Flu Vaccinations

flu picBrook Medical Centre are now taking bookings for your annual Flu Vaccination, which are bulk billed consultations.


FLU SEASON is generally July – August , so no need to rush. Indeed you have better immunity if you have the immunisation late April during consultations if available or May in our Flu Clinics.

We are pleased in 2019 to be able to immunise with more effective vaccines. 

The changes,

  • Free Vaccine for children from 6 months of age to 4 years of age
  • 5 different age- specific influenza vaccines. 

 This  vaccine  will cost $20 if you are not eligible under the National Influenza Vaccination program. This  can be paid upon arrival for your appointment, as we stock this and almost all  travel vaccines here at Brook Medical Centre.

Free influenza vaccine 

Under the National Influenza Vaccination Program, free seasonal quadrivalent influenza vaccine is available for the following people:

  • all people aged 65 years and over
  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 6 months to 4 years
  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over
  • pregnant women
  • Children aged between 6 months and four years old.
  • people aged 5 years and over with medical conditions predisposing to severe influenza,(and you may wish to discuss with your regular GP if your medical condition is covered)


Chronic conditions include :

  • Cardiac disease,  cyanotic congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure
  • Chronic respiratory conditions, including suppurative lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and severe asthma
  • Other chronic illnesses requiring regular medical follow up or hospitalisation in the previous year, including diabetes mellitus, chronic metabolic diseases, chronic renal failure, and haemoglobinopathies
  • Chronic neurological conditions that impact on respiratory function, including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and seizure disorders
  • Impaired immunity, including HIV, malignancy and chronic steroid use
  • Children aged 6 months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy .


Please contact us to book an appointment in one of our Doctors


Influenza Information



April – May 2019

Otitis Media

The human ear has three parts - outer, middle and inner. All three can get infected. Otitis media is an infection of the middle ear. It is most common in children and peaks between 6 and 18 months. The cause may be a bacteria or virus. It can affect one or both ears and may come with a "cold" type illness or just by itself. It is more common in indigenous children.

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Sleep – What happens to your body!

In the 20th century, people slept for nine hours. By the turn of the 20th century this had shrunk to seven and a half. Since then our 24/7 society, complete with computers and smart phones has affected us all. Even one generation ago TV stations closed overnight. However, our need for sleep has not disappeared.

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Warts and All

Warts, extremely common, especially among children, can appear anywhere and are most often found on the hands, knees and feet. These small eruptions on the skin are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (of which there are at least 70 types).

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Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence means no amount of voluntary effort stops the flow of urine. The two main forms of incontinence are urge where one cannot hold on when feeling the need to pass urine and stress where coughing, sneezing or movement can cause urine flow. Incontinence is far more common in women than men (affecting up to 50% of women) and while not being age specific, it is more frequent in later years.

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Hepatitis C – Avoiding Damage

Hepatitis C was first "discovered" in 1989. Catching the virus was associated with blood infusions before 1990 but today the main risk factors are sharing intravenous drug needles, tattooing and body piercing (if not sterile). Hepatitis C is no longer officially classed as a sexually transmissible disease but its spread via sexual contact is still possible if there are cuts or open wounds. Needle stick injuries carry a very small risk. The virus is not spread by hugging or through sharing food.

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10000 Steps

This month our staff are participating in the 10000 Steps (Virtual walk) Darwin to Alice Springs Tournament.

Why 10000 Steps

The 2013 Australian Health Survey reports 60% of Australian adults did less than the recommended 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per day. Adults who participated in a pedometer study recorded an average of 7,400 steps per day. Less than one in five adults (19%) recorded the recommended 10,000 steps per day on average which is needed to achieve health benefits.

We are stepping it up this month and have two teams entered in this tournament. Brook Medical 1 and Brook Medical 2. Not only are we competing against other members of the Upper Hunter Community, we are competing against each other, which is pushing us to walk more, and this is beneficial for us all.

If you see us out walking on our breaks, make sure you say hello!

Update: Team 1 has finished 5th is this Tournament. Congratulations Team

Lets continue to support Team 2!!

