COVID-19 NEWSMarch 24, 2020 1:31 pm
At Indooroopilly Family Practice we are continuing to implement changes as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds. The safety of our patients and staff are our top priority, and we are continually reviewing how we can deliver our usual high standard of care in the safest possible way.
We recently introduced Telehealth consultations to the services that we offer, and we strongly believe that now is the time for patients to switch to telehealth consults wherever possible. This is to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to our patients and staff. We don’t want you to be sitting in our waiting room unnecessarily, if you could be safe at home.
We have made some significant changes to how we will be providing general practice care. Please be aware of the following updates:
- If you have any cold or flu symptoms – however mild – you must book in for a Telehealth consultation in the first instance. Please DO NOT come into the practice without first being assessed by one of our doctors via Telehealth. Our doctors will undertake a phone or video consultation, and make a plan if they decide you need further review.
- Morning appointments in the clinic will now be reserved for people who are well. This is to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission to well people who need to come in for visits such as baby checks, pregnancy care and immunisations.
Telehealth phone consults are available to everyone throughout the day.
- All patients should consider booking a telehealth appointment in the first instance.
Most repeat prescriptions, referrals, pathology and radiology requests, planned reviews, minor illnesses, chronic disease and mental health care can be managed via phone or video calls.
- All appointments booked online will be telehealth consultations.
If you require a face-to-face visit, for an immunisation for example, you will need to ring the practice to book this.
The standard fee for a 15 minute telehealth consult is $68. This does not attract a Medicare rebate. Some appointments may be bulk-billed if you meet the government criteria (see below).
These significant changes are in line with local and national recommendations. The whole team at Indooroopilly Family Practice is committed to our community. Please be assured that the changes we are making will enable us to continue to provide the best possible care in the coming months.
You are eligible for bulk billed Medicare Telehealth if you fulfil the requirements below:
- people isolating themselves at home on the advice of a medical practitioner and people who meet the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection after consultation with either the national COVID-19 hotline, state COVID-19 hotlines, registered medical or nursing practitioner or COVID-19 trained health clinic triage staff
- people aged over 70
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 50
- people with chronic health conditions or who are immune compromised
- parents with new babies and people who are pregnant.
People in isolation or quarantine for COVID-19 can see any eligible health provider via Telehealth. Patients in vulnerable groups can additionally see a health provider via Telehealth for a non-COVID-19 matter if they have seen that provider or practice face-to-face at least once in the previous 12 months.
If a patient’s doctor is in isolation or quarantine for COVID-19, or is in the vulnerable groups above, the patient is eligible for bulk billed Medicare Telehealth.