From the Doctor’s desk – by Dr Natalie Taft
“Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures” and we are certainly living through one of these times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All aspects of our society have needed to continually adapt during these unprecedented times including our health care system. At GIMG our priority continues to be the commitment to the highest quality medical care, through excellence in all aspects of our practice. Due to the challenges of COVID -19 and the prevalence of community transmission we have put in place numerous measures to ensure the continuing safety of all our patients and staff.
1. Telehealth consultations
Telehealth consultations by phone or video have been introduced to allow patients access to medical care, without unnecessary exposure to COVID-19. While lacking in direct physical interaction, these continue to be effective medical consultations, similar to face-to-face consultations which were conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently whilst there is extensive community transmission, all consultations at GIMG are encouraged to be via telehealth. If further assessment is required face to face, an “in the practice” consultation will be accommodated.
2. In the Practice Consultations
We have placed a range of safety measures to protect and provide a safe environment for your medical care in the practice-
- All patients are screened for COVID symptoms prior to entering the practice.
- We ask all patients attending the practice to wear a mask.
- We practice social distancing at all times.
- Patients are asked to stay in their car or car park. Your doctor will call you directly and bring you straight into the consultation room.
- The consultation rooms are cleaned in between patients and premises are cleaned regularly with hospital grade disinfectant
- Hand Sanitiser is provided for everyone.
- Patients who have respiratory symptoms and require a consultation are seen during our “Respiratory Clinics”. These clinics are conducted at the end of the day by our doctors in full PPE (Protective Personal Equipment) in a designated room.
3.Childhood and adult vaccination
Childhood and adult vaccination are now being run at clinics to maintain efficiency and strong infection control precautions with doctors and nurses are in full PPE .
4. Prescription and specialist referral requests
These requests are accommodated wherever possible as part of a telehealth consultation under current Medicare legislation. Please be aware that some requests are more complex than others requiring the need for medical decisions based on the patient’s medical history and health circumstances. Those more complex appointments may therefore be charged as a standard consultation.
5. Melbourne Pathology
Melbourne Pathology remains open normal hours Monday to Saturday and we encourage our patients to continue to have their blood tests and investigations on time. The safety measures for “in the practice” consultations applies to all patients before entering for pathology.
We encourage our patients to advise us of any financial hardship and will try to accommodate this where necessary. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact our staff at GIMG or keep up to date with our news on our website.
We will continue to provide extraordinary measures to meet our patients’ needs during these extraordinary times .