phone call) it will be cancelled. New patients who confirm their appointment, but who fail to attend without giving four hours’ notice, will be charged a non-attendance fee equal to the initial consultation fee, and they will be unable to rebook until this fee is paid.

Booking the right type of appointment ensures there is enough time to work through your medical issue helps us to run on time, which ultimately benefits all our patients.

The table below provides a list of common appointment types and explains what they are generally suitable for. We rely on our patients to book appropriate length appointments. If you’re not sure what type of appointment to book, please talk to our reception staff who will be happy to assist.

If the appropriate time has not been booked, we may need to schedule another appointment.

Common Types of Appointments
Standard consultation – 20 minutes
Suitable for a single standard issue e.g. ear infection, urinary tract infection, coughs and colds, or pap-smear.
Long consultation – 40 minutes
Suitable for new patients, existing patients with complex issues (e.g. mental health), or multiple issues.
Care plans – 40 minutes
For patients requiring a plan for Medicare subsidised psychology or allied health services.

Important note: If your issue requires more time than your scheduled appointment you may be charged for a longer consultation or asked to book another appointment so your doctor can thoroughly examine your issue/s.

On-the-day Appointments and Emergencies

We understand you need to see a doctor when you’re acutely unwell.
That’s why we hold a limited number of ‘On-the-Day’ appointments each day for existing patients experiencing acute issues. These appointments are not published online and you need to call the practice as early as possible and be triaged into one of them. Our phones open at 7.30am Monday-Friday.

If you are experiencing an emergency please call 000.

If your medical condition is life threatening, you should call 000 immediately or present to your nearest hospital emergency department.

Delays

Despite our best efforts, given the unpredictable nature of medical care, we will sometimes experience unavoidable delays, mostly due to medical emergencies. However, we will make every effort to be proactive in communicating with patients about known delays.

Non‑attendance, late cancellations and punctuality and confirmation policy

We take pride in delivering high quality healthcare which is why your appointment time is booked and held especially for you. If you no longer require your appointment or cannot attend, please provide at least 4 business hours’ notice of your cancellation.

We are fully booked each day and resource our practice accordingly, so giving 4 business hours’ notice of a cancellation allows us to offer your appointment to other patients on the waiting list. Failure to attend an appointment or notify us of your cancellation within 4 business hours of your appointment will incur a non‑Medicare rebatable fee ($88 for a standard appointment or $153 for a long appointment).

Repeated late or non-attendance may result in the inability to book further appointments.

We pride ourselves on running on time (barring medical emergencies) so your punctuality is also appreciated. If you arrive unreasonably late for your appointment you may need to reschedule, and a fee may also apply.

We use an SMS confirmation system and require you to reply to confirm your attendance 24 hours prior. If you do not respond to confirm, or we cannot reach you, your appointment may be cancelled and offered to another patient.

If you’d like to become a Saltwater Medical patient we’d love to
look after you and your family. Call us on (07) 5301 9828.