Our Emergency Response Planning for the practice is in place and we are ensuring all of our spaces are being regularly cleaned and disinfected. We will ask infectious patients (whether COVID19 or usual viruses like the flu) to use our telehealth services initially, and only come to the clinic if necessary.
Please know that the Doctors and Staff at HMC will continue to care for all our patients during this time. However, the ways in which we deliver care and run our clinic will need to change, and we all need to be understanding and flexible while we navigate the ever-changing waters.
What can you do to help protect yourself and your family?
General advice from the Dept of Health HERE
1. Practice good hygiene and infection control
- Reduce the spread of infection by regularly washing your hands with antibacterial soap for 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser if soap is not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes or mouth after touching external objects such as stair rails and shopping trolley handles.
- If you are coughing and sneezing wash your hands regularly and cough and sneeze in to a tissue. If you don’t have a tissue, use your sleeve or elbow to reduce the spread of droplets.
- If you are well, wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your eyes or mouth after touching external objects.
- Consider using antibacterial wipes on shopping trolley and shopping basket handles.
- Anti-bacterial hand-gel is handy to have with you in instances where you are unable to wash your hands.
- Try to keep at least 1 metre distance from people.
- Do not handshake or hug.
2. Have an adequate supply of your prescription medications
We encourage patients to have one month’s supply of essential prescription medications to get you through in case you become unwell or are required to self-isolate in the event you come into contact with someone who has coronavirus.
If you are well you are welcome to book an appointment with your GP to update all your medications.
If you prefer to avoid the practice you are welcome to book a telehealth appointment with your GP, and we can then post your prescriptions to your Pharmacy of choice. Please see the Telehealth information regarding fees. We would encourage seniors in particular to utilize the telehealth provisions to avoid contact with unwell people.
3. Immunisations: Get your vaccinations up to date when they become available
The Hinterland Medical Centre has been approved to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. The government will be supplying small amounts to practices as well as organising government Hubs and respiratory clinics to distribute. If you do not have a medicare card you will be able to have the vaccination but not at a General Practice. You will be directed to one of the Government run Hubs or respiratory clinics.
We are now preparing for the roll-out of Phase 1B. This phase includes patients: 70 years and over, all health care workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, critical & high risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services, meat processing workers and adults with underlying Medical Conditions.
In relation to the underlying Medical Conditions, these are specific and we are unable to deter from the information provided by the government:
* Solid organ transplant recipients who are on immune suppressive therapy,
* Bone marrow transplant or on chimeric antigent receptor T-cell (CAR-T therapy),
* Haematological diseases or cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma
* Non-haematological cancer – diagnosed in last 12 months or currently receiving therapy or not in remission
* Those undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy
* Chronic inflammatory conditions and treatments: including- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chrohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and similar who have been treated with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs or immune-suppressive therapy. Generally NOT inclusive of people living with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.
* Primary or acquired immunodeficiency: including congenital causes of immunodeficiency and HIV/AIDS
Other underlying conditions:
* Chronic renal (kidney) failure and eGFR of <44ml/min – DOES NOT INCLUDE mild-moderate chronic kidney disease
* Heart Disease: Including Ischaemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, cardiomyopathy and pulmonary hypertension.
* Chronic Lung Disease Including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, interstitial Lung disease. DOES NOT INCLUDE mild or moderate asthma
* Severe obesity with a BMI greater than 40kg/m2
* Chronic Liver Disease
* Some Neurological conditions: Including – Stroke, dementia, Multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy. Generally not inclusive of migraine or cluster headaches.
* Poorly controlled blood pressure (defined as two or more pharmacologic agents for blood pressure control, regardless of recent readings).
2 vaccinations are required. For the full benefit of the vaccine it is recommended to have the vaccine 12 weeks apart.
Please call now or let your doctor know whilst in consultation that you want to have the Covid vaccination. A consent form is available and will be available on this website shortly for you to complete and bring with you to your appointment. In the meantime they are available at reception or we can email one to you.
- Private flu vaccines & Government provided Flu Vaccines. We had a very successful program last year. We are expecting flu vaccine stock for Government and Private towards the end of March and beginning of April. This includes the over-65’s flu shot booster. The government send the vaccines out for distribution when it is expected the patient will get the full benefit of the vaccine. Flu vaccine gives you most coverage in the first 3 months and then your cover against the virus starts to reduce. It is important that you are covered for the period that they expect the flu season will hit, usually in Aug – Oct. So having your vaccine too early may not cover you for when it should. Also we noted in 2020, pharmacies were giving flu vaccinations. You need to be aware that this vaccine is different to the one that is provided by the government for chronic conditions and over 65 years of age. There are different strains in the government vaccine that is better for this demographic. A lot of research is put into the flu vaccines to ensure the correct one for the correct person. There are several different types of vaccines. If you need more information please do not hesitate to speak to your doctor or one of our nurses.
- Flu Vaccines and Covid Vaccines. There needs to be a 2 week break between having the vaccines.
- Whooping cough If you haven’t had a vaccination for Whooping Cough / Pertussis in the last 5 years, we suggest to follow up and get vaccinated as soon as possible to reduce the risk of co-infection. These are preventable respiratory conditions.
