is pleased to be part of the
Dr. Alex Luft
Dr. Alex Luft - is a Canadian doctor practicing in Napier since 1989. He is much better looking then this picture would imply - and a darn sight more cheerful. He spends every weekday in his practice in Clive Square. He also works occasionally for the Hawke's Bay Hospital's Emergency room, in Hastings, and at City Medical after hours centre in Wellesley Road, Napier.
In 2007 he was hired as a Medical Officer for the New Zealand Police.
On some weekends he can be found playing on the beach or in his garden.
Receptionist: Janet - February, 2005. She is much more gorgeous in soooo many ways, then this picture would suggest.
The Nurse. I am thinking about having a nurse. The main problem is I can not afford one. Occasionally my sister, Catherine, an excellent nurse, comes in and helps. The graphic is not at all representative!
A - Accepting.....
B - Better health care. Why? Because it is the same doctor, who gets to know you. I believe in continuity of care. When you are not getting better or your health needs are long term I suggest you settle on one doctor - not a whole bunch of different ones. This is one reason I do not work in a group practice.
C - Consultations with the doctor are obtained by telephone appointment (Ring 835-9604). We work 8:30 am to 4:30 pm weekdays, and later night Wednesday on request. We put the answer machine on between 1 and 2 in the afternoon. If you need urgent care please ring City Medical - 835-4999. Thursday afternoons Dr. Luft is away doing house calls or attending to his hassle free clinic, so there are no appointments Thursday afternoons.
D - Discretion. We are 100% compliant, and believe strongly in, the privacy code. Click here for more information: The Code of Rights.
E - Emergencies: Please inform the receptionist for urgent cases and we will have you seen immediately by me. In a life threatening emergency dial 111 for an ambulance. E is also for enrolled - meaning you have enrolled in the practice and are entitle to government subsidies on doctors visits and prescriptions.
F - Fees (updated December 2012): I am always willing to discuss your special financial circumstances in confidence and if necessary consult for a subsidized (see W, below) fee. From April 2012 most enrolled patients will be charged around $40 per visit (under age six still free). Our fees vary from free (Children under six and under) to $85 (casual not enrolled patient). We reduce the fee by FIVE dollars if you pay on the day. Because health managers keep fiddling (and messing up) the funding system fees will vary. For an up-to-date fee list please ring. We often enlist the financial support of Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ), formerly social welfare, for financial assistance to patients. Immigration medicals are charged around $220.00 and injections $15.
G - Grizzles, or complaints. Sometimes you feel that your doctor, nurse or receptionist misunderstands you or has made an error in your account, advice, or medical management. Please, tell us about it. We want the best medical care for you and would value your comments as a way to improve our service. We also value accolades and praise. We are not afraid, either, to offer you a second opinion. We, and you, are human so we don't get it right all the time!
H - Hospitals: We make use of both public and private hospitals when necessary. I am also a strong supporter of hospices for the terminally ill or those in need of a rest. Psychiatric patients are managed in cooperation with the best facilities all over New Zealand as well as community mental health services in Napier and Hastings. For those who wish a private hospital we utilize the competent services of Royston Hospital specialists.
I - In House Visits: Yes I still do them! For those so sick they can not travel we will arrange a house visit. Note that house visits are expensive, and it is far better that, if possible, you make it to the practice. Ring the receptionist before lunch time to request a house visit. House visits are unfortunately limited to the Napier area.
J - as in Saint Johns Ambulance. They get you to where you need to go when you are really sick and injured and provide very fine care along the way. Ring 111 in an emergency, or in less pressed moments visit their web site.
"...a good medical service goes beyond just treating illness."
K - kludge. What we do. My practice does a lot of general medical things. Rest assured, we know our limits and will send you onto somebody wiser and more experienced then me should the needs arise. Common areas of general practice include preventative health, dealing to chest pains, tummy pains, ear aches, sore eyes, aching joints, diabetes, angina, heart disease, drivers licence, WINZ forms, War pension issues, AIDS tests, you name it.... But wait there is more. We even do minor surgery, women's health, ECG's, Liquid nitrogen, Rest Home Care and have quick access to the best Vasectomies in Hawke's Bay!
L - Love yourself. I really believe that it is the patients responsibility to keep themselves healthy. But to assist in that regard I recommend some preventative health. Consider: A check up every five year, three yearly cervical smears for sexually active young woman, mammograms from age 50, a heart check up at age 50 for men, and prostate screening from age 55. Know your family history, and get advice from me on your risks for cancer, blood pressure and diabetes. A good medical service goes beyond just treating illness!
