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What to Consider When it Comes to a Childs Health

By Children's Health, Featured, Immunisation No Comments

Why is child health important? 

The early years of a child’s life are very important for their health and development. Healthy development means that children of all abilities, including those with special health care needs, are able to grow up where their social, emotional and educational needs are met. Having a safe and loving home and spending time with family―playing, singing, reading, and talking―are very important. Proper nutrition, exercise, oral health, emotional support, sleep, and preventing disease through immunisations also can make a big difference. 

Good Nutrition

Poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyles have been linked with obesity, and children who are overweight or obese are more likely to become obese adults, putting them at risk of chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease at younger ages. 

Processed foods are often full of sugar, sodium, unhealthy fats and calories. Provide and cook meals for your child with natural foods like:child healthy eating

  • Fresh vegetables and fruits 
  • Lean cuts of meat
  • Poultry 
  • Fresh fish 
  • Whole grains 
  • Fibre rich foods like beans and leafy greens

Encourage physical activity as much as possible 

Get children off the couch, reduce the screen time, and have them playing outside often. 

Being involved in physical activity team sports is a great way to increase activity and has social, and emotional health benefits too. Regular activity supports brain development, muscle controls, balance and coordinator, bone strength and helps maintain a healthy weight. 

Running around outside can also positively affect sleep patterns, mental health, concentration at school and at home, self esteem and confidence. 

Other forms of activities that benefit your child’s health in a holistic way include: 

  • Dancing 
  • Arts and crafts
  • Tidying up and assisting with chores around the home
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Singing

Create a healthy smile

Good dental and oral health starts with your child’s baby teeth. Establishing good brushing and oral habits from early on promotes behaviour they will take into adulthood. 

Poor oral health is associated with increased risk of chronic disease later in life, including 

child brushing teeth oral health

stroke and cardiovascular disease. It is also central to overall health and wellbeing, positively affecting their quality of live, social interactions and self esteem. 

Dental decay is the most prevalent oral disease among Australian children. 

Ways to reduce the chances of tooth decay in children are: 

  • Limiting consumption of beverages containing high amounts of sugar 
  • Reducing sugar laden snacks (lollies, muesli bars, cakes)
  • Regular trips to the dentist 
  • Practicing good oral hygiene – brushing teeth at least twice daily

Nurture their minds

Children’s social and emotional wellbeing and how how thy think and feel about themselves and other, and deal with daily challengers is a component of mental health and wellbeing. 

It is important to care for your child’s social and emotional development so they:

  • Are confident 
  • Can communicate well
  • Do better at school
  • Are equipped to develop and have good relationships
  • Can take on and persist with challenging tasks 

The Smiling Mind app is a great resource for children (and adults!) that involves a series of short exercises, which guide children through breathing and becoming aware of their bodies to “put a smile on their mind”. It is based on the principle of “Mindfulness” – that is, being aware of taste, touch, sight and smell to be “in the moment” and truly achieve a sense of calm and perspective.

Get enough shut eye

Sleep is essential to your child’s health and healthy brain development. A lack of sleep has been associated with development and severity of a range of physical, behavioural and other mental health issues. A lack of sleep in children can cause an increased risk of obesity.

Keep immunisations up to date

Immunisation is a simple, safe and effective way of protecting children against certain diseases.

Immunisation protects children (and adults) against harmful infections before they come into contact with them in the community.

It uses the body’s natural defence mechanism — the immune system — to build resistance to specific infections.

  • chickenpox
  • diphtheria
  • Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib)
  • hepatitis B
  • measles
  • meningococcal disease
  • mumps
  • pneumococcal infection
  • polio (poliomyelitis)
  • rotavirus
  • rubella
  • tetanus
  • whooping cough (pertussis)

Children aged over 6 months can also have the flu vaccine each year, which is available in autumn. Children aged 12 to 13 should be vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) through their schools.

National Immunisation Schedule can be found here

 

For more information on HealthMint’s Child Health services and health checks – visit here >

Role of the GP in pregnancy - GP and pregnant woman in consulting room

Planning for a Baby: How your GP Can Help

By Family Planning & Parenting, Featured, Women's Health No Comments

The role of a GP during pregnancy is not just about providing care for the several months of pregnancy, it’s about the commitment and continuity of care through the years and decades of your family’s health. Read on for how your GP can help when planning for a baby.

GPs bring a very broad skill base and referral networks with them when they are involved in maternity care, which involves pre-conception, antenatal, postnatal and neonatal aspects of care. 

Planning for a baby 

Having a baby is a very exciting time! 

