Coronavirus COVID-19 information and resources
Reydon Street Rapid Access Influenza Immunisation – CLICK HERE TO OPEN ANOTHER PAGE which gives more details of our Influenza vaccination process
SCROLL DOWN FOR INFORMATION ABOUT TELEPHONE CONSULTATIONS DURING THE COVID OUTBREAK
We wish to look after all our patients and reduce the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19.
As we go forward some of our patients will be in self-isolation or wish to avoid the risk of infection by going to places that may risk exposure to the virus.
At Reydon Street Medical Centre we have implemented a number of strategies to help reduce the spread if the virus and assist our patients:
- Telephone consultations where possible (many of which can be bulk billed)
- Asking patients to PHONE AHEAD rather than just walking-in or booking online without advance warning of the reason for attending, if:
- they have travelled outside of Australia in the last 14 days or the 14 days before the start of symptoms OR
- have been in contact with a known or suspect case of Coronavirus COVID-19 in the last 14 days or the 14 days before the start of symptoms OR
- have any fever (or history of sweats or chills) or respiratory symptoms.
- Encouraging people who arrive early for appointments to wait in their cars (or our garden) until their appointment time.
- Improved social distancing in the waiting areas
- Increased frequency of cleaning of touched surfaces
- Changed furniture to make it easier to clean
- Signage and barriers to alert all patients and protect staff
The Department of Health has announced a dedicated Coronavirus (COVID-19) telephone line. For more information about novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov), you are recommended to call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 before contacting your GP to see if you meet the criteria for self -isolation and can access the Medicare rebate for phone consultations. You can access the HealthDirect COVID-19 Symptom Checker here.
TELEPHONE CONSULTATIONS / TELECONSULT:
Medicare Rebatable TELEHEALTH consultations
We can now Bulk Bill Patients eligible for the Medicare Rebates for telephone consultations (TELEHEALTH)
A new Medicare rebate is available for these calls only, and the telephone consultation will be bulk-billed. IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO BOOK ON-LINE AFTER ANSWER QUESTIONS TO CONFIRM YOU ARE ENTITLED TO THE MEDICARE REBATE.
The eligible general practice patients are persons that:
- have been required to isolate themselves in quarantine in accordance with home isolation guidance issued by Australian Health Protection Principal Committee; (you should ring the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 to see if this applies to you first) or
- are considered more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus being:
- Telehealth services will be available to:
– people isolating themselves at home on the advice of a medical practitioner or in accordance with home isolation guidance issued by the AHPPC;
– people who meet the testing guidelines for COVID-19;
– people aged over 70;
– Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 50;
– parents with new babies and people who are pregnant, and
– people with chronic health conditions or who are immunocompromised -eg :
- asthma / chronic obstructive airways disease
- heart problems
- kidney problems
- Telehealth services will be available to:
PRIVATE TELEPHONE CONSULTATIONS
For other patients who may wish to reduce their travel or contact with other people, they may wish to access a telephone consultation with one of our GPs (private-fee without a Medicare rebate) the sorts of issues may include:
- requesting repeat prescriptions,
- routine pathology test requests where an examination may not be required
- follow up of test results
- simple problems that can be managed without a face to face consultation.
For privately billed phone consultations, where an attendance for a face to face appointment that day is deemed necessary by the doctor, the appointment on that day with be billed direct to Medicare.
We are now taking all consultation requests as phone consultations in the first instance.
By reducing the number of patients at higher risk of having the virus, and the time they spend, in the waiting room we hope to reduce the chance of infecting other patients. In addition, PHONING AHEAD will help us direct patients to the most appropriate place for their care, as well as reducing the risk of transmission to other patients and health care staff. In some instances, after a telephone discussion with the doctor, if a patient is well it may not be necessary for them to come see the doctor, and for them to be referred to the pathology provider for swabs to be taken. We hope to be able to offer a video consultations soon.
Do I meet the MBS criteria for a Medicare rebate / Do I need testing?
As of 27 March 2019 the National Guidelines for Public Health Units define probable and suspected cases as:
A person with fever (≥38°C) or history of fever (e.g. night sweats, chills) OR acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) AND who is a household contact (see Contact definition below) of a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, where testing has not been conducted.
A person who meets the following epidemiological and clinical criteria:
|Epidemiological criteria||Clinical criteria||Action|
Very high risk
|Fever (≥38°C)1 or history of fever OR acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat)||Test2|
High risk setting
|Fever (≥38°C)1 or history of fever (e.g. night sweats, chills) OR acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat)||Test (on site for aged care residents, where feasible)|
|Fever (≥38°C)1 or history of fever (e.g. night sweats, chills) OR acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat)||Test|
(No epidemiological risk factors)
|Hospitalised patients with fever (≥38°C)1 AND acute respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat)3 of an unknown cause||Test|
1 It is recommended that temperature is measured using a tympanic, oral or other thermometer proven to consistently and accurately represent core body temperature.
2 Testing household contacts of confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 may not be indicated where resources are constrained. These cases would be considered ‘probable cases’ (see definition above)
3 Clinical judgement should be exercised in testing hospitalised patients. All patients should attend an emergency department if clinical deterioration occurs.
A close contact is defined as requiring:
- greater than 15 minutes face-to-face contact in any setting with a confirmed case in the period extending from 24 hours before onset of symptoms in the confirmed case, or
- sharing of a closed space with a confirmed case for a prolonged period (e.g. more than 2 hours) in the period extending from 24 hours before onset of symptoms in the confirmed case.
