SURGERY HOURS
by appointment only
Monday - Friday: 8am - 6pm
Saturday: 8am - 12md
Dr Nicholas Bernard
MBBS Dip Paed FRACGP
Dr Vesna Kalajdzic
MBBS FRACGP
Dr Kate Hall
MBBS FRACGP
Dr Heidi Dawson
MBBS BSc DCH FRACGP
Dr Gabriella Legradi
BMed Sci MBBS FRACGP
Dr Sophie Scamps
MBBS MPH MSc FRACGP
Dr Sue Hartley
MBBS
Dr Elicia Rodas
BMed Sci MBBS DCH
Dr Fiona Bernard
MBBS Dip Paed FRACGP
4 ALBERT STREET, NARRABEEN  PHONE: 9913 7311   AFTER HOURS: 13 7425   BOOK: INSTANT APPOINTMENTS GOOGLE MAP  
Stethoscope

The services provided by Narrabeen Family Medical Practice

Hardy a day goes by when the news doesn't carry a story about the latest medical breakthrough. Many involve early detection. This has meant that a lot of diseases that once led to debilitating illness or premature death are now preventable. But there's a catch. You need regular health checks so a problem doesn't progress to the stage where even the latest medical advances prove futile. Along with the services you'd normally expect from a general practice, Narrabeen Family Medical offers pertinent lifestyle advice and provides a series of checks and tests that help us to identify current and potential problems.

Skin Exam

skin lesion and mole exam - Even if you didn't live in the land of sun and sand and surf, you should still have a total cutaneous examination every year. More often if you're particularly fair, freckled, have had previous lesions or a melanoma diagnosis in the family. Like many cancers, skin cancers start as pre-cancerous lesions. We are quite experienced at finding and assessing these lesions. Using liquid nitrogen cryotherapy, we can treat most of them on the spot before they become dangerous. For more advanced lesions, we will remove a small section to be biopsied. Because skin cancer is the most common cancer in Australia, this 15-minute consultation could end up saving your life. (Which is why we've listed it first here.)

Quit Smoking

smoking cessation - Everyone knows that smoking isn't healthy. However, relatively few people realise just how deadly this addiction can be. Aside from lung cancer, emphysema and clogged arteries, there are more than 20 potentially fatal diseases caused by smoking. Not to mention a host of dibilitating, disfiguring, downright disgusting conditions. Quitting is unquestionably the single best way to dramatically improve your health. And life expectancy. Gradual reduction, nicotine replace therapy and going cold turkey can all work, but efficacy varies from person to person. That's where we come in. Over the years we have been quite successful in finding the best way for our patients to give up this incredibly dangerous habit.

Weight Loss

weight reduction - If you're significantly overweight, shedding kilos is easily the most effective way to improve your health and add years to your life. However, for a lot of people the main problem seems to be where to start; you have myriad options, each of them with strong advocates. The advice we offer is all based on sound physiological knowledge and the latest advances in medical research. Normally, we start by recommending you modify your lifestyle, commonly a change in diet and a regimen of exercise or increased activity. If this doesn't achieve the desired results, we might prescribe drug therapy. In severe cases, the best option is surgery, which, by the way, we have see result in some very gratifying success stories.

Immunisations

children's health check - We like to see newborn children every two months until the age of six months, then again at 18 months. During these consultations, we will administer their recommended immunizations, conduct routine exams and screenings, and chart their growth. When your child reaches the age of four, we carry out the Federal Government's Healthy Kids Check. This consists of taking your child's medical and social history (or updating an existing record), carrying out examinations, giving the four-year-old immunisation and then making a health assessment based on what we learn. Where we identify problems, we may need to arrange for referrals and follow-up visits.

Women's Health

women's health check - Because women are more susceptible to certain illnesses or conditions at different stages of their life, we vary our checks accordingly. We will also tell you what signs to look out for as you grow older. For instance, you're more likely to experience depression in your 20s, weight problems in your 30s and 40s, high blood pressure and diabetes in your 50s. Naturally, we provide breast screening, Pap smears and other standard tests. And with new studies showing that Australian women are four times more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer, we have been putting additional emphasis on your cardiovascular health. We also offer family planning advice and contraceptive implants.

Men's Health

men's health check - By discussing the medical history of you and your family, we can determine which tests are most suitable for you. Commonly, we will check your height, weight, eyes and ears. Recommend blood tests to check your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Conduct a prostate screen. And assess your cardiovascular risk. We might also talk about your lifestyle and how it affects your health. This could lead to development of an exercise and weight reduction plan. Alcohol and drug counselling. Dietary advice. Methods to stop smoking. And stress management techniques. In short, whatever is most appropriate for you and your situation.

ECGs

electrocardiogram test - The spikes and dips of an electrocardiogram (ECG) allow us to find the cause of unexplained chest pain or rapid, irregular heartbeats or other heart-related symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness or fainting. ECGs are also very informative when other diseases or conditions are present, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, diabetes or a family history of early heart disease.

Lung Function

lung function test - Using our spirometer, we administer preliminary tests to measure both lung volume and air flow. The results should help us determine whether you suffer from an obstructive lung disease such as asthma or a restrictive disease like pulmonary fibrosis. If so, we can then decide on appropriate management. If you're scheduled for a spirometry test, something to bear in mind. Because your stomach can prevent your lungs from expanding properly, don't eat too much prior to testing. You also shouldn't smoke or exercise heavily for at least six hours beforehand. These tests are simple, safe and well tolerated by patients, with minimal side-effects or complications. (We can't say the same for smoking.)

Diabetes Management Clinic

diabetes management clinic - Type 2 diabetes, the most common form, is a long-term disease now affecting some one million Australians. That number is expected to double in the next few years. The good news is that up to 60 percent of diabetes cases could be prevented, or at least delayed, by people maintaining a healthy weight. Using a simple but informative test called the Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool (DRAT), we can identify those people aged 40-49 who are at high risk. (You can download a PDF of the test to fill out before coming to see us by clicking the graphic to the left.) The results guide us in suggesting lifestyle interventions which will help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes and in many cases dramatically affect life expectancy. Our formalised care includes dietary advice, exercise plans and weight loss assistance.

Health Care Planning

health care planning - A number of our patients have chronic, often complex medical conditions that require treatment not only from us but other health or care providers as well. Such conditions have generally been present for at least six months and include asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, musculoskeletal conditions and stroke. In order to provide each of these people access to allied health services that are eligible for Medicare rebates, we prepare an individualised management plan taking into account each patient's medical and care needs as well as the general guidance set out in the Medical Benefits Scheme.

Yellow Fever

travel medicine - Unfortunately, some of the most alluring destinations on this planet - particularly in the so-called Third World - happen to be among the most virulent. Fortunately, we happen to subscribe to Travel Health Advisor (formally MASTA), the global advisory service with the largest and most up-to-date database of travel diseases on the planet. This allows us to offer patients the very latest advice on what medical dangers you're likely to encounter just about anywhere in the world. We can also provide malaria protection and inoculations against the most common infectious diseases. And that includes yellow fever vaccinations. You might also want to check out The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade smartraveller.gov.au and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control cdc.gov websites.

Referrals and Recommendations

referrals and recommendations - We have a database of literally hundreds of health resources. From pathology and radiology labs to specialist practitioners like ophthamologists, cardiologists and gastroenterologists. Psychiatrists and psychologists. Physiotherapists and chiropractors. Home nursing, Meals on Wheels, aged care facilities and various other community health services. And they all have one thing in common: we would use each and every one ourselves. Bear in mind that because written referrals are in effect professional recommendations, we will have to meet for a consultation in order to determine whether a specialist is actually necessary and, if so, who would be the most appropriate for you.

Results

pathology and radiology results - Whenever we receive test results that are significantly abnormal, we will contact you to arrange a consultation to discuss them. When tests are clear or negative ('no action'), we can usually let you know over the phone. Something to consider. Because patients often delay days, even weeks after we provide a referral, we have no way of knowing when or if you have been tested. So it's a good idea to phone us within a few days of having your test(s) to make sure we have received the results.

Prescriptions

prescriptions - Because we are legally responsible for each and every script we write, we generally require a consultation whenever you want to renew. This allows us to properly assess how well the medication has been working. Depending upon what we learn, we might increase or decrease the dosage, or switch to another medication entirely. In cases where we've seen you within one year and the medication involved is appropriate, your doctor may be able to provide a prescription without consultation. The same goes for when you've lost a script and need it replaced. This extra service does take time though, so there's a $20.00 fee. But we're pretty sure you'll agree the convenience is well worth it.

Medicare rebates

medicare rebates - Now you have three options. As before you can take your receipt to a Medicare Australia office and make your claim. Or you can have us make it for you when you settle, but you'll have to wait up to three weeks for a cheque. Or, much better, you can arrange to have your Medicare rebate paid directly into your bank account before you leave the surgery. But there is a caveat. You must register your bank account details beforehand with Medicare Australia. You can do this several ways: phoning 132 011, visiting a local Medicare office or clicking www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/public/talk to download a PDF.