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