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  Contact : 03 9584 9504. In an emergency, dial 000.

Changes to Shingles Vaccination Program

From November 1, 2023, eligible Australians aged over 65 are able to receive free protection against shingles.

This initiative is part of an $800 million investment in immunization, designed to safeguard the health of our senior citizens. The previously funded Zostavax will no longer be available after 31 October 2023. 

What is Shingles?

  • Shingles is a viral infection caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus and typically presents as a painful, blistering rash on one side of the face or body that lasts 10-15 days
  • One in five people who gets shingles may develop severe and long lasting chronic nerve pain known as post-herpetic neuralgia
  • The risk of shingles and severity of the rash and neuralgia increases with age, making Australians aged 65

Who is eligible?

  1. Adults aged 65 years and over (>50 if Indigenous), including those who have self-funded the first dose of Shingrix
  2. Those aged 18 years and older, who have previously been unable to have Zostavax due to a weakened immune system 

Please note that patients who have previously received Zostavax free under the NIP cannot receive free Shingrix until at least 5 years after the Zostavax dose.

To book an appointment or find out more, please contact our friendly team 03 9584 9504.

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Southland Medical Centre has joined thousands of healthcare providers across Australia in registering for MyMedicare. MyMedicare is a new voluntary registration system that will help us formalise the relationship between us and our patients. 

Formalising the patient-practice relationship, like with MyMedicare, has been shown to improve patient health and wellbeing, and that is why we are inviting all our regular patients to register for MyMedicare. 

MyMedicare allows you to nominate a general practice and General Practitioner (GP) as your regular healthcare provider. When you register in MyMedicare it supports our practice to provide more of the targeted care you need. Currently, patients who register with our practice in MyMedicare may benefit from longer MBS-funded telephone consultations, from 1 November 2023.

 If you would like to nominate your preferred GP at Southland Medical Centre, the process is simple and convenient:

  1. complete your registration via your Express Plus Medicare App or complete the registration process in your Medicare Online Account
  2. complete a Registration Form via the link or at our practice. Our friendly team are available to assist you in the registration process to ensure you receive the care that suits your needs. 


What is MyMedicare – MyMedicare is a new voluntary and free patient registration model. It aims to formalise the relationship between patients, their general practice, general practitioner (GP) and primary care teams.

Why Register for MyMedicare? – Evidence shows that seeing the same GP and healthcare team regularly leads to better health outcomes. MyMedicare patients will have access to:

  • greater continuity of care with your registered practice, improving health outcomes
  • longer Medicare Benefit Scheme (MBS) funded telehealth consultations with your GP
  • triple bulk billing incentive for longer MBS telehealth consultations for eligible children under 16, pensioners, and concession card holders

Does MyMedicare restrict me to only seeing my preferred GP? – No. Registering with MyMedicare does not restrict your access to other healthcare providers including other GP’s and practices. You will only be able to access benefits provided through MyMedicare at your registered practice.

Can I change my GP/practice? Yes, you can change or update your preferred GP or regular practice. Once you have registered with your regular general practice and preferred GP in MyMedicare, you are able to change or update your registration at any time.

Is MyMedicare the same as My Health Record? – No. MyMedicare is a registration system that records your details and the details of your regular general practice and primary care team. MyMedicare can not hold any of your clinical health information. Your clinical information will continue to be available in your My Health Record, if you have one.

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Dr Jeffrey Shapiro:

Farewell and Thank You

In mid March I made the decision to take a few months leave of absence from my medical practice in Cheltenham.  The reason was twofold.  Firstly I had not had a holiday for two years and Frieda and I decided that we would like to take the car and drive North for the Winter (This was to prove impossible with the arrival of Covid 19).

 Secondly it was suggested to me that with the increasing problem with Covid19 it would be unsafe for me at my age to be exposed to the large number of people I was seeing each day. The plan was to make a decision in July as to when I would return to work.  The arrival of the second wave of infection really affected this decision.

I started general practice in Cheltenham in Autumn 1964 and now 56 years later because of the pandemic I must reluctantly hang up my stethoscope.

For many years I started seeing patients treating them for all their problems: general consulting, repairing skin damage, setting fractures, removing lumps and bumps, tonsils and adenoids, appendices and of course delivering well over a thousand babies.  Together with Dr. Richard Wrennall we performed operative gynaecology, Caesarean deliveries, repaired hernias, removed varicose veins and haemorrhoids, and other more minor surgery. Over the following years we were able to see the success of these procedures.

I would like publicly to thank Dick for over forty years of true medical partnership, with not one instance of a crossed word between us in all those years.

I would like to thank Dr. Peter Enten and my present colleagues both medical and reception staff at Southland Medical Centre for providing such a pleasant atmosphere in which I have been working for the last twenty years.

As time went on, so many of my patients became acquaintances I looked forward to seeing, and later after looking after many in many families, they became, at least in my eyes, friends.  There have been some families where I have looked after four generations.  There are some I have looked after for over fifty years.

I have been very grateful to have received the trust of so many. This has meant so much to me. I would like to thank you all for this – they know who they are. The continuity of such health management has made general practice so satisfying for me and it is with much sadness that I now need to say goodbye.

Jeffrey Shapiro

September 2020

Download a copy of the letter here.

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Temporary Measures for the Lockdown Period.

Please note that there are 2 new temporary measures for all patients attending our surgery:

  1. An initial telehealth appointment is required before any face to face consultation.
  2. All patients are required to wear a mask.

Please read on for further information.

Temporary Measure 1: An initial telehealth appointment (phone-call with your GP) is required before any face to face consultation.

