Cook Street Health Centre
The Cook Street Health Centre is a Cornerstone Accredited Practice.
138 Cook Street
Palmerston North 4443
Tel: (06) 356 8033 during the day and after hours
Emergency Tel: 111
Fax: (06) 356 8045
The Cook Street Health Centre provides General Practice for you and your family.
Joining and Leaving the Practice
When you join the practice it is important that we review your medical history and perform a medical examination in order to provide the best possible care for you. You will be invited to have an initial appointment with the doctor. We can request your notes from your previous doctor with your permission and you will be asked to sign a form for this.
If you leave the practice, please let us know so that we can cancel reminder notices and keep our records up to date. Your new doctor will request your notes from us once you have authorised this.
The principle of enrolment is crucial to the government's primary health care strategy. Ensuring that patients obtain their health care from one general practice will undoubtedly help make their care more efficient and effective. There is a lot of evidence that continuity of care results in better health.
Some of the key points about this system are:
- Patients can only enroll with one general practice. If you choose to enroll with another practice, you are automatically no longer enrolled with the previous practice.
- The fact that you are enrolled with one general practice does not restrict you from consulting another doctor somewhere else.
- If you consult another practice (other that your enrolled practice) any government subsidy which applies for your consultation is deducted from your enrolled practice's capitation payment. This is especially relevant for the under 6 age group, where the subsidy is the highest.
- At some time over the next 3 years, all patients will be asked to sign a form which indicates you wish to be enrolled with this practice, and that you understand the implications of this. Even if you have been coming to the Cook Street Health Centre for 20 years (and some of our patients have), you will need to do this.
- The government agency responsible for coordinating the information about which patient is enrolled with which practice has used rules which seem unfair to providers, and appears to have made many errors in applying them. This results in many patients appearing to be enrolled at the wrong practice. All patients are identified in this system using a supposedly unique health identifier number, the National Health Index (NHI) number. Some of you will already be familiar with this, since the hospitals have been using this number to identify you in the system for many years.
It is important to understand the principles of enrolment. For patients who are enrolled with us, we ask that you try to obtain your health care from us, except after hours. The system encourages this partnership (and provides a financial penalty for us if you consult other practices). An information brochure is available which explains the details about enrolment: please ask at the desk if you wish to see this.
From time to time, in the course of treatment, we may need to provide your details and medical history to other health providers, such as specialists and hospitals. We will ensure that your health information is only seen by people who are involved in your health care (such as a staff and specialists that we refer you to). We will always ask for your consent before transferring any identifiable medical information about you to someone who is not involved in your health care. We provide the PHO and the Ministry of health with a list of our enrolled patients so that we can obtain subsidies on your behalf. This information includes your name, address, date of birth, ethnicity, and the dates when you see the doctor or nurse. No identifiable medical information is provided without your consent. In all cases, your privacy is protected by the medical ethics of confidentiality, the provisions of the Privacy Act 1993, and the Health Information Privacy Code 1994. We are aware of these privacy requirements and work within policies and procedures developed by the PHO to uphold them at all times. We value the confidentiality of your health information.
Appointments are usually made for 15 minutes. Please be considerate of other patients if you have several problems which may require more time than one appointment allows. You are welcome to book a double appointment if you think this is necessary, and this will carry an additional charge.
We try to ensure that you are able to see your regular doctor as this maintains continuity of care. It is therefore best if you telephone ahead to make an appointment. If there is a significant delay you may be offered an appointment with another doctor. Please tell the receptionist if your problem is urgent.
If you have made an appointment which is no longer needed, please ring us at least 2 hours beforehand so that it can be made available for another patient. We discourage our patients from turning up without an appointment.
This service is provided through City Doctors at 22 Victoria Avenue from 5.30pm to 8.30am weeknights and from 5.30pm Friday to 8.30am Monday
If you need a doctor to call at your home, please phone early in the day if possible.
