Link Hills Medical Centre

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Dr Martin makes changes to his consulting hours

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Dr Shaun Martin joined the practice in 1994 and since then has always worked full time in the rooms. Recently however, with him having initiated some new endeavors, he is finding himself stretched a little. Add to that some serious road works and the unpredictability this brings, and his day has become extremely pressurized.

Currently he works at the rooms in Waterfall, runs the Hillcrest Surgical Unit in Nqutu Road where he gives anesthetics for the patients having procedures like gastroscopies done, works at Cresthill Manor Rehabilitation Centre and provides cover in the Hillcrest Surgical Unit after hours till 20h00 in the evening as part of the roster.

After some thought, he decided to step down as a director of Drs Duffey Martin Darby, which then allows him to work as an independent contractor. He will then continue to work in our rooms, and all other areas he currently does, as well as putting in some time at Medicross Hillcrest which is on the same premises as the Hillcrest Surgical Unit, thereby negating the drive back to Waterfall.

The new arrangements will come into full effect from the 1st September 2013, when his hours in the rooms will be finalized. In the interim, Shaun will be available to be seen on:

  • Tuesdays from 10h30-12h00 at Le Domaine Frail Care Unit.
  • Tuesdays from 12h00-18h00 at the Link Hills Medical Centre.
  • Thursdays from 10h30-12h30 at Waterfall Gardens PCC.
  • Thursdays 12h30-18h00 at the Link Hills Medical Centre.
  • Every fourth Saturday morning from 08h00 to 13h00 starting on the 24th August, 21st September etc.

We wish him well in all these endeavors!




Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 15:50

Screening for chronic diseases in South Africa

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Screening for disease is one of the cornerstones of medicine and public health, used to help make a diagnosis in individuals presenting with suggestive clinical signs and symptoms, and to find early signs of disease in high-risk groups.

A recent review of screening for chronic diseases in South Africa in an insured population, found that even in this relatively wealthy, well-served group uptake of services was low, and the outcome of the service as a whole is not known or available for review.

South Africa will need to decide on what screening services are required and for who, based on its own pattern of disease burden, as has already started with routine HIV counselling and testing (HCT). The US Preventive Services Task Force is an independent group that reviews the evidence on screening and other preventive services and makes regular recommendations to government. These recommendations are then used to provide extensive guidance to care providers through groups such as the American Academy of Family Physicians. For example, this group recommends screening for:

  • Alcohol misuse in adults in primary care settings,
  • Breast cancer in women over 50,
  • Cervical cancer in women aged 21 - 65,
  • Colorectal cancer in adults aged 50 - 75,
  • Hypertension in those 18 and above, and
  • Adult obesity.


They advise against screening for type 2 diabetes in asymptomatic adults with normal blood pressure, and for prostatic cancer using prostate-specific antigen (PSA).


As in other parts of the world, chronic and non-communicable diseases are increasing in South Africa. The government is already building on the progress it has made with tobacco by further reducing the future burden through regulation of salt and trans-fatty acid content in food, and banning advertising of alcohol to children.


As South Africa introduces National Health Insurance, guidance and recommendations will be required to guide national policy and the further development of screening services.


Source: S Afr Med J 2013;103(5):289. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.6934

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 15:18

Discovery Health Vitality Child Health Assessment

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Earn 2 500 Vitality points if you take your child to a doctor in the Discovery GP Network for a Vitality Child Health Assessment. This in-depth assessment will tell you how healthy your child really is.

If you have children older than 2 and younger than 18 years, we’ll give you all the tools you need to give them a healthy head-start in life.

The assessment consists of four components:

  • Your child’s health history
  • A medical examination
  • Screening tests
  • Counselling

Certain costs may apply. Download the form by clicking here. Print it out and complete your section before you see your doctor. Then take it to the consultation with you.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 March 2013 20:57

Bankmed - Personal Health Assessment (PHA)

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Bankmed Personal Health Assessment (PHA) 

Benefits available

The Bankmed benefits make provision for one PHA assessment per beneficiary (>18 years old) per annum. 

What can PHA tell you?

It is a health screening tool that highlights any current  health risks. Once any risk is identified, this will need to be confirmed by your General Practitioner.

Step 1:
Download the questionnaire: Personal Health Assessment & HIV/AIDS Counselling and Testing Questionnaire

Step 2:
Complete all sections except Wellness Screening, which has to be completed by a healthcare professional.

Step 3:
Take your form with you and visit an accredited General Practitioner or practice nurse.

Who pays for this assessment

The Bankmed Personal Health Assessments are paid for from the insured pool of funds of your benefit plan. The insured benefit is the portion of your medical scheme that does not affect your day-to-day benefits.  This means that it is not paid from your medical savings account (should you be on the Core Saver, Comprehensive or Plus Plans), and it also does not affect any of your consultation limits (should you be on the PMB, Traditional and Basic Plans).

Will the PHA test appear on my medical aid claims statement? 

Every healthcare service provided to you by any healthcare professional, by law is required to reflect on your claims statement.  To this end, the PHA will also reflect on your claims statement under the insured benefit in the following manner:

  1. The details of the provider who performed the assessment will appear under the TRANSACTION INFORMATION SECTION. For the PHA, the details of the healthcare professional who conducted your PHA will appear in this section
  2. The PAYMENT information section reflects the amounts that has been paid to the service provider
  3. The ADDITIONAL information section shows you which benefit the payment has been made from. In the case of the assessments, payment is out of the insured benefit if you do it once per benefit year.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 March 2013 21:02

Smokers die a decade sooner

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Lifelong smokers can expect to die 10 years earlier than non-smokers, according to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

However, smokers who quit the habit can regain some of those years lost by smoking. And the earlier you quit, the better – quitting before age 35 erased the entire decade of lost life expectancy; those who quit between ages 35 and 44 gained back nine years; smokers who quit between 45 and 54 gained back six years; and those who quit between 55 and 64 gained four years.

The main life-extending health benefits of quitting smoking comes from a reduction in the risk for heart disease and stroke, said the researchers from the Centre for Global Health Research in Toronto, Canada. Both diseases are caused by smoking and result in clotting in the arteries.

But they also warned that young smokers shouldn’t be tricked into thinking they can smoke up to the age of 40 without any health consequences.  Damage to the lungs caused by smoking takes a long time to heal and the risk of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases linger for years after a smoker stubbed out their last cigarette.

The study was based on the smoking histories of more than 200 000 men and women, 25 years and older, who participated in the US National Health Interview survey between 1997 and 2004. The data were linked to causes of death that occurred by the end of 2006.

Sources: The Washington Post, HealthDay News

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