CLICK HERE to see the letter from our Managing Principal, Dr Peter Lovass, or view the content below.
18 March 2020
At the time of writing the number of cases of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) in Victoria are increasing in a concerning manner. There are major changes being recommended by our health authorities to manage the risk that this condition poses to our population.
Recently the government announced a 14-day self-isolating guideline for any international traveller arriving in Australia. It should be noted that almost all cases are related to international travellers or close contacts of confirmed cases. There is (at this stage at least) very minimal community transmission.
Please be assured that we are fully compliant with all state and federal government health directives. Furthermore, we are undertaking a large range of steps to ensure the safety and well being of our patients, particularly the senior members of our population and those with chronic health issues who appear to be more at risk of complications from this infection.
The case definition that leads to possible testing is now strictly one of the following three groups:
- Fever or acute respiratory infection (eg. Shortness of breath or cough) AND
- Either international travel in the 14 days before the onset of illness OR
- Close contact in the 14 days before illness onset with a confirmed case of COVID 19.
- Patients with severe pneumonia in intensive care with or without a history of travel.
- Health care workers, residential aged care workers or aged care residents with a fever (more than 37.5) and an acute respiratory illness.
These patients are being screened by our receptionists with advice on our website, phone message system and posters and will be directed to attend the Box Hill Hospital testing site for assessment. Due to the need to protect our senior and vulnerable patients as much as possible as well as a national shortage of personal protective equipment for our doctors, these patients will not be assessed in our clinic.
To reduce the risk to our vulnerable patients, we are offering telephone consultations.
This is a compromise due to the extreme circumstances that we find ourselves in. Best care will come from face-to-face consultations but in certain circumstances and for select patients, Medicare is allowing a telephone consult in the short term.
Please contact our Reception team for further advice.
We want to thank you sincerely for your trust in us and as a whole Clinic we stand prepared to assist you through these challenging times.
Dr Peter Lovass