If you are preparing for pregnancy, it is a good idea to speak with your GP first. There are many things you can do to improve your health and minimise the risk to your baby, all before conceiving. 

Your GP will provide you with expert advice on planning your pregnancy – they understand the medical issues, mental health concerns, have a well connected referral network and are used to working as a team in order to get you the best care possible. 

The preconception period (3 months before pregnancy) is the time to make life changes that you and your partner can help boost fertility, reduce problems during pregnancy and assist in recovery after birth. 

Preconception Check Up

During your appointment with your GP, you may ask them about: 

Immunisations

You may require boosters, even if you were full immunised as a child. All women should have up to date immunisations against Rubella (German measles) with the MMR vaccine. This will need to be done at least one month prior to conceiving. Once you are already pregnant (of if you suspect you may be) you cannot be immunised against Rubellas because it is a “live vaccine” and poses a serious risk to your baby’s health

Other immunisations you may need before falling pregnant:

  • Hepatits B
  • Chickenpox
  • Influenza

Ones that can be administered during pregnancy:

  • DTPa (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis)

If you are unsure about your immunisation status, ask you GP for a blood screening test. 

For more information on pre pregnancy immunisations click here

Questions to ask your GP

Take this opportunity to maximise your overall wellbeing, and identify and minimise any risks. You may also ask your GP about: 

  • Testing for STIs 
  • A cervical screening test
  • A blood test to check your iron, vitamin D levels, and Rh factor to see if you are positive or negative
  • A urine test to screen for UTIs and kidney disease
  • Current medications 
  • Preexisting conditions such as asthma, heart problems, diabetes, epilepsy, blood disorders
  • Mental health including depression
  • Any genetic disorders in the family 
  • A pelvic, breast, and abdominal exam
  • A weight check: if you are overweight or underweight, you may have irregular periods, which make it harder to conceive. Your GP can help you set some goals to reach a conception-ready weight that will help to support a healthy pregnancy. 

woman holding a positive pregnancy testTop 10 pre-pregnancy questions 

When planning for a baby your GP can help with the answers, but it is a great opportunity to go into your appointment armed with a list of questions or concerns that you would like to discuss with your GP. 

Here are 10 common questions to get you started (in no particular order): 

  1. Should I take a prenatal vitamin? 
  2. Am I up to date with my immunisations?
  3. Are my current medications safe to take during pregnancy?
  4. Am I in a healthy weight range for pregnancy?
  5. What foods should I avoid?
  6. Can I still exercise? What exercise is safe?
  7. Is my family history of ‘x’ a concern?
  8. I have ‘x’ health condition, how might pregnancy affect it?
  9. What is the process of picking a hospital and the schedule of scans and hospital appointments like?
  10. Are there any other questions I need to ask?

Antenatal care – Your GPs role in pregnancy

Shared maternity care is a popular option of care for healthy women with a low risk pregnancy. 

Shared cared means that during your pregnancy, you can see the same GP for most of your pregnancy visits with some visits at the hospital. 

Dr Imasha will be offering shared maternity care at HealthMint Cranbourne very soon. You can find out more by contacting our Cranbourne clinic here

Postnatal care – Your GPs role after birth 

GPs are in a wonderful position to provide care after your baby arrives – for you and the entire family. 

It is recommended that you, and your baby see your GP when your baby is between five and 10 days old, and again at 6 weeks old. These are routine check ups and of course, you should always seek medical advice immediately if you or your baby are unwell. 

Your GP will work in collaboration with other healthcare providers such as your maternal and child health nurse, midwives, lactation consultations, paediatricians and obstetricians in order to optimise the care and outcomes for families. 

Your GP can build on and manage the relationship with you and your baby during post party and manage common neonatal concern, as well as medical and mental health problems of the mother and other family members, should they arise. 

Medical conditions that may have developed during pregnancy such as hypertension, diabetes and anaemia can also be managed by your GP. Preventative and lifestyle recommendations can also be established. 

GP postnatal check up with babyIf you are ready to discuss how your HealthMint GP can help when planning for a baby – Please book an appointment at one of our HealthMint clinics 

HealthMint Telehealth consultations medical clinic update

Telehealth

By Business, Clinic News, Featured No Comments
You haven’t heard much from us since last week, so we wanted to give you all a quick update. Please help share  this post to help us notify as many of our patients as possible.
 
Please also bear with our team who are all working extra hard right now – we are inundated with calls, questions and bookings. We maxed out our phone lines 15 times today!
 
