Category Archives: General

Covid Clinics

Covid vaccination is important for the health of our community in 2021 , but we want to reassure our patients that there is no rush to receive your vaccine. We are pleased to have already immunised  some of our most vulnerable patients, Doctors, allied health and staff, with no problems.


As soon as we have covid vaccine back in our fridge we will be able to accept more bookings for vaccination. The next delivery is expected to be later in April.


The Doctors at Brook Medical Centre have confidence in the Government’s policy and vaccine distribution. We have expected some initial problems with supply locally.

Our Doctors want to reassure our community that we are currently safe with no community spread of Covid locally.

Here at Brook Medical Centre we will continue  to provide you with the most up to date information and advice.


Priority groups in Phase 1B include:


  • elderly adults aged 70 years and over
  • health care workers not vaccinated in Phase 1A
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults over 55
  • adults with a specified medical condition
  • adults with a severe disability who have a specified underlying medical condition
  • critical and high risk workers including Defence, Police, Fire, Emergency Services and Meat Processing.

Australia has a world class manufacturing facility right here at home, putting us in a very strong position to supply vaccines when and where they are needed. Our contract with CSL for 50 million doses means we do not need to rely on overseas supply to ensure all Australians who want a vaccine, can be vaccinated.


Australia has very successfully suppressed this highly infectious disease and it is really important that all Australians come forward and get the vaccine when it is their turn to do so.


There will be an eligibility declaration form to be completed on arrival.

If you are not eligible or cannot demonstrate your eligibility when you arrive for your vaccination, you may be asked to leave. It is important for everyone to have their vaccination done in the appropriate Vaccine Phase roll out so that the most at risk in our community are protected first.




Click here to check your eligibility

Please help your elderly family members, (or those without access to a computer) with the online eligibility checker.








If you are having the both the Flu and Covid Vaccination, please be advised that you must wait two weeks before or after your flu shot to have your Covid Vaccination. Please speak to our staff on the phone about any concerns you may have regarding this.

After your first Covid Vaccination you will be required to wait in the Surgery for 15 minutes for monitoring.

Your second Covid Vaccination will be booked in approximately three months after your first.

The completion of your Covid Vaccination will be recorded on your medical record and your My Health Record.

ATAGI Statement on Astra Zenica Vaccine

Please call 65431222 to book an appointment for your vaccine if you are eligible.





Influenza and Covid 19 Immunisations

Flu Immunisation clinics will commence in April, with bookings open now.

We have both government supplied and private vaccines for those aged 5-64 who are not eligible for the funded vaccine. Private Vaccines are $20.

Free seasonal influenza vaccine is funded for the following groups at higher risk of complications from influenza:




  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
  • all children aged 6 months to less than 5 years of age (including Aboriginal and medically at risk)
  • all individuals aged 5 years and over with medical risk conditions, namely:  cardiac disease, including 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 haemoglobinopathiechronic 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
      • pregnant women (influenza vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy)
      • people aged 65 years and over (vaccine that is specifically designed to produce a higher immune response is available for this group).


Brook Medical Centre will also be doing COVID 19 vaccination, as part of the 1b vaccine rollout.

Appointments for Phase 1B COVID vaccination can now be taken.

Further details can be found on Government website:

We have no control over the number of COVID 19 vaccines we will receive and so it is vital we ensure the most vulnerable are immunised first, not just the ones eligible in group 1b.

We have been allocated only a minimal supply initially. Immunisation is NOT compulsory for anyone.

The  government health department guidance specifically states you are at highest  risk if you:

  • Have had an organ transplant and are on immune suppressive therapy
  • Have had a bone marrow transplant in the past 2 years
  • Are on immune suppressive therapy for graft versus host disease
  • Have had blood cancer, in the  past 5 years, including leukaemia, lymphoma or myelodysplastic syndrome
  • Are having chemotherapy or radiotherapy.


It is important we continue to provide routine GP care & emergency care to our patients during this time to help you achieve optimal health.


Public health precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19 must still be adhered to, even when you are immunised.


This includes:

stay at least 1.5 metres away from other people

wash your hands frequented with soap and water or hand sanitiser,

& have a COVID-19 test if unwell with cold or flu like symptoms.

More Information about Covid 19 Vaccines


February – March 2021

Positive Attitude

We all see the world through our own eyes, which is why the adage about the half-glass full is apt. The difference is not the amount of water in the glass but the way we see it.

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Schoolyard Bullying

Bullying in the school yard is not new, but awareness has grown, and it is (rightly) no longer acceptable or hushed up.

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This is condition where endometrial cells (which normally line the uterus) grow outside the uterus. The most typical sites are on the ovaries, bowel, fallopian tubes and pelvis lining.

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What is “normal” puberty

A normal part of life, puberty is the time when children start turning into adults. Technically it is the development of the capacity to reproduce (sexual maturation). 95% will start between the ages of eight and 14 (girls) or 9 and 14 (boys). The process  generally goes on for three to four years.

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This is the leading cause of blindness and vision loss worldwide. cataracts occur when the lens of the eye goes cloudy or opaque. Around 10% of Australians have cataracts increasing from 4% of 50-59 year old's to over 60% of 90 year old's.

