The staff at the Grey Street Surgery wish to advise the following changes to protocol within the surgery, as a result of the Coronavirus.
1. APPOINTMENTS: Online appointments have been reinstated via our website through Hot Docs. Phone consultations continue to be rebated by Medicare at the same rates as face-to-face consultations. The enforced bulk-billing of some phone consultations has been removed, so if you require a phone consult (compulsory if you have any respiratory or flu-like symptoms), the billing is the same as face-to-face consultations. If you have not been seen face-to-face at the surgery within the previous 12 months, Medicare will not rebate ANY phone consultations and you will be required to pay the usual consultation fee, but with no rebate, even if you are a concession holder. Please be aware that phone consultations were put in place for people who have respiratory illnesses and are not appropriate in other circumstances where an examination would be required.
2. RESPIRATORY ILLNESSES:
A: The surgery will NOT be treating anyone with ANY respiratory illness in the rooms. We request that anyone with respiratory symptoms (any of the following; fever, temperature, chills, sore throat, runny nose, cough, fatigue, aching) DO NOT ATTEND THE ROOMS. If you do, you will be redirected from the premises. If you have symptoms, let our receptionists know and they may be able to arrange a phone or video consultation with your Doctor. These rules are valid even if you have had a negative COVID test recently.
B: If you have any SYMPTOMS consistent with COVID-19 infection, you should perform a RAT if you have access to one. If you do not OR YOUR RAT IS NEGATIVE, you should have a PCR test performed. You can phone Northam Regional Hospital on 96901300 to book an appointment for a test. They are currently run between 10am and 4pm 7days per week. If you are COVID positive, you should then register with Covid Care At Home (CC@H) via healthywa.gov.au website, or by phone on 13COVID (13 26843), especially if you are in a higher risk group to get severe disease (see healthywa.wa.gov.au). They can assess whether you would benefit from one of the available medications which reduces the risk of severe disease. If you are very ill (eg breathless), you should contact Northam Regional Hospital on 96901300 to arrange face-to-face assessment.
3. HIGH RISK PATIENTS: If you have symptoms (as above) and are in a high risk category for Coronavirus (the definition of 'high risk' changes almost daily- refer to health.gov.au website), then phone hotline on 1800 020 080 or Accident and Emergency at Northam Regional Hospital on 96901300 as they are the designated treating and testing facility for Coronavirus in this area. It is preferable to warn them before appearing.
4. ALL NON RESPIRATORY CONSULTATIONS: We would ask that you please abide by government social distancing and handwashing protocols.
5. MENTAL HEALTH: This difficult time may for some exacerbate or trigger mental health issues. We are here to help you through either face-to-face or telehealth consultations