M - Mental Health. This practice receives additional funding for the treatment of patients with chronic, severe mental illness. I have had special training in the treatment of depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorders. This extra funding and training is in part to alleviate a severe New Zealand wide shortage of psychiatrists and mental health professionals. Through the Hawkes Bay primary health organization upto $600 dollars can be made available for psychotherapy or counselling. One practice that is involved with this is recommended: The Counselling Practice
N - Nursing care. I enlist the support of the district nurse for dressing changes and other needs of the elderly or those who can not get into the practice. If things get busy in the practice (e.g. flu shot season) a nurse comes in and gives me a hand.
O - is for Ouch! We work with ACC and can manage on the job accidents, back strains, sports injuries, or even make referral for sensitive issue (e.g. sexual abuse) claims.
P- Prescriptions: We have an excellent relationship with selected chemists through out Napier and Hastings. For routine repeat medication we will fax your order to the chemist and it should be ready within 24 hours. Just phone lovely Janet, and she will arrange a repeat. Don't be upset if she asks you to come in for a check up if we have not seen you in a while! We have a free delivery service with a number of pharmacists. Be sure to let us know that you have a community services card as this can reduce the costs of your prescriptions a lot. If you are registered in the practice most chemist charges for prescriptions will be $5 3 by January 2013 . Ask your chemist what the current fees are but be sure to tell them you are registered in my practice to get the reduced price.
Q -Quick. Well, I am not quick, but I do run to time. Patients prefer an appointment system so as to avoid reading those out of date magazine in the waiting room! Having said that, crises do develop (maybe yours) and I can get behind.
R - Receptionist: The receptionist can help you with making an appointment, your account, a repeat prescription, or any non medical enquiry.
S - Specialists: We refer our patients on to specialists when ever needed. A letter of introduction should be obtained from the doctor and the patient can arrange his/her own appointment. Some patients may choose to see a specialist through a hospital clinic if they have financial worries. In Hawke's Bay we have specialists in surgery, internal medicine, ear nose and throat, pediatrics, psychiatry, arthritis, dental work, dermatology and orthopaedics. If necessary, I may send you to a specialist centre outside of Hawke's Bay.
T - Testing. Those are blood tests and other diagnostic tests. For privacy (I need an AIDS test doc!) we can do the blood tests in the privacy of the Clive Square rooms and we use anonymous names. We have also utilize the services of Southern Community Laboratories who pick up samples twice a day and through a sophisticated computer link we can have the results back on most tests in 24 hours.
U- Unpaid accounts. The doctor pays overheads, and two employees and asks that you pay your account at the time of consultation. We require that if you can’t pay on the day that you do pay us within two weeks. Note the nice discount you get if you pay on the day. We accept EFTPOS, but not credit cards. If you are having trouble paying your account please discuss things with Janet. She can arrange an automatic deposit of say, five or ten dollars a week which will quickly get you sorted out. Alternatively we can plead with WINZ (see above). If the doctor has kindly got you a medical or disability allowance from WINZ it is reasonable to expect that you will pay the account. Except in an emergency, we reserve the right to decline medical care if your account is unpaid after 3 months.
V - Vaccinations, or immunizations. I believe strongly in childhood immunizations. If you have any doubts in your mind may I suggest that you visit the Napier Cemetery, on Napier Hill, near the old hospital. Go to the back of the cemetery to the children's graveyard and read the headstones. You will see that these children died from polio, tetanus, diptheria, and scarlet fever. Travel vaccinations are another matter. I believe in selective immunization for travellers and feel that immunizations are promoted excessively in New Zealand for travellers when the best prevention is common sense.
W - is for WINZ who help us out a lot when you are broke and can't afford to see me. Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ), formerly social welfare, for financial assistance to patients. Disability allowances (which are income tested) are available to help cover prescriptions, transport, doctors fees, and various other medical necessities.
X - X-RAY: In Napier patients have a choice of places to go for X-rays. Generally the Wellesley Road Medical Centre requires an appointment and you may wait many weeks before the result is back. The advantage is that there is minimal cost to you. The alternative for a fast appointment and result is to attend Hawkes Bay Radiology on Kennedy Road (Across from the Anderson Park Duck Pond) or Royston Hospital X ray in Hastings. There is less charge for ACC cases. Your doctor will advise you what is best.
Y - YYyyyyyyzzzzzzzz....... (something we all like to do occasionally).
Z - PhyZiotherapy: Hospital or private physiotherapy can be arranged. Physiotherapy relating to accidents is covered in part by ACC. I am happy to refer you to an excellent physiotherapy services in Napier. Please see me for a referral and to start the ACC process.