A warm welcome to the Millhouse Community and to other readers.
Rain and chilly winds announce winter has come but thankfully those days have been interspersed with fine weather. Cold, wind and dampness consume the body's energy and make us susceptible to infection. Remember to stay warm. Avoid cold food and drinks and consume hot spicy meals with plenty of turmeric, ginger, onions and garlic.
Don't forget to take your vitamin D supplement. (For adults - free on prescription from the pharmacy. For children vitamin D drops are available at reception for $34).
In this newsletter I discuss two websites that you might find of interest. One evaluates the effectiveness of drug therapies and the other highlights current research on healthy food choices with useful nutritional information.
Medical Team Update:
Congratulations to Dr Stephanie and Malcolm on the arrival of their new baby boy Charlie, who will be a welcome companion for Olivia.
Dr Ric on vacation
. I am initially on holiday during July and again in the month of August.
Dr Joe Lim who is a skilled family doctor is covering in my absence as he has done on a number of previous occasions.
Follow-up Blood Investigations
From the 1st July postal charges are increasing and this has prompted review of the free reminder service for follow-up blood investigations that we currently offer. If it were possible we would switch to an electronic delivery but at the moment this is not approved by Labtest or the DHB. We are aware that even when Nurse Recall request forms are mailed out, only 70% of people have the blood test done.
After much discussion, the Medical Team have decided:
• Doctors will only request blood tests when they are necessary; for the majority of those with stable medical conditions a yearly blood test is all that is needed.
• Where frequent blood testing is required, such as with warfarin blood thinning therapy, unstable diabetes, heart and other medical conditions, as well as for cancer monitoring, a 'permanent card' will be given which will allow ongoing regular testing for one year.
• We will explore more cost-effective ways of contact when a followup blood test is due. This may include 'text – reception form pick-up', posting if necessary, and occasionally scanning request forms to an email address.
• In future if a patient requests a blood test (form) a service charge may apply.
We will continue to send email results, as we have always done, within 48 hours of the blood being taken. However there may be delays when blood is taken on Friday and processed over the weekend, or if special tests requested are analysed at the Auckland Hospital Laboratory.
There are nurse charges for liquid nitrogen therapy, ear syringing, travel advice and requesting specific information where extensive search time is taken. However nurse blood pressure readings at the clinic continue to be free.
The practice nurses have also asked when leaving a phone message if you could speak slowly and clearly, as sometimes they have trouble deciphering the communication.
Dr Ric writes about medical statistics and nutrition information.