5th Ave News Summer 2018

Page 1


| 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

this link.

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-

a saving!

holders will be entitled to lower fees – your GP or nurse here at Fifth Avenue

What is a Community Services Card?

Family Practice.

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

John’s patients:

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



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.


Find us online www.fifthavenue.co.nz