N E W S A N D A D V I C E F R O M Y O U R F A M I LY D O C T O R S
| SUMMER 2018
• on a low to middle income (depending on their family situation) • a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident Under the new guidelines, the following people are also eligible: • people living in public housing • Accommodation Supplement recipients
Community Services Card
Low-cost visits for enrolled patients Nationwide changes to the Community Services Card mean that it will now be cheaper for card-holders and
Refugees or people with protection status or who have applied for refugee or protection status may also be eligible to apply for the Community Services Card. Some SuperGold Card Holders may have a Combo card that includes their Community Services Card details and expiry date on the back of their card.
their dependent children to visit the doctor. The new low-cost visits were introduced
– go to the WINZ website and type in
on December 1, and will apply to visits
Community Services card, or click on
to your regular general practice (where
you are enrolled). It will bring the cost of
If you are newly eligible for a card, it
visits in line with the cost at Very Low
will mean the cost of a normal consult
Cost Access (VLCA) practices.
will be just $18.50 instead of $44 – quite
What this means for you is that card-
holders will be entitled to lower fees – your GP or nurse here at Fifth Avenue
What is a Community Services Card?
The Community Services Card can
just $18.50 – for a normal consult with
Another change is that it is now free
help individuals and their families with
for all 13-year-olds to visit the GP –
the costs of health care. It entitles the
previously it was free for children aged
holder and their family to a reduction
12 and under, but this has now been
in the cost of some health services and
extended to age 13.
prescriptions. The Community Services
It’s also great news that a further
Income on behalf of the Ministry of
on lower incomes are now eligible for
Health. Individuals may be entitled to apply
fantastic as it will help more people get
for a Community Services Card if they
the health care they need.
meet the following 3 criteria:
We strongly urge you to check if you are entitled under the new guidelines
We’re sad to say goodbye to Dr John Gemming, as he retires at the end of 2018 after 40 years at Fifth Avenue Family Practice! Turn to page 2 and 3 to read all about John’s career and future plans.
Card is administered by Work and
600,000 people across New Zealand a Community Service Card. This is
All the best John!
• aged 18 years old or over (or 16-17years-old in full-time tertiary study)
Dr John Gemming
Dr John Gemming retires after 40 years at Fifth Avenue Family Practice After four decades of providing multi-generational care to our families, Dr John Gemming is retiring from Fifth Avenue Family Practice at the end of 2018 – but he’s not hanging up his stethoscope for good.
Dr John Gemming
We’re sad to say goodbye but feel so
general practice obstetrician between
of satisfaction on a wonderful career,
fortunate to have had John as an integral
1978 and 1997.
and excitement for what is yet to come.
In addition to the exceptional work
“I’m satisfied I have contributed
and we are looking forward to seeing
he has done within the practice, John
significantly with a career in family
what he does next!
has also made a huge contribution to
medicine looking after people in a
community health care over the years.
continuous way for 40 years, and I’m
A stellar career
He was instrumental in developing the
excited about the future, in terms of
John has had a hugely positive impact on
Western Bay of Plenty Public Health
other opportunities I can enjoy.”
patients and the development of Fifth
Organisation (PHO) in 2003, and was the
Avenue Family Practice since he joined
inaugural chair until 2016.
part of the team for the last 40 years –
the team in 1978.
Prior to that, from 1993 he was the
That includes his involvement with international hockey as a medical officer in tournaments in the Pacific and around
He has had a loyal patient base,
secretary/chair of Prime Health Network
the world, and more opportunities for
priding himself on continuity of care
Ltd, an organisation that preceded PHOs
travel within New Zealand and overseas
and generational care – in many cases
and coordinated general practice.
with wife Gillian.
looking after four generations of the
John is also looking forward to
Retirement: satisfaction and excitement
spending more time with his family,
delivered by John – he delivered almost
We’re delighted to hear that John is
grandchildren, aged between one and 11
1000 babies during his work as a busy
approaching his retirement with a feeling
– six of whom live in Tauranga, with one
same family. Many of our patients were actually
which includes three sons and seven
in Sydney. “We are very involved with their activities in sport – hockey, rugby, football, Nippers and swimming – attending events as well as providing transport and accommodation,” John says with a smile. He’s also keen to have more free time to enjoy swimming, gym work, cycling, gardening, windsurfing, surfing and fishing. And while he is retiring as a full-time GP at Fifth Avenue Family Practice, he is not retiring as a doctor. John with some of his family. 5TH AVE NE WS | SUMMER 2018
“There may be opportunity for parttime work in the future, to allow me to
John is looking forward to
“Thank you for faithfully serving and
more travel in retirement.
caring for our family’s health through birth to death. It has been a great journey to see you care for us as children and then to care for our children. We think you are amazing. Enjoy the quieter pace of life! We’ll miss your fantastic explanatory drawings and your kindness.” “Thank you for being our family doctor. Thank you for helping my mum bring me into this world. You have been an awesome doctor and will be sorely
keep my hand in and remain involved with people.”
when we first adopted it in 1996.”
