WEEKEND PROTOCOL – no appointment necessary

On weekends and public holidays, please use the QR code at our entrance to get a COVID PASS, ensuring you have no Covid symptoms before entering the waiting room. Patients will be seen in order of arrival. If you have symptoms please phone the clinic before 10:00am, so we can arrange for the doctor to call you and book you into our carpark respiratory clinic if appropriate.

If you’ve had a Covid test, please phone the clinic so we can arrange for a doctor to call you back with the result. We have limited capacity to change ‘dressings’ on weekends, but if strictly necessary, you are advised to come as early as possible – depending on how busy the carpark respiratory clinic gets, dressings may not be possible after 10:00am on weekends.

ONLINE BOOKINGS revert to FACE-TO-FACE

Due to increased demand for face-to-face appointments, all appointments booked online from 1 December 2020 will be face-to face.  Telehealth remains available where appropriate – patients should telephone the clinic to book telehealth appointments.

Our reception team has been inundated with phone calls from patients who want a face-to-face appointment, so we hope moving all online bookings back to face-to-face will help assist patients to make appointments. With different rules and protocols for each appointment type, as well as increased administration as a result of telehealth and continuing requirements to check whether patients have respiratory symptoms, the reception team is feeling the heat! Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work hard to serve you. Feel free to give the reception team some socially distant encouragement to help them get through another day as a front-line healthcare worker.

Update for patients – 15 October 2020

It’s been really nice to see many of you again as we increase our face to face consulting when it is safe and suitable to do so.

We continue to practice in accordance with our Covid safe plan and continue to focus on screening questions, mask wearing, hand sanitising and social distancing. Thank you for continuing to answer the many questions from reception staff that ensure we screen each patient for symptoms with such good grace. Your cooperation has helped us keep our doors open. With persistent but low numbers of new cases, we simply have to push on with undertaking appropriate health checks in person whilst minimising risks of Covid. There still have not been any Covid positive patients inside our Practice.

Telehealth continues to be offered up until the end of March 2021. For patients without respiratory symptoms it is essentially your choice as to whether you have a phone consult or a face to face one. This will be determined by the nature of your concern. If the consultation can be performed over the phone, this is still the safest option. Your doctor will inform you if a face to face follow up consult is required.

From Monday 2nd November, the fees for Telehealth consults will change. After the Medicare rebate, the out of pocket cost will be $30, with concession patients being $15 out of pocket. Normal fees apply for face to face appointments.

Please ensure that your health concerns are being addressed. We are concerned about symptoms being ignored and preventative health activities (like skin cancer checks) being delayed. It is really important that we continue to provide you with the highest quality of health care whilst maintaining respect for the safety measures that are necessary due to Covid 19.

With best wishes,

Dr Peter Lovass

Managing Principal

Update for patients 21 September 2020

After many months of isolation, we understand that there is an urgent need for many of our patients to re-connect with their GP. As the Covid-19 case numbers come under control and the likelihood that restrictions will be lifted increases, we will gradually transition back to our normal consultation format.

Telehealth will be available until the end of March 2021. As Government support for this is reducing, there may be an out of pocket fee of $20 for Telehealth consultations.

However,  we will continue to bulk bill Telehealth consultations for Concession Card holders and children aged 15 and under up until 26th October 2020.

From 28th September, patients without respiratory symptoms will be able to choose between face-to-face and telehealth consultations. Normal fees apply for face to face consultations.

Those with respiratory symptoms will be assessed via a telephone consultation first and the doctor will decide whether face-to-face follow up is appropriate. We continue to run our Carpark Respiratory Clinic and symptomatic patients can be booked into this clinic by the doctor in order to keep the main building as safe as possible.

We plan to restart our preventative health activities as there is a justifiable concern that conditions are not being detected or acted upon in a timely manner. Early assessment of symptoms and prompt intervention can make such a large difference to outcomes. There is also a strong need for a higher level of emotional support and this is best delivered by a face-to-face consult.

We look forward to continuing to help you and your loved ones, whether it be by telephone or in person.

Dr Peter Lovass

Managing Principal

Update for patients – 28 July 2020

As Melbourne experiences a concerning number of Coronavirus cases, the GPs and staff at Blackburn Clinic are committed to continue serving our community through this time.
Telehealth remains our preferred first option for contact. Many medical needs can be well served by this process.
We remain open for face-to-face consults for those issues that clearly require this, e.g., dressings, wounds, procedures. Obviously, detailed examination is also required for many symptoms. This will be arranged if necessary, after an initial telehealth consultation.
Examinations and procedures cannot, by definition, be done at the 1.5m suggested spacing. Our clinical staff and receptionists will be wearing masks. This is now a compulsory requirement for staff and patients.
We will defer some of our Preventative Health Care Programs such as the Over 75 Health Assessments until the current situation settles.
Patients with respiratory symptoms who require an examination will continue to be seen by our GP and nurse, wearing full PPE, in our Carpark Clinic.

If you have:

  • a fever; or
  • sore throat; or
  • runny nose; or
  • cough; or
  • loss of taste or sense of smell,
    please seek a COVID-19 test (see our home page for a link to DHHS testing sites), then isolate at home until your result is known and you are well.

As there are many other suitable sites for having a COVID test, we will continue to focus on our assessment of respiratory patients and other routine matters and, as such, we do NOT offer COVID testing.
Flu boosters are in stock and are a consideration especially for our over 65s and those with higher risk conditions whose immunity from the first injection may be reducing. Please call the Clinic to book in for this.

Finally, in this new phase of the Coronavirus Pandemic, extra vigilance is required. Please continue to adhere to:

  • social distancing
  • regular hand washing
  • good cough etiquette
  • and wear a mask whenever you are not at home.

However, please also remember that your health is about a lot more than Coronavirus. Adherence to preventative activities, prompt reporting of concerning symptoms and receiving emotional support and advice are more important now than ever.
With all this in mind, stay safe and please remember that we are here for you.

Peter Lovass
Managing Principal.