Paul and Chantelle have had their heads down working hard over the weekend and into the night to get a telehealth solution off the ground. This is something we hadn’t planned on rolling out formally for another year or so, but these are strange times! Our aim is to:
 
1. Keep our team and our patients well; and
2. Keep the practice going so that we can keep taking care of the community and keep taking pressure off hospitals
 
You know that we are always looking at things in new ways to create great potential. What we have now done is found a video platform and a workflow which makes it possible for our GPs to keep consulting from home. This means that in the worst case scenario, if the clinic has to physically close, or in the scenario that a practitioner is sick and needs to self-isolate, we can keep providing services. It also means that you don’t need to come into the clinic in order to have a consultation. We may also need to roll out clinic-wide teleconsults in the coming days as a preventative measure.
 
We are nearly booked out for tomorrow (Wednesday) for our on-site GPs, but we do have a couple of doctors who are trialling taking consultations from home. If you need an appointment, you can call up to get booked in for a teleconsult for tomorrow (and beyond).
 
There are a few limitations, and we are just testing this out now to see how it goes. The first limitation is with online booking. Hopefully in the next few days we will have a clear way for you to book these online. For now, if you could please call and request a teleconsult if you have any symptoms of any illness.
 
The second limitation is the Medicare rebate. We currently can’t provide rebates for all services via video consult. We have decided to trial this service at a rate of $25 per 5 minute block (or part thereof). We had done this previously with phone consults. We will monitor how things go, and may change the price or length of consults as we get some data. There are limited situations where bulk billing may be available, but this is complex and on a case by case basis.
 
The third limitation is taking payment. We don’t have a way (yet) for you to put in your payment details and have payment taken automatically after the consult (like uber). So reception will be calling you afterwards to take payment. We are relying on your honesty and goodwill towards us to make this as easy for us as possible, so we can keep things going.
 
Now is the time when communities band together, and we want you all to know that we are here for you, fighting for you. Please fight for us, work with our team and help us to keep them and you safe. 💚

Want more information?

Call (03) 5611 3365 to speak to a friendly patient concierge

or book an appointment here
healthmint entrance

The Story of HealthMint Cranbourne North – A 4th Birthday Reflection

By Clinic News, Featured No Comments

This week has been a massive milestone at HealthMint Medical Centre in Cranbourne North. We have celebrated an incredible 4 years since the doors to the clinic opened. What an adventure it has been, and continues to be!

Founder and co-owner Chantelle Brott sits down to share her thoughts and reflections on the last 4 years of the HealthMint journey…

The birth of an idea

I was 25 years old, and finishing off my final semester of Science/Law at Monash uni, when Paul and I opened HealthMint. That makes it sound like I have a very high stress tolerance. I don’t. I just felt this strong and impossible-to-ignore pull to get out there and get started on our dream of vastly improving the healthcare system. I’m also pretty impatient, and felt that every day we hadn’t opened was another day we had lost an opportunity to create change. We have now reached our 4th birthday and are on the cusp of re-shaping our whole business for future growth. So this feels like the perfect time to look back, reflect and share some things that very few know about me and what has gone on behind the scenes of HealthMint in the last four years.

Most people who interact with HealthMint wouldn’t know who I am. But my fingerprints are on everything. My name is Chantelle and my husband (at the time, boyfriend) Paul and I opened HealthMint as equal partners in 2015. Most people are blown away by the fact that two people who weren’t even engaged would go all in on something like this together. But in our story, it makes perfect sense.

The HealthMint spark is ignited

Paul and I met in 2011 and came up with the idea for HealthMint around 2013. When we spent time together early on in our relationship we would spend hours talking about business, innovation and the healthcare system. It was like a fuse had been lit. We knew with absolute certainty that we had to and wanted to give life to our ideas. So we started spending time drafting concepts, business plans, area analyses, searching for sites and seeking out everything we could possibly learn about business. In secret. That’s right, we decided to take on this massive project, and we didn’t tell anyone for a long time. In some ways, that made it even more exciting.

My memory of how we pulled it all together is a bit blurry. At one point we met a bank representative at a business seminar (that led to us being able to source financing for our Cranbourne site). At another point we were bouncing between builders and architects and furniture shops and Medicare.

Growing the seed

I almost can’t believe this as I write it down, but we didn’t even have any employees around 2-3 weeks before being due to open our doors. We had very little idea of what to look for when interviewing our first reception applicants, but our gut feel didn’t let us down, and that’s how our first star receptionist (Jaymee) came on board. We’ve grown a lot together, and after opening with 4 people, including ourselves, there are now 22 (incredible) people in the team.

