As your doctors and nurses, we have indeed followed and played a major role in the current situation and would greatly urge that we all follow the Social Distancing and Isolation guidelines that are now part of everyday life.
We understand coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has created a lot of anxiety and uncertainty in the community. The purpose of this article is to outline where our role can service our patients and community. We are in constant communication with the Commonwealth and NSW Department of Health and the RACGP which are guiding us through this process.
Several areas we have concentrated on are
Infection Control and Sterilisation, ensuring the safety of our patients and staff
Triaging symptomatic patients effectively and caringly
Patient care of vulnerable patients in a timely manner
Preventative Healthcare measures that are even more critical now
Continuing to provide our services to patients who depend on us
Giving guidance using the most reliable information sources
As such, the Gordon Medical Centre remains open normal operating hours. Specifically, we follow strict protocols to protect our patients.
Surfaces are wiped down with Hospital Grade Disinfectant regularly
All cold and flu symptoms e.g. fever, cough, and isolation patients are seen on telehealth and not on premises
We observe strict 1.5 metres distance between staff and patients
Patients can wait outside and will be called by our reception when ready
Sanitising gel, masks and tissues are readily available for practising good hygiene
Dedicated isolation room is used should that be required
Staff wears personal protective equipment where appropriate
We accept tap and go card payment and wears gloves to limit exposure
We recommends certain times as preferable for vulnerable patients
COVID-19 most seriously affects the elderly and those with chronic disease and immunosuppression. For that reason we encourage patients who fit into this category to consider having a telehealth consultation to minimize their need to be out in the community. Medicare will fully cover the cost of these consults for the following groups
Over 70 years
Chronic disease or immune- compromised
A parent of a child under 12months of age
Currently in isolation for suspected COVID 19 infection
Telehealth appointments can be booked by calling the surgery on 02 94999999 or online at www.gordonmedical.com.au/book-an-appointment .
If you would like to do a telehealth consultation but do not fall into the above category this can also be arranged but there would be the normal private consult fee of $80 and no medicate rebate associated until Department of Health announces Medicare coverage after which it will be bulk billed.
There are obviously some conditions that cannot be managed over the phone and will necessitate a consultation at the practice of which your doctor will advise you.
During these challenging times, one of the risk to public healthcare is other health complaints will occur at the same rate and can risk being ignored. It is important to maintain excellent general health during this time and to keep the hospitals and emergency departments free to manage respiratory illness. In particular we would like to remind parents to keep their children’s immunisations up to date and EVERYONE over the age of 6 months to consider an influenza vaccine.
We have organised a Flu Clinic for our patients from 21 Apr - 21 May 2020 which can now be booked by calling 02 94999999. We ask anyone who has cold and flu symptoms at the time to be careful to postpone their flu shots and book a telehealth appointment instead.
Lastly, we request that ALL patients with respiratory illness, fever, COVID-19 contacts or recent overseas travel book a telehealth appointment and DO NOT COME INTO THE SURGERY. In this way we can guide you while we protect the vulnerable and our frontline staff.
We hope this communication has provided some reassurance to you during a very uncertain time. While these are interesting times, compassion and strength are what we are focusing on to take us through.
We are able to clarify any of the above if you contact us by phone or email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Kind regards and keep well,
The Gordon Medical Centre team
To get further updates from our team regarding the ever changing situation
Our very own guidelines on Infection Control for you at home
Wash your hands regularly especially before eating or touching your face. Here are guides for gel and soap. As we have done this for years, put on some hand moisturisers or cracked hands might lead to other problems.
We wipe surfaces, vacumm and mop regularly e.g. door handles, table tops, chair handles
Practice the right etiquette for coughing, sneezing and tissues. Here are guides.
Tips to survive isolation healthwise (because we see what not doing these can result in)
Keep in touch with friends and family through skype or email. Make a regular time to do so.
Schedule in exercise time with routines that can be done in your home.
Keep those handy snacks (or drink) under a determine limit e.g. one snack a day.
Do regular stretches in between screen time and watch your posture with good chair and screen height.
Maintain healthy eating to ensure a healthy immune system.
Do an activity you enjoy, write 3 positive statements or find 3 things you are grateful for per day.
Why not use any time you have to do what you have always wanted to do e.g. clean the house, write a book, organise your desk etc
Do not neglect important checks and medications e.g. blood tests, diabetes medication etc
If certain stress or certain feelings are bothering you, seek help from your GP, psychologist, Lifeline on telehealth or in person.