About Equinox

COVID 19 Update

Equinox is offering Bulk Billed Telehealth appointments to support patients that are physically distancing. Your doctor can call you to provide prescriptions, pathology and diagnostic request forms and attend to your general medical needs.  Medicare has applied eligibility criteria for patients seeking bulk billed telehealth services. Please speak to the reception team to check your eligibility.  Telehealth services can only be booked by telephoning reception on 9416 2889.

Face to face appointments are available and can be booked online or by calling reception.

In response to COVID 19, our counselling services are all currently being offered via Telehealth.  Your counsellor will be able to provide access details.

Our Osteopath services are currently suspended until further review.

Who are we & what we do:   Equinox is a peer led Trans and Gender Diverse and Non Binary (TGD&NB) Health Service operated by the Thorne Harbour Health (THH), formerly VAC.  We consult regularly with the THH TGD&NB Advisory Group and our patients to establish service needs and define priorities; and our practice reflects the outcomes of these consultations. Equinox and THH believe that by working in partnership with the TGD&NB community  we can provide a safe environment for gender diverse clients to obtain quality medical care.

Equinox is a health and well being service for the TGD&NB community in Victoria. We honour and support your informed decisions and will use your chosen name and pronouns whilst treating you with respect.  Our goal is to ensure positive health outcomes for all members of the community.  Our services include General Practice healthcare, sexual health, hormone initiation and management, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and counselling. Equinox is an AGPAL Accredited General Practice. To ensure that we can provide comprehensive,quality healthcare, Equinox only accepts patients that reside in Victoria.

Our Team:

Dr Satu Simpson is a General Practitioner and has recently moved to Melbourne from Shepparton where she completed her GP training and has worked in General Practice for the last three years. Originally hailing from far north Queensland, Satu has been at at Equinox  for over 12 months and has up-skilled in all areas related to gender affirming hormone therapy and TGD&NB community health and well being.

Dr Ling Li received her postgraduate training in the United States and Australia. She provides service in all aspects of general practice and Dr Li received extended training in one of the Sexual Health Hubs in Victoria where she gained experience and qualifications for
• STI management
• LGBTIQA+ health
• PrEP and HIV prescription
• Management of unplanned pregnancy
• Minor procedures including Implanon and Mirena insertion.

Languages Spoken: English, Chinese (Mandarin)

Dr Nick Silberstein previously worked at Equinox between 2017 and 2019 before temporarily moving to the US. Nick will be back to join the Equinox team in late September 2021 and we eagerly await his return. Nick is experienced in all areas of general practice and has experience working in trans and gender diverse health including sexual health, PrEP, hormone management, alcohol and other drug support and vaccinations.

Gabe Curtis (he/him) is an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse working at Equinox four days per week. In consultation with a GP, Gabe can provide cervical screening, phlebotomy (pathology collection), sexual health screening, injections and wound care. Gabe is often the first person new patients meet when linking in with the service. With a lived trans experience, Gabe is able to offers peer navigation and support to clients and families.

Peter Locke is Manager, Clinical Services for Thorne Harbour Health. Peter and Dr P. Cundill established Equinox way back in 2016 and he has been steering the ship since. Prior to working with THH in his current role, Peter worked as Practice Manager of several LGBTI health services including The Carlton Clinic and Northside Clinic. Peter is also the Manager of The Centre Clinic and PRONTO! Peer Testing and PrEP Clinic services. He is a member of the DHS LGBTIQ Health and Human Services Working Group. He is proud to be an ally of and to work alongside the TGD&NB community..

Our reception team Sam, Felix and Rowen are members of the TGD community and understand the issues that impact the health and well being of TGD&NB people. From time to time you may encounter Gareth and Ron, who are a part of the PRONTO! and Centre Clinic reception teams, when they do guest appearances to help us out when we are short staffed

When:  General Practice services operate on Mon – Fri from 9am until 5pm.

Getting there and parking:   We are located at 200 Hoddle Street Abbotsford. Street parking is available in the surrounding neighborhood. Parking and public transport is available close by at Victoria Park Train station, Collingwood Train Station and a wide range of bus routes run frequently along Hoddle Street.