Designing the dream

Every large and tiny element you see when you interact with HealthMint was thought through by us. From plotting out the layout of our consulting rooms in my parents living room, to the size of the skirting boards and shade of paint on the walls. Everything has a thought process and a reason behind it. We also took a lot of risks. We really didn’t know before trying it out whether the concept of a mobile healthcare concierge would work.

 

 

We were also told by every IT company that we approached that setting up the existing medical software to work through wireless tablets (our goal) was impossible. They advised us to have, you guessed it, the big chunky desktop computer that you see at every other clinic in Australia, connected by Ethernet to the wall.

But I knew in my heart of hearts that to achieve that feeling of connection, by having doctors and patients sit face to face, and the feeling of attentiveness, by having patients in the centre of the room, that we had to find a way to get rid of that desk. Most people don’t know this, but we went out and purchased a surface pro tablet, set up a dummy server at home and a test environment of the medical software and Paul tinkered with it for hours on end until he got it working. That was a very emotional moment for us, because we knew right then that our whole concept was possible. Four years on, and we are still the only medical centre in all of Australia to have the whole team working through wireless tablets.

Growing pains and triumphs

As most small business owners would understand, we have had some incredible highs, but also some very deep lows. I won’t go into too much into detail, but the pain of business and people coming and going can sometimes be so sharp. It can also be very tiring. There were months where Paul consulted 6 days in a row and we would then spend Sunday catching up on business management. We even had to cancel our honeymoon at one point. Thankfully, a few weeks prior, we were able to arrange cover.

Since opening our doors we have achieved things I didn’t even know we would need to achieve. I now have a kick-ass system for interviewing and hiring, have taught myself how to create digital document automations that save me hours for on-boarding, and I’ve even become pretty efficient at video editing. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We also have 250+ written systems that specify nearly everything that every team member needs to follow to deliver our signature, personalised and high quality healthcare experience. We’ve even been showcased on channel ten news, channel 7 Sunrise and 3aw.

We’re still working out our next moves – but we have this massive dream goal of some day having 100 HealthMints around Australia delivering the highest quality care, the best patient experiences, constantly innovating and shining a light on just how great healthcare delivery can really be. We want to create a future where the next generation is never afraid of going to the doctor. Where people feel confident that there are clinics nearby where they will be heard, taken seriously and know that their health is in good hands.

Being the change

I’ve been lucky, I’ve got an amazing family GP who I trust and who is there for me. Most of my friends and the people I know don’t have that. A few days ago my brother in law told me he can’t even remember the name of the GP he was seeing. We’ve got to change this. Our population is living longer, and there will be more and more elderly people. No workforce is better placed to keep us well and keep us out of hospital than our first line of defense – GPs. But with little true competition and the rise of bulk billing, the General practice industry has become a numbers game. Less money from Medicare relative to inflation + more patients per hour = we can keep going. This has created a conveyor belt of commoditised care (where people are just numbers) in many circumstances.

You’ve got to wonder how much a place cares about you when they put out an old plastic chair, ugly carpet, neon lights and a 50 minute wait time as your greeting. But Paul and I, and now the team beside us, believe that we can change this.

HealthMint isn’t just a business started by 2 young and somewhat naive dreamers anymore. Now it’s a movement, with nurses, concierge, doctors, psychologists and other practitioners who all believe that by looking at healthcare from a different perspective, we can make things so much better than they are, and help thousands of people reach their potential.

Our second site is on its way, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 40 years brings.

P.s. if you connect with our story, please reach out to me

Casey Cardinia Business Awards Finalist

Casey Cardinia Business Awards Finalist

By Business, Clinic News, Featured, General Wellbeing No Comments

HealthMint Medical Centre in Cranbourne North has been nominated as a finalist for the the 2019 Casey-Cardinia Business Awards!

The awards is an annual partnership between the City of Casey and Cardinia Shire Council to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements and contributions of businesses and organisations in the local area.

We are in the running for the Health, Education and Well-being award, as well as in the running for the coveted Casey Cardinia Business of the Year Award!

In the four years since opening, HealthMint Medical Centre have been re-imagining the GP clinic and have succeeded in creating a space where our patients feel heard, relaxed, respected, and confident that their health is in good hands.

The famous 5 minute wait time has been splashed across the media this year and it has been a real game changer when it comes to setting the clinic apart. With the aid of state of the art technology to save time, being efficient has allowed for more time available with the clinic’s doctors, nurses, and allied health specialists.