10000 steps







February – March 2019

Allergy to Furry Family Friends

Allergy to pet cats or dogs is something that runs in families - usually in people with an inherited tendency to asthma, hayfever or eczema. Of course, you have to live with an animal or have frequent contact with it for this to happen. Once allergy develops, what you do about it depends on the level of symptoms.

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Living with Obesity

Over the last 40 years, there have been an increase in the number of people overweight or obese, helped by the reduction in body mass index (BMI) classifying weight from 27.5 to 25 in the late 1980's. This has significantly inflated the statistics. 

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Exercise for You

The human body was designed to be active and for most of human history it has been.

Till modern times, work was often physical as was the means of getting from 'A' to 'B'. Even as recently as the 1970's we got out of our chairs to change TV channels. The estimated incidental movement was taken over by labour-saving devices between the mid - 1960's and today is around 2000 calories per week (or a day's food intake)

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A typical migraine headache affects one side of the head, is throbbing in nature, is often accompanied by nausea or vomiting and perhaps sensitivity to light, and can last up to days. 

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e Health and You.

When booking in for your appointment, you may be asked if you are registered with eHealth or would like to register. This process only takes a couple of minutes but it could be very beneficial to your health in the future.

Having a My Health Record means your important health information like allergies, current conditions and treatments, medicine details, pathology reports or diagnostic imaging scan reports can be digitally stored in one place. Healthcare providers like doctors, specialists and hospital staff can see these details online from anywhere at any time when they need to, such as in an accident or emergency.

A My Health Record will be created for every Australian who wants one after 31 January 2019. It’s your choice. If you don’t want a record created for you, complete this online process. You will need your Medicare card and driver licence (or other identification) to complete the opt-out process. Opt Out Here


For more information or to make a My Health record click here






Pink Month for Breast Cancer Research

breast cancer morning tea 2 breast cancer morning teaBreast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Australia and the second most common cancer to cause death in women, after lung cancer. It is uncommon in males.

Over 15,050 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer by age 85 is 1 in 8 for women.

Women aged between 50 and 74 are invited to access free screening mammograms every two years via the BreastScreen Australia Program.

It is recommended that women with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, aged between 40 and 49 or over 75 discuss options with their GP, or contact BreastScreen Australia on 13 20 50.

This year we will be dressing in Pink in support of Breast Cancer research and those fighting cancer, and for our friends and family members that we have lost to breast cancer.

Donations big or small help Cancer Council support women going through cancer treatment. we will also have a donation well in our foyer.

On the 23rd of October we will be having a Breast Cancer Morning Tea. Call us to order your morning tea, all proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Foundation.


Update: Our Breast Cancer Morning Tea raised $1323.90 towards Breast Cancer Research. Thankyou to everyone who supported our fundraiser.







buy a bale

Support for our Farmers

New South Wales is currently experiencing the worst drought in 116 years. Water is a precious commodity and quickly disappearing. We have had little rain and thus little food growth for our farmers to feed their stock. Our farmers are struggling everyday to make ends meet, to support their families and their livelihoods. Can you help?

Here at Brook Medical Centre, we are supporting our local farmers. To help get a truck load of hay, we need to raise at least $2750 and that is just for the hay.

buy a bale






Buy a Bale and help us support our local farmers.

Total as at 31st October 2018 is $998.46. This total includes website donations as well as donations in the the Buy a Bale Barrels that we have had at our front counter.

Thankyou to the local community for your support with our fundraiser.



August – September 2018

Not a Dry Eye

The eyes need constant lubrication which is provided by the tear glands. Eyes become dry for two main reasons. Firstly, tears can evaporate too quickly. This can be in aeroplanes. in air conditioning, in dry air or smoky conditions. It is temporary and is improved by the use of lubricant drops and removing yourself (where possible) from the situation. Secondly, it can be due to reduced tear production. This can be because of advanced age, various medical conditions (e.g. Diabetes, Lupus, Sjorgren's Syndrome, Scleroderma), certain medications (e.g. antihistamines, antidepressants, blood pressure tablets) and tear gland damage through trauma.


