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Information for Medical Professionals

Dear Colleague

As you may know, I have been working in the area of travel medicine since 1988.

If you have patients travelling overseas who need more specialised travel medicine advice, my staff and I are now pleased to be able to offer you the option of referring your patients to our Brisbane CBD Travel Medicine practice.

Many GP’s find it useful to refer patients to us who need vaccines such as Yellow Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, or those patients who may be travelling on more complicated itineraries or travelling with medical issues such as pregnancy, immune problems or with very small children.

Our clinics are WHO approved Yellow Fever Immunisation Centres. See our yellow fever website – www.yellowfever.com.au.

Travelling Well Book

Every patient who has a consultation at our centre receives a free copy of my book, Travelling Well along with an international vaccination book. Our Travel Vaccination Clinic also stocks every vaccine, as well as a range of medical kits if required. We have procedures in place to cope with vaccine recalls, storing vaccine records indefinitely, and have medical staff on call for vaccine side effects 24 hours a day.

vacbook Immunisation record books

Unfortunately we are no longer in a position to supply the International Certificate of Vaccination or ‘little yellow books’ to all GP’s.

Medical kits

If you have travellers who would like to purchase a travellers medical kit, this can be ordered via our website. A list of contents and an order form are available in our products section. The Traveller can pay via creditcard and the kit will be posted to your office. These kits contain S4 prescription items so they can only be collected by patients during a consultation with yourself.

Information over the phone

In the past we have provided many general practitioners with a great deal of phone support in the area of travel medicine. Unfortunately it is not sustainable for us to provide this service as we had so many calls that it was making it difficult to see our existing patients. Matters recently came to a head when our Medical Defence Organisation gave us the following instructions regarding the giving of advice to colleagues over the phone.

“…it is likely to be successfully argued that she (the Doctor) owes a duty of care to the patient seeking medical travel information. By giving advice through a third party, it is possible that advice might be given without all relevant details. Any subsequent action arising from that advice would leave her potentially liable. On that basis, it seems eminently sensible to seek referral to the patients to herself.”

Due to the above, the other doctors in my practice, and I, feel we can no longer give patient specific advice except during a formal consultation. It is of course a very sad state of affairs that we are told by our medical defence organisation not to give advice to colleagues but we hope you will understand that given the current enthusiasm for litigation in Australia, we cannot afford to take this risk.

My colleagues and I would of course be pleased to see any patients you may care to refer for more specialised Travel Medicine advice.

Best regards
Dr Deb Mills MBBS MPHTM

 

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