What’s said to be the first dedicated medical cannabis clinic in South Australia’s capital city has recently opened for business.
IvyMed Clinics is located in Adelaide’s inner southern suburb of Pasadena and has two independent tenant practitioners.
Dr Hsin-Pei Lin (Ellen) is a general practitioner with experience working with patients who may require alternative treatments such as medicinal cannabis, and is an Australian government authorised prescriber. Fluent in English and Mandarin, Dr Lin graduated from medical school in 2011.
Dr Sheng-Wen Cheng, who is fluent in Mandarin, Taiwanese and English, has been since practicing since 2012 and is also an authorised medical cannabis prescribers.
According to the clinic’s web site:
“The IvyMed Clinic exists to provide patients access to specialised advice and treatments under the guidance of their regular GP.”
In addition to providing prescriptions where appropriate, the clinic has an onsite dispensary – making it a one-stop-shop for medical cannabis requirements.
While getting an appointment isn’t quite as straightforward as arranging one with your GP, it is reasonably simple:
- Prospective patients need to first take the IvyMed Clinic Eligibility Test, which can be found here.
- Fill in a new patient form and then discuss the appointment process with staff .
- A welcome pack with information will be provided for both the patient and the patient’s regular GP.
- The patient then needs to visit their GP for a referral and health summary.
- With that provided to IvyMed, an appointment will then be arranged.
So, this still requires co-operation from a patient’s regular GP, which may be challenging for some. Other clinics only require the health summary, which a doctor is obligated to provide. But still, having your own GP on board is a good thing if achievable – and how IvyMed presents information to the GP could be key in making that happen.
Completing all these steps is no guarantee of a prescription of course, although the pre-appointment screening process should reduce potential disappointment. The clinic notes medicinal cannabis should only be considered when patients have not been able to find relief through other options.
At the time of publishing, an initial consultation is $200 with $75.05 claimable from Medicare for card holders. Follow-up appointments are $85 with $39.10 claimable from Medicare. As for medications, costs aren’t mentioned and will vary depending on their nature.
Generally speaking and according to Honahlee, the average monthly spend for a legal medical cannabis patient in Australia is $278, which works out to roughly $9.26 per day.