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Breathless with Emphysema

Emphysema is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Inheritance plays a part, however, most cases are related to smoking or long term exposure to dusts or pollutants which damage the air sacs in the lungs where oxygen enters the blood stream.

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Febrile fits in kids

These are seizures in children (generally between six months and five years) due to a rapid rise in temperature. Up to one in twenty children will experience these. While frightening to watch, they do not cause brain damage and are not a prelude to epilepsy.

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Managing hayfever – Why, What & How

Runny or blocked noses, sneezing, congestion, watery eyes and headache are just some of the symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hayfever) which affects nearly one in five Australians. It is not necessarily caused by hay and you don't get a fever. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and can last days or months.

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V is for Varicose Veins

Widened, often twisted, veins near the skin surface are called varicose veins. They are most common in the lower legs.


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June – July 2018

Chicken Pox is not Child’s play

Caused by the varicella-zoster virus, chicken pox is a highly contagious illness. It can affect any age but is more common in children. The number of cases has declined since the addition of a vaccine against chicken pox onto the childhood immunisation schedule in the early 2000's. Fortunately most cases are mild.

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Coming to grips with osteoarthritis

As we get older our joints show wear and tear. The cartilage (lining) of the joint is affected most, though bones, ligaments and muscles can also be involved. This is known as degenerative osteoarthritis. It affects almost everyone over forty but the severity and the joints involved varies. Risk factors include age, being overweight, positive family history and injuries to joints. Knees hips, hands and the spine are the most commonly affected areas.


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Tonsillitis – say argh!

The tonsils are located half way to the back of the throat and help "trap" infections. They are particularly important for young children with less developed immune systems. Unless they become enlarged or infected, we generally don't even know they are there.


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Cold and Flu Protection

Viruses are present all year round but more people get unwell with them in winter. It could be a case of less sunshine and spending more time indoors but, whatever the reason, we can do a lot to prevent the spread. Viruses spread by airborne droplets so covering your mouth when you cough makes a big difference, as does sneezing into a hanky or tissue. AND washing hands is imperative.


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Flash burns to the eye.

Flash burns occur when a strong light burns the surface of the eye (cornea). Causes include skiing without glasses or sun lamps. Symptoms include pain and burning in the eye, watery or bloodshot eyes, blurred vision and can start up to twelve hours after exposure.


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April – May 2018

Tips for Older Travellers

Baby Boomers are gradually retiring but not wanting to put on the proverbial slippers yet. Many remain in good health and travel is increasingly on the agenda. A popular pursuit is driving around Australia in a camper van  or with a caravan.

It is a good idea to have a general health check with your GP before embarking.


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Tennis Elbow

Lateral epicondylitis, inflammation of the tendons where they meet the bone at the elbow on the thumb side, is commonly known as tennis elbow. It is not unique to tennis and can come about from any ongoing or repeated use of the forearm and wrist. Bricklaying, painting and gardening plus other racquet sports can bring it about as can using a computer mouse and it can affect anyone. It is commonest in those aged 35-55.

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Managing Coeliac Disease

This is a condition where there is marked immune response to gluten which is found in wheat. rye and barley. It can damage the small bowel and interfere with absorption of nutrients. The symptoms vary from mild to severe and include tiredness, intermittent diarrhoea, abdominal pain, bloating and flatulence. Children with Coeliac disease may have slower growth, irritability and abdominal swelling.

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Cooling Down Heartburn

This is a burning pain in the chest or upper abdomen caused by acid leaking from the stomach into the oesophagus. It is also known as reflux and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). It is very common and can affect all age groups from infancy. It ranges from mild to severe.

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Family Break-ups and Kids

It is estimated that 40% of marriages will end in divorce or separation. In many instances there are children and the impact on them is significant. Regardless of whether a couple love each other or not, their children will still love them both.

While all children are affected in the short term, American research shows in the longer term the vast majority of children in divorced families do as well as their peers when it comes to behaviour, academic performance and social relationships.

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