With the current rise in cases we will be aiming to limit the time spent face to face with the doctor or nurse. All consultations that can be safely conducted by Telehealth will be done by video or phone. If you think you need a face to face appointment we will ask you to park out the front of the practice and the doctor will call you first. This ensures that all face to face contact will be as brief as possible, without shortening your total consultation time. Vaccinations, injections and procedures will continue and of course these need to be conducted face to face! Thank you for your patience as we strive to keep everyone safe.
If you have received a positive COVID test and aren't sure what to do we are happy to help. Most people under 50 years of age with no significant chronic diseases will be able to manage their illness at home. You may be able to find the answer to your questions here https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/managing-covid-19-at-home-faqs
If you have more questions will we do our best to put you in touch with one of our doctors or nurses who can get back to you by phone. If you are suffering severe symptoms such as chest pain, severe shortness of breath or confusion, please call 000 and tell the operator you suspect you have COVID.
29 December 2021
Vaccine update 5 November 2021
Booster doses are now available to those 18 and over who completed their 2 dose course of COVID vaccination at least 6 months ago. Appointments for Pfizer booster doses are available from Saturday 6 November.
5 November 2021
You may be aware we have had a patient attend the practice who has subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. This person attended the practice on Tuesday 14/9 between 3.30 and 5.30pm and again on Wednesday 15/9 between 11.15 and 11.45am. If you have been affected by this exposure you will be contacted by NSW Health. In the meantime, if you believe you were at the practice during those times you should have a COVID test and isolate until you receive a negative result.
All staff have been tested and have received a negative result.
The practice will be closed on Friday 17/9 and Saturday 18/9 to undertake deep cleaning.
Our scheduled Pfizer vaccine clinic on Sunday 19/9 will go ahead as planned with all due caution for infection control.
We will re-open on Monday 20/9
16 September 2021
AstraZeneca vaccine is now available to anyone 18 or over at Kiama Medical Practice
Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney, expert advice has changed (again!) to recommend the AstraZeneca vaccine for anyone aged 18 and over if they are unable to access the Pfizer vaccine. With the current high risk situation the benefit of the vaccine in preventing serious infection from COVID-19 is likely to outweigh the small risk of a serious complication from the vaccine.
The Pfizer vaccine is in short supply in Australia and there is no indication that this will improve in the next few months. Kiama Medical Practice does not have any Pfizer vaccine.
There are very strict guidelines on those over 60 receiving Pfizer with a few very specific conditions conferring eligibility in this age group.
It is strongly recommended that everyone over the age of 60 arranges to have an AstraZeneca vaccine as soon as practical.
We have plenty of bookings available for the AZ vaccine. Please book via the booking button on this page or via the AMSConnect app. The app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
Bookings will be available soon! Please don't call the practice, but watch this space for the latest information
Eligibility for COVID vaccines
When you present for your COVID vaccine appointment you will need to provide evidence of your eligibility for phase 1b. If you are not a regular patient of our practice you must bring a health summary from your usual doctor.
The medical eligibility criteria for the phase 1b COVID vaccines is stricter and more complex than for flu shots. You may have been eligible for government funded flu shots in the past, but might not be eligible for phase 1b of the COVID vaccine.
Kiama Medical Practice is excited to confirm we will be providing the COVID-19 vaccine commencing later this month. All of the local general practices in Kiama and Gerringong will be coming on line with vaccinations over the next month or so with initial supplies targeting the most vulnerable in our community.
Please do not call reception to enquire about vaccines as we are experiencing large numbers of calls. Bookings will not be opened until we receive stock of the vaccines to avoid disappointment. Please keep an eye out on our Facebook page here and here on our website https://www.kiamamedical.com.au for all the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccination process.
The initial phase 1b vaccine rollout is only for those aged 70 and over, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 55 and over, those aged 18-69 with certain chronic conditions and workers in target groups. These criteria are stricter than those for the annual influenza vaccine. To receive the vaccine you will need to provide proof of your eligibility. You can check your eligibility here When will I get a COVID-19 vaccine? | Australian Government Department of Health
As always, keep an eye on our Facebook page and here on our website for the latest updates.
