ABOUT THE VAHS EPPING CLINIC
The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) vision is “Creating and inspiring healthy Aboriginal people and families through quality, effective community health services, education and training. VAHS will achieve this with a flexible approach that is innovative, embraced by the community and sets a
standard as a Centre for Excellence for Aboriginal Health internationally. (VAHS Strategic Plan 2017-2022)
The objectives of the VAHS Epping Clinic are to:
· To promote, improve and support the quality of life of the Community.
· To provide a holistic approach to the physical wellbeing of the person, the family and the Community in a culturally appropriate way. The aim of the VAHS Epping Clinic is to provide health care, assessments, understanding and education to the Aboriginal Community through:
· Providing support to patients
· Advocating on behalf of the patient
· Conducting patient health checks
· Providing outreach and promoting the philosophy of the VAHS.
· Providing health promotion and education to individuals and groups
The Epping Clinic
Epping Vic 3076
Ph: (03) 8592 3920 (Option 1)
Fax: (03) 8592 3900
The Epping Clinic operates Monday to Thursday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Friday 9:00 to 4:00 pm – Consulting commences each day at 9:30
VAHS has a Locum Doctor Service set up for after-hours and weekend patient requirements. If you require a Doctor after hours, please call our after-hours Locum service on 132 660.
If it’s an emergency, dial 000 for an Ambulance
If you require mental health support, please hang up and call Yarning Safe and Strong on 1800 959 563
Dr. Jenny Hunt
Alita Thorpe and Paige Nelson
Aboriginal Health Workers:
Kalina Brown and Helen Fitzgerald
Senior Medical Officer:
Dr Gabby Hall
Drs Antony Rupert Raj, Janelle Francis, Thanuja Ranatunga,
Jessie Johnston, Kieran Shiels
Health support is provided by the following teams which are situated at our Fitzroy Medical Clinic:
diabetes educator, optometry, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dietitians, podiatrist, audiologist.
VAHS Family Counselling Service provides mental health services to Community from the Epping
General Health Check (715)
A health assessment takes about an hour with your doctor and health worker and includes a general physical exam such as height, weight, eyes check, blood pressure check and taking a health history. A health check should be done at least every 12 months Having a health check doesn’t mean there is anything wrong but it can help you to stay active and healthy.
This service is fully bulk billed.
At the completion of a general health check, you can receive a $30 voucher or Deadly Choices shirt.
GP Management Plan
A GP Management Plan helps to identify your health needs and goals and to keep your health on track.
It makes sure you are referred to services you need such as podiatrist, dietitian, physiotherapist
diabetes educator, psychologist, specialist general surgeon, cardiologist, ophthalmologist, geriatrician,
dermatologist, respiratory and sleep specialist, addiction specialist, occupational therapist, speech
GP Management Plans are important if you have any chronic problems for more than 6 months, and
are reviewed every 3 months. After having a GP management plan you can receive a $20 voucher.
VAHS is a bulk billing service. It is important that all patients have an updated Medicare card to enable
direct charging to Medicare. Patients who incur any charges outside of VAHS are to pay their own
costs. Those patients who incur costs through referrals to external Specialists and/or the Allied Health
Sector, are required to pay their own costs. Referrals are required if a patient needs to see a specialist.
Often the Doctor will do the referral and if it’s to an external Specialist, wherever possible, the referral
will be to a bulk billing specialist, but this will not always be the case.
Whilst you are a patient of VAHS, all efforts will be made to ensure your personal information remains
confidential. Information is not given to a third party unless specified by the patient in writing. If you
want your information transferred from another Doctor/surgery to VAHS you will be asked to sign a
release of information form and vice versa if you have decided to see a Doctor that is not part of the
VAHS. VAHS encourages any patient to inform VAHS staff immediately if they have any concerns
relating to the privacy of their medical records. The VAHS keeps electronic (computer) medical records
to store your information. The computer system has security restrictions that prevent unauthorized
staff or anybody else from accessing patient’s clinical information.
Complaints procedure and patient rights
If any patient or visitor to the VAHS has a grievance with the procedures, staffing or with other patients
within the VAHS it is advised that you contact the VAHS administration as soon after the incident as
possible. Patients also have the right to contact the Health Commissioner if they feel their health care
has not been sufficient. The Health Services Commissioner can be contacted via Ph 8601 5222 or
Receiving & Returning Telephone calls
If you ring to speak to an Aboriginal Health Worker, nurse, allied health specialist or doctor your call will be logged with that person in our clinical software.
nless it is possible to do so at the time, calls are returned at 4:00 pm. If the matter is urgent the call will be put through immediately.
Please provide the receptionist with your full name, date of birth and address as this identifies you. You will be asked to confirm your phone number to ensure we have the right one on our system. If the clinician you have asked to speak to is not working on the day, the reception will let you know, and where possible offer alternatives such as the doctor onsite on the day.
If your call is for a non-clinical staff member the call will be directed through to that person whenever possible, or the caller is advised that the staff member is not available. The caller is then given the option of speaking to another staff member or a message is taken and forwarded to the relevant staff
Appointments are 1/2 an hour in duration and can be made by phone or in person at the Medical reception desk. If you require an appointment longer than the 1/2 hour allocated, please speak to the Medical receptionist to organise this. If you are unable to attend an appointment, please cancel it by ringing reception. If you have any queries about making an appointment, please contact the Medical receptionist.
During the week all Medical team members are available to assist the patient with more comprehensive healthcare where they have time to manage, provide, refer, and support all areas of the patient’s
VAHS has a Locum Doctor Service set up for after-hours and weekend patient requirements. If you require a Doctor after hours, please call our after-hours Locum service on 132 660. If it’s an emergency, dial 000 for an Ambulance
If you require mental health support, please hang up and call Yarning Safe and Strong on 1800 959
Home visits are available in some circumstances, where a patient may be unable to attend the clinic for their care. Before a home visit is made by the medical team, they will make an assessment of the reason for the request for a home visit to decide if a home visit is appropriate or more urgent action,
such as calling an ambulance and going to the hospital is required. When a home visit is made by the medical team will usually involve a Doctor and an Aboriginal Health Worker.
Referrals are required if a patient needs to see a Specialist. Often the Doctor will do the referral and if it’s to an external Specialist, wherever possible, the referral will be to a bulk billing specialist, but this will not always be the case.
The VAHS has a number of visiting medical specialists including a; General Surgeon, Cardiologist,
Ophthalmologist, Geriatrician, Dermatologist, Respiratory & sleep specialist, Addiction specialist and ENT Surgeon
Referrals also occur for other Program and Units within VAHS.
The Epping clinic has one Medical driver who supports those patients who have a medical appointment
and who do not have their own means of transport or are severely unwell.
The criteria for using the Epping Clinic transport service are:
- Patient’s must live but are not limited to, within 30km of the VAHS
- Pickups for appointments—Contact must be made the day before the appointment
- Hospital appointments (where the VAHS has referred you) – Contact must be made the day
before the appointment
- If you are picked up, once you have seen the Doctor, please be available for the drivers to take you
- If you have made a booking for transport and you are not going to be at home or no longer wish
to be picked up, please inform Medical reception ASAP
Please be advised that disruptive and or unruly behaviour whilst inside any VAHS facility/site/vehicle will not be tolerated. This type of action could mean you will be banned from using this service for a period of time.