Patient Information2019-08-24T06:07:45+00:00

Patient Information

Basic information about our practice for patients and their families

Welcome to the rooms of Dr Tom van Hagen

Our goal is to provide you with the very best treatment, care and support during your cancer journey. Here is some information to help make your experience be as positive and helpful as possible during this difficult time for you and your family.

Your Appointments

• Kath is our wonderful secretary. She will help make all your appointments as required, including the ‘Ivy Suite’ (our day unit for treatment/chemo), radiology and other requests or information that you may need.

• If it is your first appointment, please bring your referral to your appointment, as well as your Medicare Card, private health insurance details, GP details and an up to date medication list.

• You will often need blood tests before seeing the Doctor. To ensure all results are available, please have these taken the day before your appointment. (Or Saturday mornings for Monday appointments). Please look after your blood referral forms.

• We make a very big effort to run on time for our clinics. Please make sure you are on time, and allow sufficient time to park at the hospital. (Parking at the hospital unfortunately is at a premium and delays of 15 minutes or more are frequently encountered)

• We would appreciate all accounts to be settled on the day of consultation. We can send claims directly to Medicare or your private health fund as applicable.

Emergency Contact Details

In an EMERGENCY situation (ie. you are unwell and may require admission or urgent advice), we endeavour to always be contactable to provide the support you need.

• In the first case, call the rooms on (08) 9381 7793. During office hours, this will be answered, or after hours the message will give you the contact number of the Doctor on call. Please always call the rooms first and get this number so that you quickly get in contact with the correct Doctor.

• As a backup, you can call the inpatient ward on (08) 6465 9350. If it is a treatment related problem, then the Ivy Suite can be contacted during working hours on (08) 6465 9211.

• If you think there is a life threatening emergency, call an ambulance or attend your closest Emergency Department (ED). In this situation, the ED Doctors will contact your Oncologist for advice regarding your cancer treatment.

Non-Emergency Contact Details

If you need general information, we can be contacted by email on reception@drtvh.com or phone (08) 9381 7793. Please consider how urgently you require information. If you can wait until your next appointment or have already called regarding the same issue, please refrain from calling as we will be running a busy clinic or dealing with emergency situations. We attempt to reply to emails within 24 business hours.

• Kath is available all day Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and on Friday mornings. If at all possible, please only call for help and advice at these times unless it is an emergency.

• For general ailments, please consider speaking to your GP so that your Oncologist can focus on your cancer treatment.

Other Requests

• We VERY frequently receive telephone calls for non-urgent prescriptions. Although we will endeavour to attend to these requests promptly, they do actually require a significant amount of time for the doctor (eg. calling Medicare and waiting up to 15 minutes for authority scripts) and therefore will incur a fee of $20 and may require up to ONE week to complete.

• Another common phone request we receive is for completion of insurance forms, letters etc. Again, we will endeavour to complete these forms as soon as possible, but please understand they will not take priority over acute patient care, and may take over a week to complete.

• And finally, we also REGULARLY receive calls from multiple family members of patients who perhaps have not been as actively involved with their loved ones as others until very recently and feel ‘left out’ of any treatment decisions/discussions for their mum/dad etc. If various family members are involved in your care, it is useful to nominate one ‘spokesperson’ to be involved in communication with the Doctor and then dispersing information to other members. This minimises communication breakdown or confusion.

Managing Treatment Related Side Effects

Like any medication, there is always the possibility of experiencing side effects. Obviously it is always important to discuss any problems you are having with Tom or another member of the medical team looking after you (this may be your GP, other specialists, nurses, pharmacists or another health professional).

Many side effects can be prevented or managed easily with the right advice or products. To help with this, Tom’s wife, Naomi (an Oncology Pharmacist) and her sister Jo (also a Pharmacist) have started Hope Cancer Care Products. This is a website and online store full of information, advice, recommendations and over the counter products for the management of side effects. The website covers areas of skin care, mouth care, scar treatments and dressings, feminine hygiene & sexual health, eye care, nose care, nail care, hair care, vitamins & minerals, non prescription pain relief and digestive health. There is also a range of treatment care packs and gift packs.

HOPE is about Helping Oncology Patients’ Experiences, have a look and hopefully it will help you too!

GO TO HOPE CANCER CARE PRODUCTS