  • An initial telehealth appointment is required with your GP to determine if you need to attend the surgery. Many consultations can be completed entirely via telehealth.
  • You will be advised at the time of your call if there will be an out of pocket expense. The fees for telehealth are the same as our standard consultation fees.
  • If you are required to come in for a face to face appointment, the initial telehealth appointment will be bulk billed (no out-of-pocket expense). 
  • Any rebates will be returned to you within 48 hours of payment.

Temporary Measure 2: All patients are required to wear a mask.

  • As of Monday 20th of July, all patients attending our surgery will be required to wear a mask to remain in the waiting room and to enter consultation rooms.
  • Medical masks will be available from the reception desk for a small cost ($2.00). If you require one, please ring the doorbell and wait for reception to bring a face mask to you before entering.
  • Fabric masks, surgical masks and home-made masks are acceptable.
  • As always, remember to call reception desk on arrival from your car in the carpark before entering the waiting room. Our reception team will guide you through our check-in procedure.
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Coronavirus Response at Southland Medical Centre

Expect a few changes at
Southland Medical Centre in response to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

These changes will help us protect the community and the more vulnerable patients who attend our surgery. Your cooperation in this will help reduce the amount of exposure for all patients.

By implementing the following, we aim to continue providing our community with friendly, patient focused healthcare, in line with our motto: better health together.

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CPR Training & Getting Ready for Accreditation

Our clinical and reception team recently underwent our CPR training. And although it doesn’t look like it, all dolls survived!

Our entire team keeps their CPR training up to date, which usually includes a few laughs too.

Southland Medical Centre is currently preparing for Accreditation Certification, part of our commitment to bringing you quality, patient focused healthcare.

Practice accreditation is independent recognition that a practice meets the requirements of governing industry standards. These are set by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).

General Practices are recognised for their commitment to safety, quality and continuous improvements with the award of practice accreditation.

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How to Age Successfully – Kingston Festival Talks

Dr Peter Enten presents Ageing Successfully at the Kingston Senior Festival

Dr Peter Enten presented on what we needed to look out for as we age, and what we can do to stay active. Dr. Enten proposed that to prevent the health declines prevalent in our later years we should focus on the following:

  • Stay socially active – Getting out into the community keeps us connected, moving and motivated. Resting too much at home can lead to a decline in our health
  • Get nagging pains checked out – Chronic pain can prevent us from socialising or exercising enough. Get pain checked early by your GP so it can be treated or managed before it gets worse.
  • Eat Well – Avoid processed foods, especially processed meats. Focus on fresh foods, including fresh meats such as fish and chicken. Eat a varied diet of fresh foods.
  • Exercise, especially strength – Our fitness and strength was the main focus for Ageing Successfully. Maintaining good strength prevents us from falling and injuring ourselves. Having fallen once significantly increases our chances of falling again and causing further injury.

It was great to visit the Soul Café again at the Cheltenham Community Centre to speak with people during lunch. As usual, delicious fresh food was served up by the volunteer team in the kitchen.

To keep up to date with what our team is up to, follow and like us on Facebook

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Goodhealth Workshop

Ben Southam presenting to a group of workshop attendees at Southland Medical Centre.

Ben Southam introducing the Life! program and explaining how glucose moves through the blood stream

On Thursday we held a workshop with a focus on exercise and healthy eating. It was great to have so many people attend. Ben Southam from Pace Health Management did an excellent presentation on the benefits of exercise, how it helps prevent chronic disease, and how easy it is to get started.

Ben also talked about the Life! program, what it offered, and who was eligible to take part. The Life! program is a free Victorian lifestyle modification program that helps you reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Find out more about this program here and to make an appointment to find out if you are eligible, make an appointment here

Our very own diabetes educator Wendy Anthony held a practical workshop on food label comparisons, and introduced the FoodSwitch app – a quick way a smartphone can help us choose healthier options.

Thank you to all who attended, we look forward to seeing you at our next workshop!

Wendy Anthony introducing Ben Southam.

Wendy Anthony introducing Ben Southam.

 Wendy Anthony leading a practical workshop on comparing food nutrition labels and using the FoodSwitch app.

Wendy Anthony leading a practical workshop on comparing food nutrition labels and using the FoodSwitch app.

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Good Health Workshop – 31st of May 2018

Register Attendance

As part of our preventative health philosophy, we are excited to be hosting a Good Health workshop, with topics that include:

  • the benefits of exercise for improving mental health
  • the specific benefits of different types of exercise
  • where to start and how much to do
  • how exercise can help prevent and manage chronic disease
  • practical demonstrations on reading food labels, and
  • the Life! program and how to get involved.

The workshop is scheduled for the Thursday 31st of May, from 2pm to 4pm, with light refreshments afterwards. Please contact our reception team on 9584 9504 or click the link below to register. Call us on 9504 9584 to find our more information.

Register Attendance

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Preventative Medicine: SMS reminders from us and the Cancer Council Australia

We’ve teamed up with Cancer Council Australia to help spread the word: Get screened early, and often! Eligible patients for free breast screens and bowel cancer test kits will be reminded via SMS or letter to take action.

Here at Southland Medical Centre, we believe in preventative care. This means we strive to encourage and empower you to take active steps to look after your health and reduce your cancer risk. A third of cancer cases are preventable, and the number of cancer deaths can be reduced significantly by choosing a proactive approach to your health.

For more information about screening tests, head to our Health HQ section of our website, or check out the Cancer Council Australia

Seven Simple Steps

There are seven simple steps you can take to reduce your cancer risk. Read more in these fact sheets from Cancer Council Australia:

  • Quit smoking
  • Eat for health
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Be SunSmart
  • Limit alcohol
  • Move your body
  • Get checked – men
  • Get checked – women


The team at Southland Medical Centre

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