Frequently Asked Questions
CALMS is an accredited medical deputising service owned and operated by Canberra General Practitioners. CALMS has been providing after hours medical services to residents of Canberra since 1971, and is a not for profit company. As an organisation, CALMS is comitted to providing quality after hours primary care. The medical care is provided by doctors who have experience in the specialty of General Practice on behalf of the member doctors. Although our surgeries are co-located on the Hospital grounds, we are not part of the Hospital system.
CALMS LTD can provide the following services:
- Attendance by a doctor at a designated surgery during designated clinic times.
- Attendance by a doctor at your residence if deemed clinically appropriate.
- With your consent, consultation records are forwarded to your nominated GP.
Any person who is living in or visiting the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) can use the service. Home visits are restricted to the ACT. However, persons who live outside the ACT have access to all other CALMS LTD services.
CALMS operates outside of normal opening hours. Weekdays: The call centre operates from 6pm to 8.30am the next morning. Clinics are open at the Canberra and Calvary Hospitals from 8pm to approximately 11pm. After 11pm a doctor is available to visit patients requiring urgent attention. Weekends: CALMS call centre operates from 6pm Friday to 8:30am Monday and continues a 24 hour service on Public Holidays. The call centre will start booking clinic appointments (which begin at approximately 10am) from 7.30am. Clinics are open at the Canberra and Calvary Hospital from 10am to approximately 11pm. Tuggeranong Clinic opens in the afternoon.
Please phone CALMS LTD for an appointment before attending the surgery. If you have made an appointment and are unable to attend at the time, please phone and change the time or cancel giving adequate notice for your appointment time to be refilled. If a home visit has been arranged, please give clear directions to your residence. Also leave the porch or path light on to help the doctor locate your home. It will also help if you make sure your doorbell works and the dog is chained up. Have all your medications ready for the doctor to see. If you require injection of a narcotic analgesic, you will need to have your own supply of the medication which has been ordered by your usual doctor. You must also have a letter from your usual doctor stating the required dose and reasons for its use, as well as a log book documenting your usage of narcotic analgesic. Due to security concerns the doctor is not expected to carry narcotic analgesic.
Yes, you will be expected to pay for the service. There is a reduced fee for pensioners and health care card holders. The CALMS staff will be able to give you an estimate of the fee that may be charged, and how much of that will be reimbursed from Medicare, and pensioner concessions prior to booking an appointment. After you have paid your bill, you will be issued with a receipt which may be used to claim a rebate from Medicare if the patient is entitled to Medicare Benefits. CALMS LTD is a private billing surgery. Payment is required at the time of consultation. Your doctor will advise the fee payable, which may vary as all our doctors set their fees independently.
If you’re unhappy with any aspect of our service, we invite you to raise your concern with the President of the board of CALMS by writing to us with a detailed description of your grievance. The President of CALMS will attend to your complaint at the earliest opportunity and respond in kind.