Disability Access:  Our clinic has an electric height adjustable bed and a consult room large enough to accommodate a wheel chair. Please advise reception when booking that you require these facilities and we will reserve them for your appointment..

 Booking Appointments

Medical Services:  Equinox sees patients on an appointment basis. Our standard appointments are 20 minutes long. If you think you need a longer appointment to discuss complex or multiple issues, please advise reception when booking.  All new patients are booked in for a long appointment (40mins) for their initial visit.

Emergencies presenting to the clinic will be seen as a priority and our staff will try to contact you if there is any unforeseen delay or if your GP has been called away.

If you require an interpreter service (a language other than English or services for hearing impaired clients) these can be organised, but please advise reception at the time of booking.

If you are distressed or feeling very unwell while waiting for your appointment, let our reception team know and we will find a private space for you to wait.

To book a GP appointment:

First visit GP appointment – Please call 03 9416 2889 and reception will assist you.

Subsequent visits: Call or book online at http://www.equinox.org.au

All telehealth appointments must be booked by telephone.

When booking GP appointments online, please make sure to select the correct Practitioner in the drop down menu (Trans and Gender Diverse GP)

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Booking Counselling Services: To speak to a counselling services intake officer, please call THH on 9865 6700 and let them know that you would like to see a counsellor at Equinox. They will advise you on the intake process.

If you are seeking information on alcohol or other drug counselling or other THH community support services, please visit https://thorneharbour.org/lgbti-health/

After Hours Care:   In the event of an emergency call 000 for an ambulance or present to the nearest emergency department.

If you have an urgent medical problem, please call our locum service, Doctor Doctor on 13 26 60. Please note that this service does not specialise in TGD&NB health services and the first available doctor on duty will be sent to your home

Medical advice from a registered nurse is available 24 hours a day by calling Nurse On Call 1300 60 60 24. They will triage your symptoms and offer advice on how urgently you need to seek medical support.

Telephone and Email Access:   You can contact your doctor by calling during Equinox service hours. If the doctor is available to talk your call will be transferred through. If they are not available, the reception staff will take a message and promptly give it the doctor.  Please note that it can take several days for the doctor to return your call. If your matter is of an urgent nature, please advise reception and they will note this on the message.

Emails can be sent to equinoxadmin@vac.org.au  and will be forwarded on to your doctor. Please be aware that email is not considered a secure method of sending confidential and secure information.

Reminders and Recalls:  Equinox maintains a confidential database for reminding and recalling patients for follow up appointments, immunisations and preventative health care. If you do not wish to be on this database, please advise your doctor. While we make every effort to send reminders, it is your responsibility as patient to return for these subsequent visits.

All patients are sent reminder sms messages the day prior to their appointment. We ask that you reply to the message to indicate if you will be attending. Unconfirmed appointments may be cancelled. Please advise reception if you do not wish to receive reminder sms messages.

Pathology Results, Repeat Prescriptions and Referrals:  To comply with ethical and legislative requirements we require that patients attend an appointment to receive prescriptions, referrals and to be given most pathology test results. Referrals to specialists and third party healthcare providers may result in additional charges, please check with the health provider when booking.

Medical Records, Privacy and Confidentiality:  Records of your visits and treatments will be kept. The contents will be divulged only with your consent or where justified by law. You are entitled to see your medical records at any stage.

Your medical and counselling records are a confidential document and THH/ Equinox maintains the security of personal information at all times. Our services are bound by the Health Records Act 2001, the Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth – incorporating the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012) and the Privacy & Data Protection Act 2014 (Victoria) regarding the collection, use, disclosure, access and protection of any personal or health information that we hold.

For further information about THH’s Privacy and Confidentiality Policy and THH’s Confidentiality Procedure please visit  https://thorneharbour.org/privacy-statement/ or call THH’s Privacy Officer on +61 3 9865 6700 or toll free : 1800 134 840.

If you have any concerns regarding aspects of our services, please speak to your doctor or the Clinical Services Manager (03 9416 2889) If you are not happy with our response, you may contact:

Health Complaints Commissioner

Tel: 1300 582 113

General  Feedback and Questions

If you have any feedback or questions, please email the Program Manager, Peter Locke on peter.locke@thorneharbour.org

EQUINOX is a service of Thorne Harbour Health

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