What are some of the common services offered by medical centres?
Medical & Health, Medical Centres
A medical centre is an establishment housing a group of doctors offering healthcare services from a single premises. Medical centres differ in size and type. Some may offer doctors in general practice or another area such as plastic surgery, oncology, radiology, dermatology, gastroenterology etc., or a combination of both general practitioners and specialists. Public hospitals will often have a medical centre close nearby, where doctors from these public hospitals can also see patients privately. These doctors are known as specialists, for example cardiologists and surgeons.
Skin cancer clinics
Skin cancer is by far the most common form of cancer in Australia, due to our sunny climate, skin type and outdoor lifestyle. There are two main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These are slow growing and easily treated. There is another precancerous condition which is more common, called actinic keratosis or sun spots. The most dangerous skin cancer is melanoma as it can spread throughout the body. After examining your skin, doctors at these medical centres will often take a biopsy (e.g. piece) of the mole or growth for analysis to see whether it is benign (harmless) or malignant (dangerous). Depending on the results, the skin cancer clinic will often treat the condition on-site.
This type of medical centre if often known as a GP clinic. Medical centres can employ general practitioners (GPs) full-time, part-time, and casually. Often it is the GP who chooses his or her hours and days of work so it is not always possible to see the same doctor each time your visit. If you prefer one-to-one consultations, you may be happier with a doctor in private practice. As medical centres do not generally accept appointments, they are invariably busy places, so be prepared for a lengthy wait and listen out for your name being called. These medical centres are usually owned and operated by private companies. The larger medical centres may also employ allied healthcare professionals such as nurses, physiotherapists, nutritionists/dietitians etc. Some medical centres offer a wider range of services such as certain procedures (interventions or operations), minor cosmetic surgery, emergency medical care, childhood vaccinations, antenatal care, STD treatment, asthma clinics, counselling, acupuncture, diagnostics, care plans, and work cover assessments. Most medical centres have a pharmacy very close by.
Apart from the usual care provided by a GP, medical centres can provide a particular focus on family health, women’s health, men’s health, travel health, immunization programs, and minor surgical procedures. In addition, a medical centre may also provide pathology services. Some medical centres may focus on chronic disease management such as for asthma and diabetes, and there may have a nurse present who specialises in that area. Alternatively there may be a nurse available to assist in women’s health check ups for mammography, pap smears, pregnancy etc.
Some medical centres will bulk bill pensioners, veterans, health care card holders and children. For others be prepared to pay an additional fee which could be approximately $50 for a standard consultation or $80 for a longer visit. Appointments are usually made for 15 minutes.
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As medical centres vary in the range of services offered, check out your nearest medical centre to see if they provide medical facilities to suit the needs of you and your family.
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