For the purposes of surveillance, a close contact includes a person meeting any of the following criteria:
- Living in the same household or household-like setting (e.g. in a boarding school or hostel).
- Direct contact with the body fluids or laboratory specimens of a case without recommended PPE or failure of PPE.
- A person who spent 2 hours or longer in the same room (such as a GP or ED waiting room; a school classroom; communal room in an aged care facility). See Special situations for further information specific to aged care facilities and schools.
- A person in the same hospital room when an aerosol generating procedure is undertaken on the case, without recommended PPE.
- Aircraft passengers who were seated in the same row as the case, or in the two rows in front or two rows behind a confirmed COVID-19 case. Contact tracing of people who may have had close contact on long bus or train trips should also be attempted where possible, using similar seating/proximity criteria.
- For aircraft crew exposed to a confirmed case, a case-by-case risk assessment should be conducted by the airline to identify which crew member(s) should be managed as close contacts. See Special situations for further information.
- If an aircraft crew member is the COVID-19 case, contact tracing efforts should concentrate on passengers seated in the area where the crew member was working during the flight and all of the other members of the crew.
- Close contacts on cruise ships can be difficult to identify, and a case-by-case risk assessment should be conducted to identify which passengers and crew should be managed as close contacts. See Special situations for further information.
Contact needs to have occurred within the period extending 24 hours before onset of symptoms in the case until the case is classified as no longer infectious by the treating team (usually 24 hours after the resolution of symptoms).
- Healthcare workers and other contacts who have taken recommended infection control precautions, including the use of full PPE, while caring for a symptomatic confirmed COVID-19 case are not considered to be close contacts.
- Contact tracing is not required for close contacts arriving on international flights on or after 16 March 2020.
Who can be tested for Coronavirus COVID-19 in Queensland.
25/3/2020 -waiting for an up date after case definitons changed today.
Queensland Health previously advised:
“Patients who present with minor upper respiratory illness who do not meet the above criteria, should NOT be tested for COVID-19.
Health care workers with minor upper respiratory symptoms who do not meet the criteria for testing, should remain at home until their symptoms resolve, at which point they can return to work.
If a patient is in self-quarantine and remains well, there is no benefit in testing. A negative test result will not shorten the quarantine period as the test will remain negative until the person develops infection. This may take up to 14 days.
Patients who present with minor upper respiratory illness who do not meet the above criteria, should NOT be tested for COVID-19 because at present, it is more likely you have another virus such as a cold or influenza.”
If you meet the criteria for testing, you should contact a doctor immediately. Before your appointment, please call ahead so we can assess how to help. In many cases we will be able to manage the testing using a TELEPHONE CONSULTATION.
PATHOLOGY COLLECTION CENTRES near Mt Gravatt, Upper Mt Gravatt, Wishart, Mansfield, Rochedale, Rochdale South and Eight Mile Plains.
Only some of the pathology centres will have the equipment and kits to take the appropriate samples. this may well vary from time to time, so please check their websites:
- QML specialist collection centres able to screen for Coronavirus
- Sullivan Nicolaides Coronavirus information page
There are national issues with the supply of face masks and other protective equipment necessary to ensure staff and patient safety. Severely ill patients would need to be seen at hospital in the usual way, and should contact the Queensland Ambulance Service or phone ahead to the Emergency Department whenever possible. If we do not have adequate supplies of Personal Protective Equipment available, there may be times when we will need to suggest phone consultations or direct potential Coronavirus patients elsewhere assessment and testing.
How to put on a face mask
Before you visit the practice (or elsewhere) ask you to think twice and PHONE AHEAD. We are able to help many of our patients over the telephone. If you do have to attend the practice in person, we recommend you spend a minute or two watching this video from the World Health Organisation on “How to put on, use, take off and dispose of a mask“.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM CORONAVIRUS
The Australian Government has compiled resources giving up to date advice on:
- Social distancing
- Hand Hygiene
- Self-Quarantine (when you do not have symptoms)
- Self-isolation (when you have symptoms)
Which can be accessed using the links below:
- General advice from the Department of Health is available here
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources in other languages
This is a great video on hand cleaning from the BBC Coronavirus: Watch how germs spread
If you want more detailed information there is plenty on the World Health Organisations website.
We are encouraging all patients to have an annual influenza immunization as soon as these become available (even though this may mean a booster dose may be suggested later in the year). We will post dates the Influenza vaccination is available on our Facebook page, so follow this for early notification of when we will receive them.
- the Smarttraveller web page for the last information (see the link on our Travel Advice page)
- the Department of Health’s “COVID-19: Countries and regions considered to pose a risk of transmission”
- the Department of Health’s “Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources” page.
SELF-ISOLATION and other Resources
The Links below take you through to the Department of Health information leaflets about self-isolation:
- Information about home isolation when unwell (suspected or confirmed cases)
- Isolation guidance for confirmed cases
- Information for close contacts of a confirmed case
It is also a timely reminder that people should consider updating their advance care planning and talking to family and loved ones about life support measures. See more here.
STAYING HEALTHY IN MIND AND BODY DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
Staying fit –
Mindspot has produced “10 Psychological Tips for Coping with Coronavirus (COVID-19)“
IF you are having trouble sleeping for any reason we have information from the Sleep Hub to help you