Practice Policies


Communication Policy


Telephone calls from patients will not generally be put through to doctors. Our reception staff are happy to take messages or assist you with any general questions regarding your healthcare.  If you have a medical question after seeing one of our doctors, you can speak with the nurse and she will discuss your concerns with the doctor. If you have an urgent medical problem then our nurses will try to organise an urgent appointment with one of our doctors. Emails and Facsimiles are reviewed on a daily basis.


Douglas Family Medical Centre has an email address that patients can use to send through simple communications to their doctor or practice staff. This email address is checked on a regular basis and any email received will be acknowledged in a reply and passed on to the addressee. All relevant emails will be stored in your patient record. 

While we make every effort to keep  your information secure we want to remind our patients that electronic  communications and information can potentially be compromised and  accessed by persons outside of our practice. Patients communicating with Douglas Family Medical Centre through email do so at their own risk. 

Feedback and Complaints

Should you have any feedback regarding your care, we have a suggestion box in the waiting room. Alternatively you may speak with our practice manager. If you have any concerns about the care from your doctor, please immediately discuss this with your doctor so that your concerns can be managed. 

Should you have ongoing concerns, then we are happy to offer you a second opinion from another doctor at the practice. We are always trying to improve our service, and are happy to address any written complaints from our patients.

Bulk Billing Policy

Douglas Family Medical Centre is a bulk billing practice for all Medicare rebateable items. Bulk billing is when a doctor bills Medicare directly for the services provided to you, so you have no out-of-pocket expenses. If you are bulk billed, you’ve agreed for Medicare to directly pay your rebate to the GP for the service provided to you.

If bulk billed, you cannot be charged for any additional costs such as administration/booking fees or fees for consumables such as bandages (with the exception of vaccines).

Bulk billing is available to all patients with a valid  DVA, Medicare or Overseas Student Health Cover card.

Fees are payable for non-rebateable Medicare items  at the time of consultation by cash or EFTPOS.

A private facility fee may be charged for costs associated with procedures, excisions and dressings. This fee is not rebateable by Medicare.

If you have difficulty in paying our fees, please discuss this with our Practice Manager.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

We are currently a preferred provider for NIB.

To access Direct Billing please make sure you bring your current membership and student cards with you.

Cancellation and Failure to Attend Appointment Policy

Currently we lose valuable consultation time because of patients failing to attend their appointments or cancelling at short notice. This makes it more difficult for us to accommodate our patients in need of urgent treatment, for existing patients to book appointments and for new patients to register here.

A patient who fails to attend their appointment or cancel with less than 24 hours’ notice, will receive a phone call explaining this policy, warning them of the process that will occur due to missed appointments. In the event that a further appointment is missed or cancelled at short notice, we may withdraw treatment at this practice.

Discretion will be used if there is a good reason for the appointment being missed.

As with all medical facilities, we aim to see our patients on time but due to the nature of the health care, this is not always possible.

Failed to Attend Charges (2nd Occurrence)

Upon 2 missed appointments, to cover the practice running costs of a failed appointment with the doctor, there will be a charge of $50 directly to the patient.

Please note:

- First failure to attend / late cancellation you will receive a phone call

- Second failure to attend / late cancellation you will be sent an invoice letter with no rebate and no further appointments will be made until the fee is paid.

Text Reminder and Email Reminder automated system

Text and email reminders are available for all appointments. All text messages sent by our system are logged when successfully sent. It is your responsibility to check your text and email messages and to ensure that we are informed of any changes to your mobile phone number or email address. We will assume that you have received your reminder if it has been logged as successfully sent.

Please note, text messages and email are sent out of courtesy, not necessity. It is your responsibility to turn up on time for an appointment. Failure of the text messaging system for any reason is not sufficient reason for failing to attend or turning up too late for treatment