Consultations and Emergencies:
We have a modern, well-equipped building with a range of treatment areas to deal with your accident or medical problem quickly and efficiently.
Our doctors do not act as Lead Maternity Carers (LMC's) but do provide early antenatal care and liaise with local midwives and obstetricians over ongoing care in pregnancy, labour and the postnatal period.
A full range of vaccinations are offered for children and adults. This includes routine childhood immunisations, tetanus boosters, flu injections and travel vaccinations.
Minor surgical procedures such as mole removal are performed at the centre. A double appointment is required. Liquid Nitrogen treatment is available for warts and other skin conditions during our normal opening hours. This will involve an extra cost. Please feel free to ask for a quote.
While it is convenient for patients to phone for prescriptions, we need to follow careful guidelines for safety and legal reasons. You will need to be seen by the doctor at regular intervals. It is best if possible to talk to the practice nurse about your needs as this allows her to look in your file and check the request. If she is busy the receptionist may take the request but the nurse may need to ring you back if there is a query.
We will not give prescriptions for new medicines without seeing you except in extreme circumstances. For regular medications we may require that you have your blood pressure checked if appropriate or if you have not been seen for some time we will require you to come in and have a consultation. If the nurse advises you that an appointment is necessary in order to get a repeat prescription, she is following clearly set out protocols designed to ensure the safe and responsible administration of drugs. She is not just trying to create business or make your life difficult!
You can request repeat prescriptions by telephone, or fax. Remember to include enough detail about the name and dosage of the medicine, and provide contact details so that a nurse can contact you if needed. The doctors write the prescriptions at the end of the morning and afternoon sessions. Therefore if you ring for a prescription in the morning it will usually be ready around 2pm and if you ring in the afternoon we cannot guarantee that it will be ready until the next morning.
If you want the prescription faxed it is useful for us if you have the name of the chemist available and if possible their fax or phone number. If you require your prescription by a certain time it is again best if you can talk to the practice nurse regarding this. We cannot fax prescriptions to private numbers; they have to be faxed to a chemist. There is an extra charge for faxed prescriptions to allow for the extra administration, including the cost of posting the original copy of the prescription to the chemist.
Repeat prescription request form is available on the website: http://www.cshealth.co.nz/order-prescription/
You are entitled to your results. We are obliged to follow up abnormal results however it is always good to be aware that your tests were processed and the results were normal. If you don’t’ hear from us you are welcome to leave a message for us to get the results to you by phone message, letter or text message.
If you have a cell phone that you can receive a text message on please make sure you have given us your current number and advise us that you are happy to receive a message this way.
Our Practice Nurses have a wide range of skills including wound management, performing cervical smears, blood pressure checks, immunisations, testing hearing and doing ear syringing. They are also able to provide free annual checks for diabetic patients and well person checks
Our schedule of fees is on display at reception. All fees are GST inclusive. You can pay by EFTPOS, cheque, cash, credit card or Internet banking. Payment is expected at the time of consultation, but if we have to send an account, an extra charge is made to cover administration and postage. Should you have difficulty paying fees or settling an account, please discuss this with your doctor or the reception staff.
Additional charges are made for after hours consultations, home visits and call outs, as well as for all materials used.
Dealing with Difficulties
If there is a problem about the way you have been treated, or if you are unhappy with any of the services provided, you need to tell us as soon as possible. Please contact the doctor in question, the Practice Manager or outline your concerns in a letter to the practice. You can be assured that problems will be tackled and any complaints dealt with promptly. You also have the right to use independent procedures. These are outlined in a pamphlet from the Health and Disability Commissioner available at the Centre.
We would like to recommend to you our well-person health checks. These are designed to look at inherited, lifestyle and other personal health risks, so that measures can be taken to reduce these in the future. They are particularly aimed at those between the ages of 30 and 70 years who rarely need to see a doctor.
The health check includes filling out a questionnaire, seeing your practice nurse, having tests done and following up with your doctor.
If you would like to have a well person check, please phone the reception desk to arrange a time.