To keep our staff and patients well Launceston Medical Centre is currently not seeing patients with cold and flu symptoms (including runny nose, sore throat, cough or fever). Patients who have attended the practice previously have the option of booking a telehealth appointment with their regular GP.
Alternatively, any patient experiencing these symptoms can book in for a FREE consultation at the Launceston Respiratory Clinic which is located right next door to us. In addition to COVID testing, prescriptions, general advice and medical certificates can be provided.
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.
people with chronic health conditions or whose immune system is compromised
parents with new babies
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.