HealthMint believes in delivering a high quality service while keeping prices affordable, and healthcare accessible to all. A proactive and preventative approach of healthcare is constantly at the forefront of the medical centre’s model, and with initiatives like free Health Check Ups for new patients and the availability of health check-lists during appointments, niche services like Iron Infusions, skin checks, and bulk billed Quick Consults, the health and wellbeing of the patients are always the priority.

The winners of the Casey Cardinia Business Awards Finalist will be announced at a Gala Dinner on Friday 18th October at the Cranbourne Racing Centre.

With excitement in the air, several of our team members will be in attendance on the night with fingers and toes crossed!

HealthMint wishes all the finalists good-luck and cannot wait to celebrate with the other local business on the night.

You can see a complete list of the wonderful finalists here:

https://caseycardinia.com.au/business-awards/2019-finalists

 

Casey Cardinia Business Awards FinalistCasey Cardinia Business Awards Finalist

Want more information?

Call (03) 5611 3365 to speak to a friendly patient concierge

or book an appointment here
healthmint-health-myths

Common Health Myths

By Body Systems, Featured, General Wellbeing, Lifestyle No Comments

It’s important to revisit what we know about our health to check that our knowledge is actually based on good science. Here are 5 common health myths you might have come across, and why they might not be as accurate as many people think.

  1. You can catch a cold by getting cold

It sounds obvious – if you get cold and wet, you’ll come down with a cold.  These days, most people know that colds are in fact caused by a virus, but they’re still quick to blame being cold for their illness.

We pick up viruses and other organisms through contact with other infected people. While these colds are more likely during the cold winter months, it’s likely that the majority of infections are picked up because bad weather forces people indoors, in closer proximity to one another.

The air temperature might have some impact on how long viruses can stay alive, and that inhaling cold air can cool the nasal passage down which can help some viruses to break the mucus barrier and enter the body. However, while cold weather can make it more likely that you will catch a cold, it’s not the weather’s fault when you’re ill.

  1. Cracking your joints can cause arthritis

People who crack their knuckles are routinely told they are making themselves more susceptible to arthritis. The truth is that the risk of arthritis is almost exactly the same for people who do crack their knuckles when compared to people who don’t.

When you crack your knuckles, you are pulling apart the joint very slightly. That causes a pressure decrease in the fluid that keeps the joints lubricated. Bubbles form in the fluid, and the variation in pressure causes the cracking sound. It might be annoying to people around you, but it won’t give you arthritis.

  1. Drink eight glasses of water every day.

Drinking water is essential for a healthy body, but how much should we be drinking? The answer is – enough. The amount of water each person needs can vary widely. Another factor that can influence how much water you need to consume is how much liquid you are consuming from other sources. 80% of an average person’s water intake is sourced from drinks (including caffeinated beverages like coffee), with 20% coming from the food they eat.

Studies show that on average, women require 2.7 litres of water per day, with men requiring 3.7 litres. However, that figure represents the total water intake – meaning your coffee counts. You should still try to drink water, but forcing yourself to drink a pre-determined amount is not necessary.

  1. Choosing low-fat products is better for your health

Low-fat products are sold as healthier options, but that advertising is misleading in many cases. Many low-fat products have increased sugar and salt to compensate for the loss of taste. Low-fat products can contain as many (or even more) kilojoules than their full-fat equivalents. Fat can help you feel full for longer, and a carefully balanced diet will include some healthy fats. Advertisers are very good at getting you to choose their product, but don’t be deceived by claims on the packaging.  A better strategy for choosing healthier options is to practice reading nutritional labels.

  1. The flu vaccine causes the flu

It’s a common misunderstanding that the flu vaccine can give people the flu. The truth is, you cannot catch influenza from a flu shot. The flu vaccine contains inactivated viruses that can’t harm you. However, some people do have mild side effects from the vaccination such as low-grade fever and body aches that can cause them to incorrectly self-diagnose with the flu. It’s important to remember that the flu vaccine is most often offered during periods of increased risk of catching the flu, which can cause a false association between the symptoms and the vaccine.

The vaccine only contains the strains of the influenza virus that authorities predict are the most likely for that season, which leaves people potentially open to other strains of influenza. It also does not provide 100% immunity, although most people will experience reduced symptoms if they do happen to catch the virus. Lastly, many people pick up a bad cold and mistakenly assume they have the flu – and blame their flu shot. Getting the flu shot helps protect you and vulnerable members of the community, and could save you from getting seriously sick.

When it comes to your health, the right advice is crucial. If you are looking for answers to your health questions, your GP is a great place to start. Cut through the conflicting information and get health advice tailored directly to your personal situation.

Want more information?

Call (03) 5611 3365 to speak to a friendly patient concierge

or book an appointment here
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