This newletter includes important updated information including the following (Sorry - there is a lot of info)
Christmas Opening hours and upcoming GP leave
Increased Demand for appointments
Increased Covid 19 Cases - Eligibility for Anti Viral Medications if you test positive
Covid 19 Booster vaccines - Availability of the Moderna Bivalent Booster with Omicron specific protection
Increasing requests for reports and paperwork completion - fees may apply
CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS
FRIDAY DECEMBER 22ND - Closing at 3.00pm
MONDAY DECEMBER 26TH - CLOSED
TUESDAY DECEMBER 27TH - CLOSED
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 28TH until FRIDAY DECEMBER 30TH - Open 9.00am to 5.00pm
MONDAY JANUARY 2ND - CLOSED
Reduced GP availabilty between Christmas and New year - we will only have 1 GP available each day to attend to more acute/urgent issues. Please call on the day in this period as forward bookings will not be taken for these dates. Ensure any urgent medication prescriptions are requested well before you run out.
FOR URGENT GP CARE DURING THE PUBLIC HOLIDAYS, PLEASE CONTACT
GP ASSIST Afterhours service on 1800 022 222
INCREASED DEMAND FOR APPOINTMENTS
We are a small independent private GP practice. Our capacity is limited by the number of GPs available each day. We will always triage genuine URGENT requests for appointments to ensure access to care. Any requests that the GP deems to be URGENT (needs to be seen "today") will be prioritised over a routine appointment. We do not re-schedule appointments without reason, so please be patient if you are contacted to re-schedule your appointment. For people who need to attend regularly, Please book ahead of time and do not leave it until a few days or a week before to book. We can only see so many people in a day. Our GPs cannot just "squeeze you in" to an already packed session. We like to have the time to deal with your medical issues and ensure appropriate care.
If your regular GP is not available and you are asked to see another GP or a Locum - take the appointment please.
In an effort to try to keep the GPs on time, please be prepared for your appointment. Most appointments are only 10-15 minutes. A GP cannot deal with several issues effectively in a 15-minute appointment. You may need a double appointment, or be asked to come back to discuss further issues.
INCREASING COVID 19 INFECTIONS and Anti Viral Eligibility - (More info)
Covid 19 cases are increasing in our community again. With this there is an increase in hospitalisations. These newer strains of virus initially appear to be less severe, however like the previous ones - Some people will get very sick. Protect yourself and your family and friends. It is important to wear a mask in high risk settings, keep testing if you have any cold & flu symptoms, sore throat etc and register your positive result.
Once you register, you may be eligible for Antiviral therapy if:
You are 70 or over
50 and over if you have 2 or more additional risk factors (chronic illnesses)
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people - 30 or older with at least 1 Additional risk factor.
(18 and over only if you are Moderate to severely immuno compromised)
Risk factors for these groups include:
living in residential aged care; living with disability with multiple conditions and/or frailty (not limited to living in supported accommodation)
neurological conditions like stroke or dementia and demyelinating conditions e.g. multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome
chronic respiratory conditions including COPD, moderate or severe asthma
obesity or diabetes (type I or II requiring medication)
heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies
kidney failure or cirrhosis
living remotely with reduced access to higher level healthcare.
For Antivirals to be effective they must be started within 5 days of the onset of symptoms
Contact Don Medical Clinic early in your infection period to discuss your eligibility. - 03 6441 5299
Afterhours or weekends - you can call GP Assist - 1800 022 222
FOR EMERGENCY CARE CALL 000
COVID 19 BOOSTER VACCINES
If you are over 18 and only had 2 x covid vaccines - you may not have very good coverage. Research shows for people 18 and over, you need at least 3 doses and if 50 and over, at least 4 doses to get the best protection from severe disease
WE CURRENTLY HAVE MODERNA BIVALENT BOOSTER VACCINE AVAILABLE - until December 13 (subject to stock availability) PLEASE CALL TO BOOK FOR THIS
You are eligible for a COVID-19 - 3rd dose (1st Booster) if:
you are 16 years and older, and
have had your second dose of your primary dose course of COVID-19 vaccination at least 3 months ago or at least 3 months since you had Covid 19 infection
You Are eligible for a COVID 19 4th dose (2nd Booster) (or 5th dose if you are severely immunocompromised):
if you are 50 and over or:
16 and over and severely immunocompromised or a medical condition that increases risk of severe Covid 19 illness, or have a disability
and - your last covid 19 vaccine or last Covid 19 infection was at least 3 months ago
UPCOMING GP LEAVE and LOCUM AVAILABILITY
We have the annual summer/Christmas period coming up with planned leave scheduled as follows
Dr Bec will be taking Parental Leave in 2023 - We are very excited for Dr Bec and her family ! Dr Bec will finish at Christmas and is planning around 4-6 months parental leave at this stage. We have arranged Locum cover during this parental leave period.
Dr Jane on leave - January 9th to Feb 3rd
Dr Jessica Madden (Locum GP) will return During January
Dr Sandra Newfield (Locum GP) will return during February/March
REPORTS FOR FORMS AND PAPERWORK TO BE COMPLETED - FEES APPLY
There seems to be a form for everything !. Your GPs are busy caring for patients. They are not able to just fill in a form for you. For every person who drops in a form and thinks it is only them, there are 5- 10 others thinking the same thing. Medicare rebates only apply if you see the GP, so often the GP is completing these forms (some take a long time), in their own time. Private fees may be charged to you for all forms to be completed by the GP/Nurse (approx $300 ph ($230 ph concession) pro rata).
Forms "dropped in" with no explanation will be returned to you uncompleted.
To minimise your cost:
Neatly complete as much of the form with your personal information as you can before bringing it in. (always keep a blank copy of the original just in case!)
attach a letter/note explaining what you need and when you need it by. (this can be emailed)
we will advise an approximate cost for you and also if you need an appointment to finalise or ask any questions.
Give the GP plenty of time! we get several requests /day. We need more than a few days
NDIS and centrelink forms take a long time.
Plan ahead - get as much done as possible
Non Urgent appointment request
After Hours Support
We hope you all have a Happy Christmas and lets hope 2023 is a good year !
Don Medical Team