What do I do, if I need to see a doctor, and Dr Baird is not available?

If you need to see a doctor outside of Dr Baird's consulting hours, or if Dr Baird's appointments are fully booked for the day that you need to see a doctor, or if Dr Baird is otherwise unavailable, please do one of the following:

  • Book an appointment with another GP at St Kilda Medical Group, (03) 9525 5200

  • Book an appointment with a doctor at another Clinic

  • Book an appointment with the National Home Doctor Service (13 7425) - after-hours only

  • If your problem is urgent, go to the nearest Emergency Department, or call 000 (triple zero) for an ambulance


New patients are required to register with St Kilda Medical Group before their first appointment.

Please read 'New patients'

Appointments

Please phone 000 (triple zero) for an ambulance if the problem is any one or more of the following:

  • Chest pain

  • Weakness of facial muscles or weakness of one or more limbs

  • Slurred speech

  • Unconscious

  • Collapse

  • Severe breathlessness (difficulty talking normally)

  • Drowsiness

  • Feeling faint

  • Injury

  • Bleeding

  • Poisoning

  • Seriously ill infant or child (one or more of: drowsy, floppy (infant), limp (child), pale skin, blue colour around the mouth, purple rash, persistent vomiting, working hard to breathe, having or has had a fit)

To make an appointment

Please choose one of the following options:

  • Phone St Kilda Medical Group on (03) 9525 5200

  • Go to Reception at the Clinic (St Kilda Medical Group, 81 Grey Street, St Kilda) - however please do not attend the Clinic if you have one or more of the following symptoms: fever, cough, breathlessness, sore throat, headache, loss or change of sense of smell or taste. Do not attend the Clinic if you are in quarantine or isolation for COVID-19.

  • Book an appointment online via the St Kilda Medical Group website (skmg.com.au)

Please do not use online bookings for emergencies, problems that need urgent treatment, and consultations that require an interpreter.

In-person consultations

Dr Baird is now seeing patients for in-person consultations. However, Dr Baird's preference is for a video consultation where this is an appropriate alternative to an in-person consultation.

Video consultation or phone consultation?

'Telehealth' consultations can be by video or by phone. The GP Colleges, Medical Defence Organisations, and Medicare recommend video in preference to phone.

Dr Baird prefers video to phone for consultations with patients for the following reasons

  • Seeing the patient enhances rapport, and enables the doctor's and the patient's facial expressions and body language to be observed

  • Clinical assessment is superior with video (general appearance, limited physical examination possible by observation)

  • Clinical management is superior with video (explanation, use of notes/diagrams)

  • Many patients prefer to see the doctor whom they are consulting (may improve trust, confidence, understanding, and satisfaction with the consultation)

  • Doctor and patient can exchange messages, files, and photos/images securely during the 'video call'

  • In contrast, a consultation by phone is limited to communication by voice - which may be entirely satisfactory for some medical problems

Standard video consultations and long video consultations

Standard video consultations are for consultations of up to 15 minutes' duration. Long video consultations are for consultations of up to 30 minutes' duration. Consultations are booked at 15 minute intervals. Up to five minutes for each consultation are required for set-up, checking notes before the consultation, and writing notes after the consultation.

The fees and the Medicare rebates for video consultations are based on the duration of the video consultation. Please refer to fees

Standard phone consultations and long phone consultations

Standard phone consultations are for consultations of up to 15 minutes' duration. They are booked at 15 minute intervals. Up to five minutes for each consultation are required for checking notes before the consultation, and writing notes after the consultation.

The fees and the Medicare rebates for phone consultations are based on the duration of the phone consultation. Please refer to fees


Patients with urgent medical problems who attend the Clinic in person

Patients with urgent medical problems are given priority for appointments.

Patients who have urgent medical problems, or severe symptoms, will be given priority on arrival at the Clinic. They will get immediate initial assessment by a GP. If a GP needs to attend to the patient straightaway, your appointment may be delayed. A receptionist will inform you about any expected delay, and you will have the option to wait, to leave and to return when your GP is expected to be available, or to reschedule your appointment. The duration of the delay will be an estimate, as the time required will depend on the urgent patient's condition and treatment. A receptionist will keep you informed about any changes in the delay.

Patients who attend the Clinic in person - non-urgent problems

When you arrive for your appointment, please check in at Reception. The receptionist will check your address and phone numbers, as it's vital that your contact details are up to date.

If you are not confident with English, we recommend using an interpreter for your consultation.

The government provides a free and confidential interpreter service for over 150 languages, by phone, by video, or in-person (if booked in advance). A speaker phone in the consulting room enables you and your GP to communicate through the interpreter. An interpreter can join a video consultation.

To avoid misunderstandings and difficulties discussing personal or sensitive matters, we recommend using a professional interpreter for interpretation in consultations, rather than using a family member or a friend.

When booking your appointment, please tell the receptionist if you wish to have an interpreter for your consultation, and the language required.

Standard consultations are booked at 15 minute intervals. Standard consultations are appropriate for straightforward matters.

Long consultations are booked for 30 minutes. Long consultations are recommended for consultations that will involve one or more of the following: new patient, complex problems, several problems, insurance (or similar) medical examination, minor surgical procedure, cervical screening test, or comprehensive health check.

Prolonged consultations may be booked for more than 30 minutes.

Depending on the nature of your consultation, you may be asked to arrange a follow-up consultation for review of symptoms or for review of results.

If it is not possible to address your problems and your needs thoroughly and completely within the time for the consultation, you will be asked to make an appointment for a further consultation to continue your assessment and management.

Which GP should I see?

Our GPs have training, experience, and interests in all areas of general practice.

At St Kilda Medical Group, all patients are welcome to see any of the GPs, about anything.

We encourage patients to have a regular GP at the Clinic, whom you will get to know over time, and who will get to know about you and your health. This helps with your continuity of care.

If your regular GP is away, or fully booked, please see one of the other GPs. All our GPs work together, and they follow the same principles. All our GPs have access to your Clinic medical record during your consultation. (GPs whom you have not seen do not have access to your Clinic medical record.)

Cancellations

If you no longer need to attend a booked appointment, please cancel your appointment by phoning the Clinic.

Please notify cancellations as soon as possible, and preferably by at least the day before your appointment. However, we will accept cancellations up to the time of your appointment.

If you do not attend your appointment, and you have not notified the Clinic about cancelling the appointment, then we regret that a 'non-attendance' fee of --- will apply. This fee is not rebateable by Medicare.

If your GP has marked your appointment as 'do not cancel', then any requests to cancel this appointment will be referred to your GP so that you can discuss this.

Standby list

We keep a 'standby list' for patients who cannot get an appointment at their preferred time, and who would be available to attend for an appointment at short notice. If there is a cancellation for an appointment at your preferred time, a receptionist will contact you to offer you this appointment. If you are unable to get an appointment, and you are available at short notice, and you wish your name to be added to the 'standby list', please inform the receptionist.