On 11th March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic in an effort to encourage countries to take a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach to prevent further spread, save lives, and minimise the impact of coronavirus.
We understand our patients have a lot of questions about COVID-19, so we have prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below. Although this information is accurate as of today, the situation is rapidly evolving. We, therefore, encourage you to regularly check the Australian Government Department of Health’s website for the latest information.
Be assured that our clinics remain open for business and that we are actively taking steps to protect our patients, doctors, and staff during this challenging time. We’ve switched to consulting patients mostly via telephone. This change will protect the health and safety of our doctors, staff, and patients and is in line with the Australian Government’s recent announcement to extend MBS telehealth services to all Australians during the COVID-19 health emergency. Where face-to-face consults are necessary, we are taking extra precautions in our clinics to ensure everyone is protected from potential exposure to COVID-19, which may evolve over time. Measures might include taking people’s temperatures upon arrival and separating chairs in our waiting rooms to increase social distancing.
The health and safety of our doctors, staff, and patients are paramount. Thank you for your understanding; rest assured, we’re here for your ongoing health needs.
Every person across our country has an important role to play in helping to protect each other. The most critical mechanisms for protection at this point are personal distance and hygiene.
We all need to look out for each other and work together.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus not previously identified in humans. It was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Since then, there has been a large and ongoing outbreak that has spread worldwide. While there is currently no existing immunity in our community, a vaccine is in development.
What is the latest Australian Government advice about COVID-19?
Up-to-date information and advice from the Australian Government on COVID-19 is available here.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms may include a fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, or runny nose.In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia with severe acute respiratory distress.
How does the virus spread?
COVID-19 can spread from person to person through infected cough or sneeze droplets, or by touching contaminated surfaces or objects (tables, door handles, bags, etc.), and then a person touching their eyes, nose or mouth. It is thought the virus can survive on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. While most infected people show symptoms, a person might be infectious in the 24 hours beforehand. If exposed, a person might develop symptoms within 2 to 14 days, although symptoms will typically show in 5 to 6 days. If you come into close contact with a confirmed case, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of the last contact with the confirmed case.
Close contact is defined as requiring:
Contact needs to have occurred within the period extending 24 hours before the onset of symptoms.
What does ‘self-isolation’ actually mean?
At some stage, you may be required to self-isolate. Self-isolation means staying at home or in a hotel and away from situations where you could infect other people, ensuring you avoid close contact with others (that is face-to-face contact closer than 1 metre for more than 15 minutes), including:
You should avoid having visitors to your home, but people can drop off food and other necessities. Please follow the Australian Government and local State advice.
How can you protect yourself and your family?
The best way to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 is to maintain personal distance and good hygiene.
Here are are a few simple tips to help you stay well:
The Raising Children website has a lot of useful information to help families to navigate the current COVID-19 situation.
How is COVID-19 diagnosed?
If a person meets state or territory testing criteria, a swab from the back of the nose and throat can be taken by a doctor, hospital, or designated testing facility. The sample is then tested for evidence of the virus, resulting in a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ result.
Who is most at risk of COVID-19?
In Australia, the people thought to be most at risk of getting COVID-19 coronavirus infections are those who have:
What do I do if I’m worried that I’ve been infected with COVID-19?
Stay at home.
The Australian Government has developed a free online COVID-19 Symptom Checker.
If you’re concerned, you can call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 for information and advice about COVID-19. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you experience a medical emergency, call 000.
From July 2022, our fees increased by a small amount. This decision has not been made lightly and is necessary due to the ongoing discrepancy between operating a general practice clinic and low increases to Medicare rebates offered by the Federal Government. A full list of fees is available at Reception. Please speak with our team if you have any questions.
Changing from Bulk-Billing to Mixed Billing
From 1 January 2022, our bulk-billing policy has changed. Bulk-billing will only be available to children under 16, health care card, pension card and DVA Cardholders for an appointment during regular business hours. For patients outside of these groups, there will be a small out of pocket expense for most consultations. We will continue to bulk-bill all Health Assessment and Chronic Disease Management Plans. This decision has not been made lightly, and is necessary due to the ongoing discrepancy between operating a general practice clinic and low increases to Medicare rebates offered by the Federal Government. A full list of fees is available at Reception. Please speak with our team if you have any questions.
CORONAVIRUS HEALTH ALERT
We are currently experiencing an unprecedented demand for our service due to COVID-19. For the safety of GPs, staff, and patients, we require all patients and staff to wear a face mask while in the clinic. We also observe social distancing >1.5m and limit the number of patients in our waiting room.
HAVE YOU TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?
If you recently tested positive for COVID-19, please visit the SA Health website for up-to-date health advice on how to report and manage your illness.
If you have tested positive and would like to access antiviral treatment, please confirm your eligibility at https://www.health.gov.au/health-alerts/covid-19/treatments/eligibility#eligibility-for-oral-covid19-treatments
If you are unwell, have respiratory symptoms and a negative COVID-19 test, please arrange a telephone appointment with a GP, and a safe face-to-face review will be arranged, if required.
For your safety and convenience, we encourage telephone or video appointments (where possible). The Government has restricted Medicare GP telehealth items to circumstances where a patient has confirmed COVID-19 and is required to isolate under a state directive, or where there is an existing relationship with a general practice (i.e., the patient has visited a GP in the practice face-to-face in the last 12 months), children aged under 12 months, or patients who are homeless.
Please be aware that telephone or video consults may incur a private fee.
Call 000 if you need urgent medical assistance.