Corona Virus COVID-19 Important Information
As of 16/3/2020 we have had to make the difficult decision to change how we look after our patients to be able to remain open during this unprecedented time. Our priority is to keep our doctors and staff healthy enough to look after all our patients while still offering a service to those acutely unwell.
Our problem is that based on what has happened in many parts of the world, if even one COVID-19 patient infects our doctors and/or staff and other patients, we will be forced to close which will impact all of our patients. This is very hard to screen for because COVID-19 can look like any other infection, plus we cannot now test due to a lack of testing equipment, and the travel screening is becoming irrelevant since it is now in the country.
What you need to know as patients of our practice.
From now all appointments will be screened and anyone with infective symptoms of any sort will not be allowed into the practice without instructions from a doctor by phone first.
Instead we will endeavor to do more phone consultations and those that need to be seen will be seen in their cars. There will be different fee structure for phone calls.
No patient will be able to make a booking without listing the reason for coming in to see us. We will use SMS, email and phone calls to ascertain this. However, our preference is that you use the contact page on our website to list your reason for coming and whether you have any COVID-19 contact, work with international people, or recent travel in the last 2 weeks both international and domestic.
To minimize people getting sick in our waiting room, we have locked our front doors and we will ask all patients with appointments to ring when they arrive but stay outside the practice. We will then contact you when your doctor is ready to see you. We ask that you remain in your car if unwell. For non-sick people we would ask that you stay close to the St Andrew's Pl and be attentive to your phone.
We would ask that you turn up for your appointment alone if you are an adult. And those with children to limit other family members coming.
It saddens me to write this paragraph but we have had people already lie to us to be seen and if this occurs and you knowingly endanger our staff and other patients we will ban you from our practice and you will need to find another doctor.
Important information to help you work out if you need to be seen.
Testing. GPs are not equiped to isolate you. We cannot test for COVID-19 . If you are sick enough for testing then you need to be in a hospital setting.
Certificates. We cannot issue you a certificate for clearance based on testing. If you have exposure to someone directly with COVID-19 or you are unwell or you have travelled back to Australia then you must isolate for 14 days. We cannot clear you and it is a matter for your employer to work out the pay arrangements.
Travel. We cannot help you with letters demanding refunds just because you are worried about COVID-19.
Links For Further Information
For more detailed information on what to expect and how to pre-prepare please read this article which is a very well written piece from an Australian virologist gives the best practical no nonsense advice.
FAQs - This WHO site is the best site to follow for the answers to common questions.
This WHO link discusses protective measures such as hand washing and how to properly use masks
Good short video on how to not contaminate yourself when removing protective equipment
Four step removal of Personal Protective Equipment
WHO info on how to isolate
Australian Government Department of Health information and advice
Centres for Disease Control USA
This link is to a live map showing the current confirmed cases around the world.