- Pneumococcal Program. From 1 July 2020 there were changes to the timing, type and number of pneumoccal vaccines given. Some people will qualify for a free government-funded Pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccine. Please speak to your doctor or our nurses to find out if you are eligible. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and people aged 50 years and older. Non-Indigenous people aged 7- years and older.
HMC will be running immunization-only clinics to ensure well and healthy patients are not exposed to unwell patients at the practice. We will advise you of this option when it becomes available.
Please register your interest in being on our flu and covid vaccine lists with reception. We will call you to arrange a suitable time. Please understand that we will be doing our very best to have everyone vaccinated as soon as is possible. You can register your interest by using the contact us page on this website. Please state what vaccination you are interested in and who your usual doctor is.
4. Patients with Asthma or Lung Disease
Patients with asthma or lung diseases should be reviewed to optimise lung health going into the cooler months. Please book in to see your doctor at your earliest convenience and ensure you have scripts for your puffers on hand.
Telehealth is available for routine asthma reviews and prescriptions. Please see our Telehealth information regarding fees.
5. If you become unwell
Please see the link re COVID 19 testing HERE
- Many people will contract a respiratory virus. In many cases we will not know if this is COVID-19, or one of the usual circulating seasonal viruses. Regardless of the diagnosis, the recommendations remain the same.
- Stay home if unwell and stay away from public places. Use a mask if you must go out. Please remain at home until all of your symptoms resolve.
- If mildly unwell, use paracetamol and rest
- If feeling worse – ring 13HEALTH (1343 254) for free advice
- Phone consultations are available from our practice (please see our Telehealth information for fees). Remain at home in isolation until we can call you back. We will then advise whether you should remain at home or present to the practice for an examination.
- If you are very unwell (shortness of breath, high fevers, dizziness, unable to eat or drink for extended periods) please go to the Fever Clinic at Gold Coast University Hospital. A nurse will meet you at the entrance and tell you what to do. Wear a surgical mask if you have one and avoid travelling by public transport if possible. Please call an ambulance if you are very unwell.
6. Phone Consultations
Our practice is offering a phone consultation service if you do not wish to present to the Medical Centre. Please see our Telehealth information page.
- Phone appointments should be booked with your usual GP who knows you well.
7. Further information
Here’s 3 recommended websites for reliable, up-to-date information to keep health professionals and the community informed of the latest Coronovirus (Covid-19) updates. Click on the buttons below:
Preparing for Isolation (COVID-19)
You will be asked to self-isolate if you fall into one of the following categories:
1 – you have a confirmed case of COVID19
(you will need to self isolate at home until Public Health determines you can return to usual activity)
2- you have a suspected case of COVID19 and are awaiting results
(you will need to self isolate until your swab comes back negative – if it is positive Public Health will contact you about your obligations)
3 – you are a close contact of a person who has confirmed COVID19
(a 14 day self-quarantine – https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/take-action/self-quarantine)
4 – you are a returned overseas traveller
(a 14 day self-quarantine – https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/take-action/self-quarantine)
Directives to self isolate at home are a legal requirement. Failure to comply may lead to enforced quarantine and receiving fines of up to $13,345 and other penalties. Your GP can help you determine which category you are in and what your obligations are.
- Avoid visitors at this time.
- If there are family members at home who are well, wear a mask and keep 2 metres from them where possible.
- Try and use a separate bathroom if possible
Please see the following fact sheets from QLD Dept of Health regarding home isolation:
If your results come back positive for the Covid-19 virus (Coronavirus) consider the following:
- Public Health will ring you with advice. Please make sure the medical centre and the pathology company have your current address and contact numbers.
- If you run out of food, masks, pet food or other supplies, consider using a home delivery service and have it left at your door. Alternatively perhaps a family member, friend or neighbour who is well can help deliver this and any required medication.
- If you live with others who are well, you should wear a mask.
- Avoid the spread of infection by regularly wiping surfaces in the home with anti-bacterial wipes (or antibacterial spray and paper towelling), and frequently wash your hands. Lather them well with antibacterial soap before rinsing or if unavailable hand sanitiser.
- Cough etiquette; avoid coughing on someone, use a surgical mask, cough or sneeze into your elbow if you do not have a tissue and wash hands and arms after. Discard tissues immediately in to the bin.
- If you absolutely must go out wear a mask and stay away from public places
Most people may only feel mildly unwell as per any cold or the flu, but consider the following:
- If mildly unwell then rest, keep on healthy foods and fluids and use paracetamol if in pain.
- If feeling worse – ring 13HEALTH (1343254) for free advice.
- If you are a confirmed or suspected case of COVID19 you are eligible for Bulk Billed telehealth consultations with your doctor. Please call to book a telehealth appointment if you have concerns, questions, or need to arrange your regular medications/scripts. Remain at home in isolation until we can call you back.
- If very unwell (shortness of breath, worse cough, high fevers, dizziness, unable to eat or drink for extended time periods) go to the Fever clinic at the Gold Coast University hospital. Wear a mask. A nurse will meet you at the entrance and tell you what to do. Avoid catching public transport if at all possible.
- If you need to call an ambulance be sure to tell them you carry possible infection and advise if you will be wearing a mask or not when they arrive.
Use the internet or communicate with family/friends on the phone to keep on top of recommended procedures.
Below is a link to a helpful guide on home isolation that has been prepared by a GP colleague: