DISCLAIMER: This is accurate at the time of writing, but as events are moving quickly, please check media / Government sources to see if there have been changes.

Dear Employers/ School Principals/ Day Care Managers,

Doctors are unable to provide patients with COVID-19 clearance.

As per government advice and guidelines, resources must be conserved for patients who are both unwell and fit strict testing criteria and this means that testing for COVID-19 outside of the strict medical criterion cannot and should not be done.
This is to preserve precious healthcare resources, such as testing kits, laboratory facilities, protective equipment and health care workers.
At this time, doctors are therefore unable to:
Provide clearance for people who have returned from overseas. These patients need to self-isolate for 14 days. Once 14 days have passed, if the person shows NO symptoms, they are fit to return to work.
Provide clearance for well people who have had contact with unwell people (specifically, if the unwell person has NOT been formally diagnosed with COVID-19). Our advice to everyone is to self-isolate if and when they develop any symptoms of a respiratory tract infection.
Provide testing for patients with MILD illness symptoms, with no COVID-19 close contacts or travel risk factors. These people are to take ‘sick leave’ as usual for a cold or flu, and are able to return to work once their symptoms have fully resolved.

As an Employer/ School, you can do your part to help during this difficult time by:
Enabling employees/ students to self-isolate for 14 days if they meet the current government criteria (the most up to date criteria will be found on your local state government website)
Enable any and/or all employees to work from home
Allow employees/students who develop viral illness symptoms to take sick leave as required, without requiring a medical review or clearance from already overstretched clinics
Make changes to how your business operates to be flexible for those staff who are high risk, such as immunosuppressed, to decrease their risk of exposure.
Access all staff to adequate hand washing facilities including alcohol hand gels
Educate all employees about the need to uphold the following social distancing recommendations
Maintain safe distances between employees in the office and during face to face meetings – 1.5m between each person
Wash hands regularly between all contacts with surfaces
Avoid touching the face (except after hand washing)
Cover mouth and nose if you sneeze and cough using the elbow rather than the hand
Wipe down all hard surfaces in the workplace with detergent and water at least every 24 hours

We would implore and recommend that you consider the need for requesting Medical Clearance/ Certificates during this time as it leads to well people presenting to GP Practices and stretching our essential health care service.

Other measures that you can assist as per Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC):

  • Limit all organised outdoor gatherings to fewer than 500 people
  • Limit all organised indoor gatherings to fewer than 100 people
  • Limiting non-essential meetings or conferences of critical workforce
  • Discourage any non essential domestic travel
  • Encouraging all Australians to exercise personal responsibility for social distancing measures
  • Initiating measures to protect vulnerable populations.

For up to date information visit https://www.health.gov.au/

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We now offer face to face consultations in most cases. We require all persons entering the  building to  wear a face mask for the time being.

For  peace of  mind, safety or convenience, we also continue to offer  telephone or video consultations (TELEHEALTH) where patients need this or have current symptoms (see below).

Continuity of care is important to us. We understand the needs of our community and TeleHealth consultations are often an easy and convenient solution for us to continue to serve our existing and new patients. Using innovative changes  to service delivery and technology and a few extra precautions we continue to provide safe and high quality care.

TELEHEALTH consultations are accessible for  general health care, scripts and referrals. They are charged at the same  rate as a face to face consultation and a Medicare rebate is often available.  Book a TELEHEALTH consultation here.

Update  12  February 2021

We still need to be mindful  of the risk of  infections  and the following groups should book a telephone consultation instead of a face to face appointment in the first instance. Patients who have:

  1. Symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or diarrhoea OR 
  2. contact with someone diagnosed with or suspected of having Coronavirus OR
  3. travel from or through Coronavirus hotspots within the last 14 days  
  4. People who have been in WA since 25/1/2021 please (pending clarification of latest outbreak in Perth/WA )

  5. People who have been in Greater Melbourne, Victoria since 29/1/2021 - Queensland Health advise you should get a COVID-19 test even if you do not have symptoms, and self-isolate until you receive a negative result.
  6. Queensland Health requires visors from Victoria  who  has been in 36 local government areas in Greater Melbourne since 9 February will be directed to quarantine in government-arranged accommodation for 14 days.

Please review the latest Queensland Health Information using these links

    1. https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/contact-tracing
    2. https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/hotspots-covid-19

In order to keep our patients and staff safe we ask the following:

  • You follow the advice above, and only non-infectious patients enter via the usual main doors.
  • If there is any doubt about your risk to others you ring through to reception.
  • We ask that you be mindful of social distancing and remain 1.5m - 2m away from others while in the building.
  • You do not bring extra children / people with you to appointments if possible.

Help us protect all our patients and staff during the Coronavirus Pandemic so we can deliver family medical care in a safe and equitable way for all patients.