The doctors and staff of Boonah and Kalbar Medical Centres would like to update patients on our plan to manage your healthcare during the impending coronavirus epidemic.
Firstly we recognise the apprehension felt by many of our patients, not just for their own health but also their fear of unknowingly passing the virus on to vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours. We share this concern and feel a great responsibility to prevent patient to patient infection when you visit our surgeries. For this reason you will find that we have changed the way we will interact with you over the next few months.
(1) Waiting rooms will have fewer chairs to enable social distancing and you may need to wait outside the front door until called. This measure is designed to protect you from contracting coronavirus from other patients.
(2) No patient with cough, cold, influenza-like aches or fever will knowingly be permitted to enter the surgery. Patients will be asked about these symptoms at the time of booking and those with milder symptoms will be queued for a telephone consultation with one of our doctors to determine if a physical consultation is required, and if so we will ask the patient to present to the rear of either Boonah and Kalbar surgeries where a chair will be available to sit until the doctor comes out to see you. Some patients ringing with more severe symptoms may be triaged by phone to a hospital, ambulance or a fever clinic for further assessment.
(3) Any patient who wishes to have a telephone consultation for suitable routine or minor matters will be accommodated where possible. This will involve one of our doctors (where possible your usual doctor) phoning you back later in the day. The consultation will be bulk billed for patients over 70 and for younger patients with significant chronic disease. Most other patients will not be eligible for medicare funded telephone consultations but can access the service at an out of pocket cost of $80 (adult) and $50 child under 18 years).
(4) If you have a condition that requires a physical consultation you may find that the consultation is somewhat abbreviated and that physical examination will be limited to that required to assess the presenting complaint. The doctor may be wearing protective equipment including a mask.
(5) In the case of elderly, frail and disabled patients we are open to seeing you in your car in the surgery carpark if that is your most suitable option.
I hope this information helps you understand the changes necessary to allow us to continue to function throughout the building surge of coronavirus cases. Our team comprises doctors, nurses and reception staff who, themselves, are husbands, wives, parents, grandparents, and young adults early in their careers and we have a duty to do everything in our power to keep them safe. It is inevitable that there will be times when we will have staff absences because health workers must test and isolate themselves if they develop any symptoms. This might require one or other surgery to close temporarily if our resources are sufficiently depeleted.
Finally I would invite any patient who feels that their needs are not adequately catered for during this time to contact me personally on 0754631200.
Dr. Tony Eviston for Boonah and Kalbar Medical Centres