Preparing for Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Remember Australia is well prepared for this virus and most people (80%) have a mild illness, however if you prepare now you will be doing what you can to be ready for this virus.
Our Emergency Response Planning for the practice is in place and we are ensuring rooms are cleaned frequently and we are directing sick patients to Gold Coast University Hospital to avoid contact at the practice. We will ask infectious patients to wait outside for initial assessment.
What can you do to help protect yourself and your family?
1. Practice good hygiene, infection control and physical distancing:
- Reduce the spread of infection by regularly washing your hands with antibacterial soap for 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser if soap is not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes or mouth after touching external objects such as stair rails and shopping trolley handles.
- If you are coughing and sneezing wash your hands regularly and cough and sneeze in to a tissue. If you don’t have a tissue, use your sleeve or elbow to reduce the spread of droplets.
- If you are well, wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your eyes or mouth after touching external objects.
- Consider using antibacterial wipes on shopping trolley and shopping basket handles.
- Anti-bacterial hand-gel is handy to have with you in instances where you are unable to wash your hands.
- Keep at least 1.5 metres distance from someone who is unwell.
- Do not handshake or hug.
2. Book a Phone or Telehealth Consultation
ALL PATIENTS are eligible for a bulk-billed phone or video consultation.
Criteria: You must have a valid Medicare card and have seen one of our GP’s in the past 12 months. Book a Telehealth appointment online or via Reception. (For a smooth consultation aim to book with your usual GP)
You still need to attend (or pay) for some services e.g.
- Non-Medicare services like Medicals, Travel, or insurance paperwork
- Procedure or treatment room services like immunisations or vaccinations
- Workcover (whilst your claim is pending)
3. Have an adequate supply of your prescription medications
We encourage patients to have one month’s supply of essential prescription medications to get you through in case you become unwell or are required to self-isolate in the event you come into contact with someone who has coronavirus.
Please book an appointment with your GP if you need to get repeat prescriptions. Phone Consultations are available for existing patients of the practice.
4. Immunisations: Get your vaccinations up to date when they become available
There is currently no vaccine for coronavirus. We recommend considering vaccination for influenza/ flu, pneumonia and whooping cough to reduce the risk of co-infection with coronavirus. We recommend getting your flu shot early this year if possible.
- Private flu vaccines will be available in our practices soon, we will update our website when they arrive.
- Government flu vaccines should arrive in late March to early April 2020. This includes the over-65’s flu shot booster.
- Flu vaccines for patients with chronic conditions: who are eligible for a government-funded flu vaccine can opt to purchase a private flu vaccine to get the vaccination sooner.
- Whooping cough and Pneumonia: If you haven’t had a vaccination for Whooping Cough / Pertussis or Pneumonia in the last 5 years, we suggest to follow up and get those vaccinations at our practice as soon as possible to reduce the risk of co-infection. These are preventable respiratory conditions.
- Some people will qualify for a free government-funded Pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccine.
5. Patients with Asthma or Lung Disease:
Patients with asthma or lung diseases should be reviewed to optimise lung health going into the cooler months. Please book in to see your doctor at your earliest convenience and have spare ventolin puffers on hand – but do not stockpile.
6. If you become unwell
- Stay home if unwell and stay away from public places. Use a mask if you must go out.
- If mildly unwell, use paracetamol and rest
- If feeling worse – ring 13HEALTH (dial 1343 2584) for free advice or the National COVID line 1800 020 080
- If you are very unwell (shortness of breath, high fevers, dizziness, unable to eat or drink for extended periods) go to the Fever Clinic at Robina or Gold Coast University Hospital. A nurse will meet you at the entrance and tell you what to do. Wear a surgical mask if you have one and avoid travelling by public transport if possible. For fever clinic locations and instructions – click here.
Here’s 3 recommended websites for reliable, up-to-date information to keep health professionals and the community informed of the latest Coronovirus (Covid-19) updates. Click on the buttons below: