What is the flu?2019-07-04T19:44:13+10:00

Influenza (or the flu) is a highly contagious, acute viral infection that spreads easily from person to person. The flu can spread from person to person by:

  • Droplets spreading from an infected person when they cough, sneeze or talk,
  • Touching surfaces contaminated by infected droplets (including hands, remote controls, phones, keyboards and door handles) and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

Signs and Symptoms:

Symptoms usually appear 1 to 3 days after becoming infected.

The symptoms of flu can include:

  • fever
  • sore throat
  • dry cough
  • headache
  • muscle and joint pain
  • tiredness or extreme exhaustion

In the elderly, fever may be absent and the only signs and symptoms of flu may be:

  • confusion
  • shortness of breath
  • worsening of a chronic condition
Why vaccinate?2019-07-04T19:45:23+10:00

Annual vaccination is the best way to reduce the risk of getting the flu and its complications. Vaccination is encouraged to protect family/friends with lowered immunity (babies, grandparents etc). The period where the flu is at its peak of circulation is around June to September, but it is never too late to vaccinate as it can potentially circulate all year round.

The vaccine does not contain live flu viruses and cannot cause flu. However, some people may experience mild flu-like symptoms for up to 48 hours as their immune system responds to the vaccine

Are there side effects of the flu vaccine?2019-07-04T19:46:15+10:00

There are some very mild and short term common side effects associated with flu vaccination, normally lasting no more than 48 hours. These side effects may be more noticeable in children under five years of age. Side effects include:

  • Drowsiness or tiredness
  • Muscle aches
  • Localised pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site
  • Occasionally, an injection-site lump (nodule) that may last many weeks but needs no treatment
  • Low-grade temperature (fever)

Very rarely do more serious side effects can occur. These tend to be allergic (anaphylactic) reactions to components in the vaccine.

If you are concerned that your side effects are persisting for too long, or they increase in severity, or become concerning to you, please book an appointment or walk in and see one of our GP’s or, if required, call 000.

Who is entitled to receive a free flu vaccine?2021-08-23T11:19:26+10:00

Government vaccines are now available at Pioneer Medical Centre.

Who is entitled to receive a free flu vaccine?

  • All children aged 6 months up to 5 years of age
  • Adults aged 65 years and over
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are aged 6 months and over
  • Pregnant women during any trimester
  • People aged six months and over with medical conditions that can lead to complications from influenza such as people who:
    • have heart disease; or
    • have lung disease or asthma; or
    • have another chronic illness, including diabetes and renal failure; or
    • have a chronic neurological condition, including multiple sclerosis and seizure disorders; or
    • have an immune compromising condition, including HIV infection; or are aged five to 10 years and are receiving long-term aspirin therapy, or
    • are pregnant

If you meet any of the above criteria, please speak with one of our GP’s about vaccination under the National Immunisation Program.

When is flu vaccination not appropriate?2019-07-04T19:48:47+10:00

For some patients, vaccination may not be appropriate. People who this might apply to include;

  • Patients who currently have an illness resulting in a fever greater than or equal to 38.5oC
  • People with a lowered immunity caused by either a medical condition or medical treatment.
  • People who have had a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis following a previous dose of the vaccine in question, or to a component of the vaccine.
  • Patient with a history of Guillian Barré syndrome
  • Patient with a bleeding disorder

Please discuss this with one of our GP’s if you are unsure as to whether the flu vaccine is appropriate for you.

Am I able to receive a statement of vaccination?2019-07-04T19:49:38+10:00

Upon request you will be provided with a statement that includes:

  • Name and date of birth
  • All vaccine details
  • Date and time of vaccination
  • General Practice information
  • Name of the nurse who administered the vaccination
Pioneer Medical Centre is an AGPAL accredited practice.2019-07-31T09:53:23+10:00

What does that mean for you?

