COVID 19 UP-DATES
PLEASE NOTE: THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN FORMULATED FOR THE DON MEDICAL CLINIC PRACTICE COMMUNITY
we believe that educating our patients will help keep them well, so please be mindful if you use this information outside of this context then it could be misunderstood and could create confusion for others
March 31st, 2020
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AS OF MARCH 31, 2020 for Don Medical Clinic patients
Tasmanian Public Health Services have advised the information we were given on March 30 about evidence of community transmission of COVID 19 in our area was NOT correct. We apologise for the mis-communication. We were only informing our patients on what we had been offically advised at the time to increase awareness and testing if required.
Currently Public Health are still investigating 2 cases in the Devonport area of unidentified source, and as such they have increased the testing criteria for the next 2 weeks in this area to try to identifiy any additional cases.
This is the criteria to be tested for the next 2 weeks in this local area only
Patients with Acute Respiratory infection Symptoms (eg: cough, shortness of breath, sore throat). OR Fever
AND Reside or work within the immediate Devonport / Latrobe region including Don, Devonport, East Devonport, Spreyton and Latrobe OR are tourists or short-term travellers to Tasmania.
What to do?
If you are a patient of Don Medical Clinic and you have any of the symptoms listed above
- Phone the practice (6441 5299)
or email: email@example.com
DO NOT COME TO THE PRACTICE
- Our reception team will make a Telehealth appointment with one of our GPs asap
(Telehealth appointments will be bulk billed).
- If testing is required, your GP will arrange a referral to the COVID clinic at the Mersey Community Hospital for testing. You should NOT attend the Covid clinic until the have contacted you with your appointment time.
- YOU SELF ISOLATE AT HOME IMMEDIATELY
- The COVID clinic will call you to arrange a time for testing and advise procedure for this
your Don Medical Team
March 29th 2020
The staff at Don Medical Clinic would like thank the patient community for their support this last few weeks. There have been significant changes in how we deliver our care. From this week onwards unless it is an exceptional circumstance we will conduct our consults as telehealth, that being via Zoom using audio/video or telephone call.
Face to face consultations will be available for:
- necessary immunisations
- for those people who are unwell and it has been decided after a telehealth/telephone consult that a face to face consultation is necessary
PLEASE DO NOT PRESENT TO THE PRACTICE AS A 'WALK-IN' PATIENT. THIS WILL PUT ALL STAFF AT POTENTIAL RISK.
IF YOU ARE UNSURE WHAT TO DO THEN PLEASE:
- CALL THE PRACTICE: 6441 5299
- EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
The government has provided new telehealth item numbers that will allow us to manage acute and chronic presentations.
It is important that if you have new issue arise for example a change in a skin lesion, you find a breast lump, or you develop a new symptom regardless of what that is, you still contact the practice and make an appointment to talk to the doctor about this.
The COVID pandemic does not change what is or isnt important, we encourage you to continue to seek medical support just like you did before the COVID pandemic started but this will be via telehealth or telephone.
Don Medical Clinic has three doctors and one nurse working at the practice :
- Dr Jane Cooper
- Dr Mafada Abduallah
- Dr Meredith Stewart
- Nurse Tamara Young
We are all working different shifts and days and some of us may be working from home in order to continue to offer care and support.
The administration team are also diligently working to meet your needs. We realise it is a very stressful time for everyone right now as our lives are turned up side down but patience and kind words will go a long way to help us to continue to be a support for you and your families.
We are working within the guidelines as per our state and federal governments. Please work with us to enforce these guidelines and keep us all safe.
Influenza immunisations are not available at this stage but when they do become available we will have a very clear plan as to how we will deliver these and will inform you as soon as possible.
Don Medical Clinic Team
Don Medical Clinic would like to thank everyone in the practice community this week for their support and understanding as we endeavour to redesign our mode of practice in the face of COVID 19 pandemic.
We do not have a locum, so the team of one nurse and two doctors is all that we will have as we head toward the winter months.
There has certainly been a rise in COVID 19 cases and associated mortality internationally. There is panic and frustration as our way of life changes.
The importance of hand washing , safe social distancing and isolation if unwell cannot be emphasised enough !
The state government has made decision to institute mandatory self isolation and reduce the traffic in and out of the state. These measure of containment will not stop the spread of COVID 19 but it will slow it down and allow our health services to manage cases as they occur.
I would encourage everyone to have a FLU SHOT this year. If we can reduce the incidence of flu illness during our flu season that will take a load off what will by that stage to be very stretched health demands from the COVID 19 infections. At least influenza is a known and we can prevent it, neither of which applies to COVID 19.
Patients will be notified when Flu Clinics commence at Don Medical Clinic.
To keep the staff at Don Medical Clinic well and to be able to continue to care for you Telehealth Consultations will be availalble and already this week we have started using these modes of communication.
Don Medical Clinic was unable to have the booked locum doctor join our team today due to possible risk to the practice inlight of the COVID 19 virus. Consequently the practice has two doctors working.
1. non urgent appointments will be reviewed and where possible rebooked to a later date
2. A late afternoon quick clinic will be run between 4-5 for those people of low CLOVID 19 risk who have fever and flu like symptoms and who need to be seen by a doctor
3. Telehealth appointments will be made available to :
People in home isolation or quarantine as a result of the coronavirus, and those at high risk of complications if exposed to it, will be eligible for bulk-billed telehealth consultations with doctors, nurses and mental-health professionals.
All of the followiing are eligible to be seen under Medicare Item Numbers
- patients who have chronic disease or immunocompromised
- patients over 70 who need to have a regular check in or review
- patients over 50 who identify as ATSI
- pregnant women
- mothers of children under 12 months of age
Telehealth appointments *are also available to all other patients who would like to talk to a doctor but do not want to come to the practice
*If patients don't meet the criteria our standard practice fee would be applied. Unfortunately a Medicare rebate will not apply. We are continuing to lobby for broader criteria
Telehealth can be delivered by phone , Face-time , SKYPE or WhatsApp, you will be guided by reception staff as to what you will need to do this.
At this stage it is still safe to attend Don Medical Clinic - we are endeavouring to keep our staff and practice safe for our community of patients to attend. However if you feel you need assistance but do not want to risk leaving your homes right now then we can look at the alternatives highlighted above.
Remember safe distance from each other , diligent hand washing and using face mask if you have symptoms will help limit the spread of disease.
Every day new information and challenges face us and it will take us all working together to get through this with minimal impact .
Please call , 6441 5299 or email: email@example.com for any queries
Don Medical Clinic Team