The practice’s commitment to continuity of care is another strength –
A much-loved doctor
one in which John has played an integral
John will be hugely missed by his
patients, and admits that almost every
“It’s an asset to be able to provide
consultation since his retirement
that continuity of care, when patients
was announced has included his
can continue to see either a nurse or
patients saying ‘you can’t go yet!’, or
doctor rather than an available health
congratulating him on a long career.
professional who doesn’t know them or
“Most people have been very supportive of my contribution and have wished me well for the future,” says John.
what has happened to them and their family over the years.” Despite his hugely successful career and many achievements in medicine, John says his greatest achievement is
Commitment to the practice
“fortunately staying well and still having
As our longest serving staff member,
the energy and enthusiasm to get to my
John is well placed to give us the inside
desk before seven with fire in my belly
word on why Fifth Avenue Family
after 40 years”. Hear, hear!
Practice endures and thrives. The
From all of us at Fifth Avenue Family
Dr Alison James
best thing about Fifth, he says, is the
Practice, we would like to thank John
“friendship and loyalty of the colleagues,
for his huge contribution to medicine.
the staff and the patients”.
We will miss you and look forward
Dr Gemming is leaving his patients
to hopefully seeing you around the
in the capable hands of Dr Alison
James, who joined Fifth Avenue
“The medical colleagues at Fifth Avenue Family Practice have been hand-
Family Practice in April.
picked and approached over the last 40 years,” says John. “That has been one
From the patients
of our huge strengths, and also that our
Check out some of the messages from
of the GP Liaisons at the Bay of
practice politics is one of consensus to
Plenty District Health Board, is
ensure that everybody feels they are getting a fair go.
“Thanks John, you were there when
Alison, who also works as one
looking forward to continuing to
my children were born and an amazing
provide the same high level of care
support. You have been an awesome
that John’s patients have come to
beneficial for high quality patient care
doctor and wonderful support over the
and our byline – Your Family Doctor
last 40 years. Thank you so much. I will
Cares – remains as relevant today as
miss you but enjoy your retirement.”
“This stability has been hugely
5TH AVE NE WS | SUMMER 2018
WEIGHT MANAGEMENT SUCCESS STORY
Catherine loses 66+kg! We couldn’t be prouder of Catherine McFarlane, who has lost a massive 66kg – and counting – since joining our Weight Management Clinic here at Fifth Avenue Family Practice.
Merry Christmas and festive opening hours We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support in 2018 and to wish you a wonderful holiday season. Wear sunscreen and a hat, drink in moderation, don’t drink and drive, and be kind to one another! Let’s make 2019 a healthy year, together. Fifth Avenue Family Practice will be closed on the statutory holidays over the festive period, as well as on Saturday December 22 and Saturday December 29 (we’re always closed on Sundays).
Catherine signed up to the clinic in August last year weighing in at 166kg – and at the time of writing, she was down to 100kg
Here’s a guide to our hours over this time:
and continuing to shed kilos in a healthy way. The Weight Management Clinic is for all ages and emphasises portion control and healthy living, rather than prescribed meal plans. It’s about a lifestyle rather than a ‘diet’. Catherine, 39, says signing up has been life-changing – and the biggest transformation is increased energy. “I used to come home absolutely exhausted and in pain. My knees were starting to play up. Now, I can come home from work and go for a walk – I have so much energy.” Catherine has already achieved her goal of climbing Mauao and has seen huge health benefits since losing weight –
Saturday December 22: CLOSED Sunday December 23: CLOSED Monday December 24: Normal hours Christmas Day: CLOSED Boxing Day: CLOSED Thursday December 27: Normal hours Friday December 28: Normal hours Saturday December 29: CLOSED
previously “borderline diabetic”, her blood sugars are now
Sunday December 30: CLOSED
Monday December 31: Normal hours
She credits the Weight Management Clinic and nurse Anna Bourne as a huge factor in her success. “Having that accountability and advice is crucial, and there is never any pressure. Just give it a go and don’t be too hard
New Year’s Day: CLOSED Wednesday January 2: CLOSED Thursday January 3: Normal hours resume
on yourself. I never thought that I could do it, but I have surprised myself. I never called it a diet, it’s about a sustainable lifestyle change.” If you are a registered patient
Please call reception on 07 578 7087 to make an appointment for a consultation.
at Fifth Avenue Family Practice and would like to find out more about our Weight Management Clinic, please call reception on Catherine enjoying her new energy.
578 7087 to make an appointment to be assessed. In some cases, you will qualify for funding.
5TH AVE NE WS | SUMMER 2018
Find us online www.fifthavenue.co.nz