Our aim is to keep you updated with the latest advice and information regarding COVID-19 and what you will need to know about visiting our practice.
Please check in regularly to keep up to date with new information.
Drive in Flu Vaccinations to be given!
Updated 24th March, 2020
In light of the current health climate, Launceston Medical Centre will be conducting a ‘drive in’ flu clinic starting this weekend.
We are conducting these appointments via ‘drive in’ – so patients do not need to get out of their car.
We have not yet received the government stock which is expected to arrive towards the end of April. Therefore no ‘free’ vaccinations can be given at this time.
The cost of the private vaccination is $15.
As the vaccine is most effective for a period of 3-4 months, a second vaccination would need to be given.
Instructions for patients
- The drive-in clinic will be conducted from our staff carpark which is off Cleavland Street (there will be signs out on the day to indicate where to go). You may be provided directions on where to park by a staff member
- Upon arrival you will be given a questionnaire and consent form to complete. Once done, we’ll ask you to turn on your lights to indicate you are ready for the flu vaccination to be given
- The doctor will administer the vaccine through your open car window. Please wear a sleeveless top or similar to ensure we can easily reach the top part of your arm
- After the vaccination is given your lights can be turned off, but patients should remain in their car for 10 minutes after the vaccination is given (the horn can be sounded if urgent attention is required)
- Patients will be asked to pay via payWave/tap and go
Below is an open letter to our Premier, Peter Gutwein.
We understand that amidst a Global Pandemic many employers are concerned about ensuring the safety of their staff as well as customers/patients/clients.
Unfortunately it is not always possible for us to provide ‘COVID clearance’ for employees who do not meet the Govt criteria for COVID 19 testing.
If employees are displaying symptoms of general cold and flu, we ask you to consider whether the following before booking an appointment.
Updated 16th Match, 2020
On March 13th 2020, Medicare via the federal government introduced bulk-billed telehealth item numbers for practices that can be used for patients who meet certain criteria (please see below for more detail).
Our online booking platform, Hotdoc can be used for booking these appointments and will ask several questions to identify whether you are eligible.
Several of our doctors will also be undergoing self-isolation.
This coming week Dr Daniel Kirk, Dr Min Giffard and Dr Jaclyn O’Keefe will only be providing telehealth options from home. Other doctors will offer telehealth from the practice.
Reasons for this include recent travel and some of them having vulnerable people at home and within their own families.
In order to provide the best continuity of care possible we have worked with our IT and phone providers to establish secure, remote access to our software for these doctors.
Patients who are already booked with these doctors will be contacted by our reception team to offer the following alternatives:
- Having a telehealth appointment at the same day and time with the original doctor.
(If patients don’t meet the criteria our standard practice fee would be applied. Unfortunately a Medicare rebate will not apply. We are continuing to lobby for broader criteria)
- Rescheduling the appointment for the same doctor at a later date.
- Seeing an alternative doctor at a similar time.
People in home isolation or quarantine as a result of the coronavirus, and those at high risk of complications if exposed to it, will be eligible for bulk-billed telehealth consultations with doctors, nurses and mental-health professionals.
Eligible vulnerable groups include:
- people aged over 70
- Indigenous people aged over 50
- people with chronic health conditions or whose immune system is compromised
- parents with new babies
- pregnant women.
What software is required?
In addition to your phone call your doctor may require you to switch to video by either FaceTime or WhatsApp.
Our doctors will call you on the number provided, at the booked time. It would be good prior to your phone call if you could install either FaceTime or WhatsApp on your phone in case they if needed. If this isn’t possible don’t worry as a phone call can work.
Please ensure your phone is on, charged and that you have good connection available to conduct the call.
Is it still safe to visit the Launceston Health Hub?
Yes. Our number one priority is both staff and patient safety. As such we have instituted the following changes:
- All phone calls and online bookings are screened to ensure no cough, fever, cold and flu symptoms.
- Those with symptoms or a fever are only seen after hours in separate waiting rooms, in dedicated consultation rooms, with a doctor in full personal protective equipment.
- Every patient has their temperature checked by a staff member wearing a face mask.
- Physical changes to our reception and waiting rooms encouraging social distancing.
We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our patients for the overwhelming support and understanding during this time.
As you can imagine, we are experiencing exceptionally high volumes of calls and enquiries and apologise for the occasions where our call waiting times may be a little longer than usual.
Patients are welcome to Contact us here if this is more convenient.
From Friday 13th March, patients and visitors attending the Launceston Health Hub will have their temperature taken upon entering the building.
Updated Thursday 12th of March
Please don’t be alarmed
According to the Chief Medical Officer of Australia, a great majority of people with COVID-19 infection (>80%) have mild disease, not requiring any specific health intervention.
This mild disease contributes to the high transmissibility of the virus, as many people with infection will continue working and interacting with the community because their symptoms are so mild.
The greatest concern remains the relatively small number of cases with severe pulmonary disease, some with a fatal outcome.
What we know
- We are now seeing community transmission of Coronavirus within Australia.
- People will be infective before they are diagnosed.
- The number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus is not the same as the number of active cases.
- We have a responsibility as a medical practice to help “slow the spread” of the virus in order to assist our hospitals in being able to treat sick patients with limited resources.
- A significant number of our patients are considered to be high risk if exposed to the virus
- As the traditional flu season approaches, we are conscious of protecting our doctors, nurses and administrative team to ensure we can remain open and continue to provide quality healthcare.
We hope for understanding and patience during this process.
Important Changes to Our Practice
Updated Thursday 12th March, 2020
On the 11th of March 2020, COVID-19 has been classified as a Global Pandemic by the World Health Organisation.
We wish to provide an important update to you regarding some significant changes to our clinic which we are implementing to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and the broader community.
Effective from Friday 13th of March 2020, ANY patient who has cold symptoms such as fever, cough or sore throat will not be seen between 7am – 6pm weekdays and before 1pm on weekends.
Patients who present to the clinic during this time will be re-booked for a dedicated clinic which we are currently running weekdays between 6pm-9pm. Patients will be asked to wear a mask and doctors will be wearing full protective clothing including a mask, protective and a ‘coverall’.
To ensure minimal exposure to other patients, bookings are required. Please call 03 6388 8111 to arrange.
We apologise in advance for the inconvenience that this will cause. It certainly isn’t ideal, but we hope that by adhering to the advice and guidelines of Public Health, we will be able to remain open and continue to provide quality healthcare services to all patients.