We have been advised to reduce the number of patients coming into our waiting rooms. This sensible advice, as we know it is often unwell people who come to the practice.
We are making significant changes to the way we work, with a big shift to telephone, online and video consultation.
We will see people who need to be seen, but by reducing the patient flow and waiting room numbers we can help stop Covid-19 spreading
When you phone to book an appointment our receptionists will try to arrange a 'virtual consultation' where the doctor or nurse will call you at the booked time. If you feel you need to be seen in person the receptionist will pass you through to one of the nurses who will work with you to work out if this can be done via phone or if you do need to come in. Things that will usually need to be seen in person is recent onset of new pain, shortness of breath or fever. A lot of other health care can be handled over the phone.
If your consultation is about an infection is is helpful for us to know your heart rate and temperature https://www.wikihow.com/Check-Your-Pulse
We are still offering immunisations for children and adult flu clinics.
Virtual consultations will include us arranging lab tests if needed, and faxing of your prescription to the pharmacy of your choice.
We are stopping non-essential minor surgery. Other services are running, but this is all very changeable. We will continue to keep you updated via text, this website and ManageMyHealth
www.healthnavigator is a great site if you need health information.
If you can find the information you need in the links below and follow that advice then that will help us a lot by reducing the call load on reception and nurses. We are here to help, but please check to see if you really need to call us - the information you need may be at www.covod19.govt.nz
Who should be tested?
So far, we have not seen any community spread of Covid-19 in New Zealand. This means that if you have cough and cold or flu symptoms, it is likely to be a 'normal' viral infection. We will need to see and swab people who fit the 'case definition.' The information we use is available on the Ministry of Health website here: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-health-advice-general-public#exposed
Many people have been asked to self-isolate. Usually because of recent travel. Very rarely in NZ it is because of close contact with someone with confirmed Covid-19.
Current information on self-isolation is here: www.covid19.govt.nz
NOTE - for those self-isolating because of travel who develop symptoms, the advice on the website is to call the Healthline Covid number. We are aware that there can be a delay on this line. We are happy for you to phone us, and if necessary we will arrange testing here without having to call Healthline.
If you have had a 'normal' viral infection and are now well, we do not have the capacity to provide your employer with a certificate saying you are fit for work. Please treat this as you would normally. Employers should take you back once symptoms of your cough or cold has resolved.
If you have been in isolation because of suspected coronavirus then Healthline is supposed to provide that certificate.
ACC and WINZ off work or reduced work certification can now be done after a video or phone consultation.
The new building for assessing patients is nearly built at the rear of the carpark. We will use this room to assess symptomatic people where we suspect Covid. Testing will now be done at the Community Based Assessment Centre on RIddiford Street outside the hospital. You need a referral from us for that. Phone and we can arrange this.
We encourage the use of repeat scripts, but we are busy. It may take us 48 hours to respond to requests, but will try for 24 hours.
The ManageMyHealth portal is great - we are using it to help patients, but please be aware that it takes us time to respond. Please keep questions simple. If it is complex then it may be best to book an appointment. We do reserve the right to charge for e-consultations, especially if they take us more than 3 lines to reply. (If we are writing more then it has taken us more time to think about it and respond.) PLEASE NOTE - With the changes across the country right now with a lot of GPs working from home, there is a surge in the use of MMH. It is taking us a while to open the emails in our system, so please try to keep these for information you can't find elsewhere.
We are currently offering all usual services, but plan to reduce those if we have widespread community outbreak of Covid.
Be kind to each other.
Everyone will try their best.
Island Bay Medical Centre