2nd March 2021
COVID VACCINE NEWS
While Phase 1a of the COVID vaccine rollout has begun with aged care facilities in the northern Illawarra, we are still very lacking in detail on what Phase 1B will look like in our community. Information will be shared here on our webpage and on our Facebook page as it comes to hand. To find out your eligibility for the vaccine you can check out the federal governments vaccine eligibility checker here https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility
24 February 2021
DR COX RETIRES
After 40 years of dedicated service to the Kiama Community we have said farewell to Dr Brian Cox. We wish Brian and his family all the best for his retirement!
We also bid farewell to our nurse of 9 years Julia McLean and Dr Lynsey McKinstry. Julia is heading off to become a midwife and Lynsey will be completing her specialist general practice training in Nowra. We wish them both the best of luck!
NEW CHECK-IN PROCEDURE
As part of our commitment to your safety, Kiama Medical Practice is now equipped for QR code check in via Service NSW. Everyone who enters the premises must be signed in. The QR code is especially important for those people who do not have an appointment, such as carers, visiting contractors or customers for pathology. This will ensure swift and accurate contact tracing in the event of a potential exposure, and use of the Service NSW system ensures your data is kept safe and confidential. Anyone with a smart phone can use a QR code and our friendly staff are able to assist with this. The easiest way is to download the Service NSW app to your phone. See here for instructions https://www.nsw.gov.au/.../qr-code-check-in-detailed-info...
Of course if you do not have a smart phone our staff can assist you with electronic check in using our tablet.
8 January 2021
If you require a COVID test you can present to a number of local testing centres to have this done. Please see here for the most up to date information on local testing locations and opening hours, including if a GP referral is required. If you require a GP referral please call us on 4232 1244 and we can assist you with this via a Telehealth appointment.
It is a requirement of entry to Kiama Medical Practice that all adults wear a mask. We ask that you please remember to bring a mask to your appointment as we do not have sufficient stock to provide masks to patients or visitors.
31 December 2020
the current cases of COVID19 in Sydney are a reminder to remain vigilant. Anyone with even the mildest respiratory symptoms such as scratchy throat, cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose of loss of taste or smell should have a COVID test and isolate until the results are available. Even if your test is negative you should continue to isolate while unwell to avoid spreading other infections.
For the latest information about hotspots and testing/isolation advice check out NSW Health
If you need testing in our region, check out this link for locations, including private pathology drive through facilities that do not require a GP referral at Barrack Heights and Wollongong
KMP is not a COVID testing clinic. We do perform some COVID tests on our regular patients only who need to be seen by the doctor. This is due to limited availability of PPE. If you do not need to be seen by the doctor we ask that you attend one of the testing centres listed in the link. If you are a regular patient of our practice and are not sure whether you need to be seen by the doctor, one of our friendly nurses will be happy to have a chat with you to decide the best course of action.
18 December 2020
Today is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Domestic and family violence has become known as the shadow pandemic of 2020, with older women being the fastest growing group of homeless and impoverished. Take a look at this UN article about steps you can take to help in the fight against violence against women.
If you would like to take a practical step this week we are still collecting donations of bags and goods at KMP for the "It's in the bag" campaign. This initiative provides sanitary items and other personal items for women suffering from poverty or homelessness, or escaping domestic violence. Check out our Facebook page for further information
We're changing the way we handle your test results
Kiama Medical Practice is changing the way we manage test results.
You will now receive an SMS notification after the doctor has checked your results to let you know there is no immediate action required. If you wish to discuss these results further you can make a non-urgent appointment with your doctor. If you have results requiring non-routine follow up we will continue to contact you to make an appointment.
As always, if you remain unwell or your condition is not resolving then please call us for an appointment on 4232 1244 or book here
Unsure if you should get a COVID test? The current recommendations in NSW are for anyone with any symptoms of respiratory illness to be tested for COVID. This includes even the mildest of common cold symptoms that in any other season we would be happy to soldier on with. These symptoms include runny nose, cough, sore or scratchy throat, fever or shortness of breath. Loss of taste or smell is another symptom more specific to COVID. Severity of symptoms cannot be used to differentiate COVID from other respiratory illnesses.
