Dear patients and community,
At Hawthorne Clinic our policies and procedures continue to evolve in our approach to caring for all our patients during this worrisome time.
As the demand for health services increases, we have increased the number of doctors and nurses consulting each day.
We’re focused on ensuring that healthcare not related to COVID-19 continues as seamlessly as possible.
When you visit the practice you will notice that we’re strict in our managing of infection control. You will be asked questions to assess your risk and you may be instructed to wear a mask or wait somewhere that decreases the risk of infection to other patients.
Your doctor or nurse may wear a mask or face shield to protect themselves - and therefore protect their patients. You may be called by reception to be offered a telephone consultation rather than coming into the practice.
In an effort to stop potentially infectious patients from attending the clinic in this high-risk time and to, therefore, protect all patients, we are now offering private telephone consultations.
While, there will be no out of pocket costs for patients who qualify for the government telehealth rebates there are also strict criteria for these rebates. These will leave many patients unable to access the benefits.
If you do not qualify for the Medicare rebate you will be out of pocket the entire cost of the consultation: $62 for a Standard Consultation, or $97 for a Long Consultation.
Depending on your reasons for consulting with a doctor, you may still need a face-to-face consultation for an examination. Your doctor will advise this during the phone consultation.
The Medicare criteria to access telehealth rebates are available to vulnerable/isolated patients (where at least one of the following apply):
The person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 virus but who is not a patient of a hospital; or
The person has been required to isolate themselves in quarantine in accordance with home isolation guidance issued by Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC); or
The person is considered more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus being a person who is:
at least 70 years old; or
at least 50 years old and is of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent; or
is pregnant; or
is a parent of a child under 12 months; or
is already under treatment for chronic health conditions or is immune compromised; or
the person meets the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection.
If your doctor themselves is required to isolate for COVID-19, you are eligible for a Medicare-covered telephone consultation if your doctor is well enough to continue to practice.
The reception at Hawthorne Clinic will notify you of this if it is relevant. You may be asked to see another GP if your doctor is too unwell to consult.
Stay in the loop
Thank you for your understanding and patience. The spread of the Coronavirus and the Australian Government’s response to the pandemic is a continually changing situation.
We are working closely with Brisbane South PHN and Queensland Health to stay up to date with all changes. We will continue to update our website with any significant changes regarding the COVID-19 situation and the 2020 Flu Vaccination availabilities.
Keep yourself updated with the evolving situation via this link, and take the Quiz to see if you need to self-isolate or may require testing.
Yours in health,
Dr Carmen Main