  • Our practice endeavours to respect your rights and needs

  • Our practice is committed to your care

  • We have efficient practice systems in place

  • We are committed to ongoing risk management and education

  • We operate a safe work environment

  • Our practice has a ‘No Smoking’ policy

Practice Hours (by appointment)2019-09-05T12:49:47+10:00

Monday to Tuesday:  8.00am – 5.30pm (later appointments available on Mondays and Tuesdays)

Saturday:  From 8.30am (No Bulk Billing on Saturdays)

Sunday & Public Holidays:  CLOSED


Please phone 4942-2777 for an appointment.

Every effort will be made to accommodate your preferred time and doctor.  Emergencies will always be given priority and our reception staff will attempt to notify you if there is any unforeseen delay or your GP has been called away.

We encourage patients to request their preferred GP when making an appointment as these assist in continuity of care.  It is your right to request a chaperone if the consultation is of a sensitive nature.

Longer consultation times are available so please ask our receptionists if you require some extra time.  If you or a family member requires an interpreter service, we can organise this for you by phoning 1300-131-450.  Please let us know when you make the appointment.

Please notify staff of your cultural background.

Alternatively you can also book online through our website: pioneermedicalcentre.com.au

Contacting the Surgery2019-07-31T10:00:45+10:00

Please phone the surgery on (07) 4942 2777 for all appointment and billing inquiries.

Fax: (07) 4942 5033

Email: admin@pioneermedicalcentre.com.au

After-hours care2019-07-31T10:02:22+10:00

Bulkbilling after hours services available in the area are:

  • Mackay Base Hospital Emergency Department, Bridge Road, Mackay, Ph: 4885-6000
  • Dial a Home Doctor Service who can be contacted on 13 99 99.

Both services are free of charge however; a current Medicare card will need to be provided.

Private after hours services can be obtained through the Mater Private Hospital until 10.00pm. You can either present to the Mater Hospital, 76 Willetts Road, North Mackay or phone them on 4965-5444.  The out of pocket expense ranges from $120 to $250.  Payment is required at the time of consultation.


Home visits2019-07-31T10:03:02+10:00

Home visits are available for regular patients whose condition prevents them from attending the surgery.  GPs in the practice may be contacted during normal surgery hours.

If you require a home visit please phone reception and leave a request for the doctor. Please note that alternate fees apply for home visits.

Services available2019-07-31T10:06:44+10:00
  • Home visits,
  • check-ups,
  • family planning,
  • pap smears,
  • pregnancy tests,
  • antenatal,
  • ECG: heart check,
  • counselling,
  • vaccinations: children and travel,

Please note Dr Cumming does not refer patients for termination procedures.

  • minor surgery: suturing cuts,
  • removal of moles and sunspots,
  • liquid nitrogen freezing therapy for sunspots and warts,
  • nutritional advice,
  • diabetes management,
  • industrial medical advice and consultation: including pre-employment medicals and Work Cover consultations,
  • sports medicine,
  • skin checks and health assessments (75-year-old, aged-care, disability, ATSI)
  • Closing the Gap’ program,
Fees and billing arrangements2019-07-31T10:07:43+10:00

Fees are payable at the time of consultation by cash or bankcard – MasterCard or Visa.  The AMA fee structure forms the basis of our billing policy and is displayed in the reception area of the surgery.  Patients are informed of any additional costs prior to the procedure or therapy being carried out. Accounts that are not settled at the time of consultation will incur a $10 admin fee.

If you have any difficulty paying our fees, please discuss it with us.  The GPs at this practice provide reduced costs for ‘Aged Pension’, ‘Disability Pension’ and ‘Health Care’ card holders. Children aged 10-years-old and under are bulk billed Monday-Friday, however if use of the treatment room is required e.g. cast application, bandages etc. a fee will be incurred. Your consultation (if the treatment room is required) if usually bulk billed, will be charged at the schedule fee. This means that you will pay for your consult on the day but the full amount is claimable through Medicare, and will be refunded, in full, straight back into your account again. Any expense for the treatment room is however out of pocket and not claimable.

Please note that appointments from 5.00pm and Saturday appointments are not able to be bulkbilled and will incur a fee for all patients.

Standard consultation:     $80.00 (Medicare rebate $38.20 – out-of-pocket expense $41.80)

Long consultation:           $115.00 (Medicare rebate $73.95 – out-of-pocket expense $41.05)

Repeat prescriptions2019-07-31T10:08:56+10:00

Dr Venter is happy to do repeat prescriptions for his regular patients. 24-hour notice is required, please phone the surgery and inform the reception staff of your name, date of birth and the script you require.  There is a $15 fee for this service, although a consultation may be required depending on the circumstances. If your script needs to be faxed to a pharmacy, an additional fee of $7.00 also applies to cover this service.

All other doctors require an appointment for repeat prescriptions.

Test results2019-07-31T10:09:35+10:00

Please note that we do not give results over the phone. You are welcome to call and check if your results have arrived and if the doctor would like to follow up with you, however an appointment will be required to receive the results

Reminder system2019-07-31T10:10:15+10:00

Our practice has a reminder system in place to provide health promotions, preventative care and early detection of disease eg. Pap smears, immunisations, pathology results and health assessments.  Letters are sent on a weekly basis for routine follow-up consultation and daily telephone calls, texts or letters are used to recall patients for pathology results.  We participate in National/State Reminder systems.

It is important to notify us of any change of address. You can opt out of our reminder system at any time by notifying admin or clinical staff, including your GP, and completing a change of details form.

Management of your personal health information2019-07-31T10:10:51+10:00

Your medical record is a confidential document.  It is the policy of this practice to maintain security of personal health information at all times and to ensure that this information is only available to authorised members of staff. A full copy of our Practice Policy is available to you upon request. Patients are encouraged to utilise leaflets and brochures on display in the waiting room.

Your rights2019-07-31T10:11:56+10:00

If you have a problem we would like to hear about it.  Please feel free to talk to your doctor or receptionist.  You may prefer to write to us or use our suggestion box.  We take your concerns, suggestions and complaints seriously.  However, if you wish to take the matter further and feel that you need to discuss the matter outside the surgery please contact the Office of the Health Ombudsman on 133 646. Alternatively, a Health Service Complaint form can be obtained online at www.oho.qld.gov.au. This form can be completed and either:

  • Submitted electronically through their website
  • E-mailed to complaints@oho.qld.gov.au
  • Posted to PO Box 3281, George Street, Brisbane QLD 4003.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner is able to receive complaints concerning privacy issues and can be contacted on 1300 363 992. Alternatively, a Privacy Complaint form can be obtained at www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/making-a-privacy-complaint. This form can be completed and either:

  • Submitted electronically through their website
  • Emailed to enquiries@oaic.gov.au
  • Faxed to (02) 9284 9666
  • Posted to GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001

A copy of our Practice Policy is available to you upon request.

Communication Policy2019-07-31T10:12:44+10:00

Our staff are always here to help you with any problems or questions you may have.

Practice Manager:                   Andrea

Registered Nurses:                  Kim, Heather and Teresa

Medical Receptionists:           Sabreena, Maxine, Charmain and Sue

Advanced Health Directive Form2020-08-20T10:37:00+10:00
Disability Parking Permit Application2020-08-20T10:37:57+10:00
Enduring Power of Attorney Long Form2020-08-20T10:40:11+10:00
Enduring Power of Attorney Short Form2020-08-20T10:39:06+10:00
Medical Certificate for Motor Vehicle Driver2020-08-20T10:39:48+10:00
Update patient information Sheet2020-08-20T10:41:21+10:00
Private and Commercial Vehicle Driver’s Health Assessment2020-08-20T10:41:58+10:00
Practice Information Sheet2020-08-20T10:43:38+10:00
New Patient Information Form2020-08-20T10:49:03+10:00
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