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December 2020 – January 2021

Gestational Diabetes

This is a rise in blood sugar during pregnancy, which generally returns a to normal after giving birth. It affects 3%-8% of pregnant women and typically starts between week 24 and 28, hence there is routine blood testing for glucose at this stage of pregnancy. The test is a glucose tolerance test where blood is taken before and after consuming a glucose drink.


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Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’S)

The term Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI'S) applies to a group of infections that are predominately spread by sexual contact. The group is diverse in both symptoms and severity. it includes Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C (some people do not classify this as an STI), Syphyllis, HIV (AIDS) and Herpes Simplex.

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Shin Splints

Shin splints are a common condition seen in runners and those who play sports involving running and rapid acceleration.

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Over 65 and Exercising

Work on strength, balance and coordination.

We often think of exercising as running, swimming or other cardiovascular type pursuits. This is important for fitness, but other exercises can be just as important. As we get older resistance (or weights) based exercise maintains bone strength and also muscle mass. This reduces the chances of getting osteoporosis (brittle bones) and sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass). you are never too old.

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A migraine headache is a particular form of headache characterized by being one-sided and accompanied by nausea or vomiting and sensitivity to light. It can be preceded by a sensory warning (aura) such as flashes of light or tingling.

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Christmas Cake Recipe


Merry Christmas

It’s that time again. This year has flown by! Christmas is here!

Christmas and New Year Opening Hours 2020

Christmas and the summer holidays are a great time of fun with family and to enjoy the spirit of Christmas ,lots of delicious food and partaking in festive drinks, but we would like to remind you that moderation is great for us and helps us to enjoy a happy and healthy festive period.

Although restrictions have eased, we still need to be Covid 19 aware and follow social distancing rules.

xmas tree

 While you are in Brook Medical Centre this year, your children are encouraged to find our Elf on the Shelf.

Mr Elf is back this year and he has brought his wife Mrs Elf along to join in the fun.

Every night our Elves go on adventures around the surgery. If your children can spot our Elves while they are in the surgery, they will get a little surprise bag. Please help them join in the fun with our cheeky Elves.

elf on the shelf


August -September Newsletter

Cardiovascular Risk

Heart disease remains a major killer of Australians with 17533 deaths in 2018. On the plus side, fatalities have decreased over 20% in a decade.


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Myasthenia Gravis

This condition causes muscle weakness and fatigue. It is thought to be due to antibodies attacking"the nerve receptors on the muscles. The Thymus gland, which sits in the chest, produces antibodies but what triggers this is not known. There is also a form of Myasthenia without antibodies involved.


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Spring Tîme

Spring is when allergy symptoms are most prevalent. The classis "hay fever" is a runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes.


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Preventing Falls in the Elderly

About one third of people over the age of 65 fall every year. Most are not injured and get up and go on with life. However, a fall runs the risk of hip fracture. This is a medical emergency requiring major surgery and can start a decline in independence.


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Relevance of Exercise in Childhood

Once upon a time children didn't need to "exercise" because they were active. They walked to and from school and played outdoors rather than on screens.


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Covid 19, when and where to get tested

Coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCOV):

Come forward and get tested even if you only have mild symptoms like a cough. You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Muswellbrook Hospital COVID testing Clinic

Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 11.30am. Appointment not necessary as this is a walk-in clinic. So not necessary to call the hospital prior.

Follow the signs from the main hospital car park.


Ways to prevent the spread of the virus:

  • avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections
  • frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment
  • people with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (keep away from other people, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds).


Click the link at the top of this page for current information on the virus


Flu Vaccinations

Have you had your Flu Vaccination yet?

We still have vaccines available at $20.

Government Funded Vaccines are also available for eligible patients.

We also have a limited supply of vaccines donated by BHP, Mt Arthur Coal for those who cannot afford it.

These vaccines are available Tuesday to Friday at 12pm after the Childhood Immunisation Clinic.


Information about your Flu Injection.

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



June – July Newsletter


The term telehealth has generally not been used outside medical circles. It applies to use of technology (video or phone) to deliver medical services.


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Connecting with your Teenager

Social distancing has meant parents and teens are being forced to spend more time together. The stereotype of the teenager is either a monosyllabic boy or a girl behind a slammed shut bedroom door. Whilst there is some validity to this, it is far from the whole story. Adolescence is a time of change, physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. The transition from being a child to adult is not always easy. In this era of social media and smart phones, there are additional pressures.


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Dry Eye

The eyes need constant lubrication which is provided by the tear glands. Eyes Become dry for two main reasons.


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Prevent the spread of Colds & Flu

Despite Covid 19, "normal" winter cold and flu viruses have not disappeared. There are various theories around why they are usually more prevalent in winter, but nobody really knows. There is much we can do to reduce the spread. Viruses are spread by airborne droplets.


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Oral Thrush

Caused by fungus Candida albicans, thrush can affect different parts of the body, most commonly the genitals and the mouth and throat.

Oral thrush will typically cause white plaques in the mouth and throat.


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How to manage stress

Stress is claimed to be the scourge of the 21st century. Covid 19 has added to this as has the economic impacts we are seeing. Even in normal circumstances it doesn't seem to matter who you talk to; everyone feels stressed at some stage.


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