‘Our preference is telehealth’: St George doctor says
THE message is ‘telehealth where possible’.
Dr Ben Brimblecome from St George medical centre said the surgery is taking measures to protect the community and minimise any possible spread of infections, including the novel coronavirus.
“This means adjusting how we do things, so patients can expect some changes and things will seem different,” Dr Brimblecome said.
The medical centre has been encouraging telehealth consultations for the past week.
“Currently part of this process is a bit like a triage process,” Dr Brimblecome said.
“Our staff will ask you some questions when you call to book an appointment, and again if you need to present in person.
“We ask patients to not lie and to be considerate for the safety of all patients and wider community.”
The doctor said that the medical centre’s preference is for telehealth, but if a Dr decides that a patient needs to be seen face-to-face, they will ask you to come in at a particular time of day.
Some consultations may also be managed while patients are sitting in the car.
“We are still trying to provide usual preventive and chronic disease care,” he said.
“But some of these services may need to wait or be postponed, like skin checks as we would normally do them face-to-face.”
The medical centre also have a respiratory and fever clinic running.
”If people call in with respiratory symptoms like a sore throat, fever, cough, shortness of breath – we are asking them not to come into the practice,” he said.
“Instead we will talk to them over the phone, determine their symptoms and see organise to meet them in another building.”
The medical centre want to patients to know that they will still care for you, it just may look a bit different how they are offering their services.
“It’s important for the community to know we are not suspending all services,” he said.
“Please still ensure that you are having your required immunisations like children routine immunisations, seasonal flu vaccines or pneumonia vaccines for those eligible.”