We are not providing routine COVID testing at Kiama Medical Practice, as we do not have sufficient PPE to provide this service.
We are performing swabs for some of our usual patients at the time of clinical examination if required. This is only after an initial telehealth consultation with a doctor.
If you need a COVID test but don't think you need to see a doctor, you can find the locations for COVID testing here https://www.nsw.gov.au/…/how-to-protect-yourself-a…/clinics…. Alternatively you can have a telehealth consultation with a doctor and receive a referral for one of the Drive through testing clinics operated by Southern Pathology or Laverty pathology.
Kiama Medical Practice is a safe place to attend for your usual medical care, but we need your help to keep it that way! There are face to face appointments available, however telehealth (phone or video) remains a good alternative for many consultations. This helps us to maintain social distancing in the waiting room. Telehealth appointments can be booked online, however you will need to speak to reception to book a face to face consultation. Please answer all the screening questions truthfully, even if you don't think you have COVID.
Together we can continue the great job we have been doing in NSW to keep COVID numbers down!
29 June 2020
We now have plenty of stock available for those 65 and over, as well as children under 5 and eligible people aged 5-65 with chronic health conditions.
We also have limited stock of private flu vaccines available.
Please call reception to make an appointment on 4232 1244
Updated 29 June 2020
UPDATE ON FLU VACCINES
We now have plenty of stock available for those 65 and over, as well as children under 5 and eligible people aged 5-65 with chronic health conditions.
Unfortunately we do not have any private flu vaccines available for the foreseeable future.
Please call reception to make an appointment on 4232 1244
Updated 5 June 2020
Laverty pathology collection centre within our practice is open. It is safe to attend, with everyone attending for pathology or appointments being screened by reception before entering the practice including a temperature check. We also have disposable waiting numbers and safe distancing in the waiting room. Please do not put off your regular medical care during the COVID pandemic.
27 April 2020
Many people are feeling anxious and stressed about Coronavirus or are suffering from poorer mental health due to the social isolation. This is an even bigger problem for people with pre-existing mental health concerns. We are still able to help you with your mental health, despite the changes to how we are currently practicing. Most psychologists are also still available and many are offering telehealth options. The Black Dog Institute also has some great resources for dealing with anxiety and stress during this unusual time.
KMP is open for business! Did you know there are phone and video consultations available? This is our preferred means of caring for our patients during this pandemic, but we can still arrange a face to face consultation if deemed necessary by the doctor. Call on 4232 1244 to book. Online bookings will be open again shortly for telehealth consultations.
You might find things look a little different at KMP this week! We are doing our very best to protect our staff and patients from risk of infection. Our reception staff will greet you at the door and ask some questions to determine how we can best help you. Some people may be given a mask or asked to wait in the car until the doctor is ready to see them. Others may be asked to wait in the waiting room at a safe distance apart, or directed straight in to the doctors room or nurses station.
We understand that many issues require a face to face appointment with the doctor or nurse, but where possible we are aiming to provide a full consultation with the doctor by phone or video link. Please let staff know if you think your issue requires a face to face appointment.
Our phone consultations have been running very smoothly and the video consultations are getting there! Please bear with us during this transition.
If you are interested in a video consultation with your doctor you will need a smartphone or tablet, or a computer with camera and microphone. A decent connection (wifi or 4G) also helps.
What should I do if I need to self-isolate?
Anyone who has returned from overseas in the last 14 days (including cruises) or who has been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID19 needs to self-isolate for 14 days. This means not attending school, work, social activities or public gatherings. If you share a house you should also aim to stay as separate as possible from other members of your household who are not in isolation.
The Australian Government has more information here https://www.health.gov.au/…/coronavirus-covid-19-isolation-…
What should I do if I am sick with flu like symptoms?
At the moment a lot of people are uncertain what to do if they are unwell. All health services are currently under a lot of strain and we appreciate your patience and understanding.
If you are very unwell with breathing difficulties or altered consciousness, please call 000 for an ambulance. Please let them know if you have travelled overseas or have had contact with a confirmed COVID19 case.
If you are not sick you do not need a COVID19 swab. If you have been in contact with a confirmed case or travelled overseas you should quarantine yourself for 14 days.
If you are mildly unwell and do not meet the criteria for a COVID19 swab, you may not need to see a doctor. If you would not normally see the doctor then it is best if you stay home until you are well and stay away from others.
The NSW Health criteria for a COVID swab change frequently but currently include people with fever or respiratory illness who have returned from overseas in the 14 days prior to symptom onset or have contact with a confirmed case of COVID19. Other people who may need a swab include those with a fever or respiratory illness who are health care workers or in high risk places such as boarding schools, nursing homes or cruise ships
When you call the practice our reception staff will ask some questions to try and determine the kind of appointment you need, whether it is in person or over the phone. Some of the questions may be more detailed than we have asked you in the past and we hope this does not cause any offence. This is so we can keep everyone safe while providing the appropriate care to the people who need it. Depending on the reason for the appointment you may be allocated to a particular time of day. This is so that we can keep potentially contagious people away from those needing more routine care.
Our reception staff are not clinically trained and may need to pass your enquiry on to nursing staff. This may mean we will need to call you back and again we ask for your patience with this.
I you are suffering from a potentially contagious condition such as fever, cough or other respiratory symptoms, we will ask you to wait in your car when you arrive for your appointment time. This is to avoid having multiple contagious people in the waiting room. We will call you on your mobile phone when the doctor is ready to see you. You will be given a mask, asked to wash your hands and will be taken straight into the doctors room.
If you require a COVID swab but are not unwell enough to need an examination by the doctor, there are a few possibilities. The doctor may make a pathology referral and ask you to attend another site for a swab; you may be referred to the fever clinic at Wollongong Hospital, or you may be asked to come to KMP for a swab. The choice of testing location is determined by our knowledge of currently available services in the region and their timeframes. This is also changing frequently and we ask you to bear with us.
If you are asked to come to KMP for a swab we will give you a time and ask you to come to the carpark adjacent to the nurses station and remain in your car. A doctor will perform your swab while you remain in the car.
Hopefully this helps ease some of the uncertainty about our current situation. Again we thank you for your patience during this difficult time.
18 March 2020
Kiama Medical Practice is aiming to move as many consultations to telehealth as possible. We are doing this to try and protect our vulnerable patients from contact with others who may be infected with COVID19.
During this uncertain period we are committed to keeping our patients safe and are taking all measures possible to reduce the spread of the virus. The situation is evolving rapidly and we appreciate your patience and understanding while we adjust our processes accordingly.
We have closed online bookings for the time being and ask that you call reception on 02 4232 1244 for appointment bookings. This is so that we can better assess how to help you and how to keep everyone safe. We may be able to offer you a phone appointment, and some people may be asked to wait in their car, rather than the waiting room, to avoid spreading any infections.
Please see our Facebook page for the latest updates and other COVID19 information
If you are suffering from fever, or cough, shortness of breath or sore throat and have travelled overseas in the past 14 days, please DO NOT ATTEND the practice. Please call on 4232 1244 and a doctor or nurse will assess you over the phone and advise the best course of action.
At this stage in the COVID19 pandemic it is important that vulnerable people are not exposed to those who are potentially infected. It is best to limit all unnecessary social interactions including medical appointments if possible. If you have an issue that does not require a visit in person to the practice consider requesting a telephone appointment.
The Australian Government has made provision for bulk billed telephone consultations for those with confirmed or suspected COVID19 infection, those in quarantine or self isolation as well as those people at risk of severe disease if infected with Coronavirus. This includes those over 70 years (or 50 years if ATSI), those with chronic health conditions, pregnant women and parents of children under 12 months old. If you do not meet these criteria we can offer you a telephone consultation for a private fee.
Please also note that we are unable to provide clearance certificates for return to work or to complete travel insurance forms relating to COVID19.
check out the latest updates from the Department of Health here