A MESSAGE FROM DR O’MAHONY REGARDING COVID-19 (16th June 2020)

I hope you and your families remain well and your lives are starting to return closer to normal.

I have previously emailed to update you on the current situation regarding surgical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am pleased to now inform you that the Queensland Government has lifted the restrictions on elective surgery, subject to any regulations imposed by individual hospitals.

This means that if you have a procedure booked with me or would like to book for surgery under my care we can now plan to proceed with surgery at a time that works best for you, subject to theatre availability. Some hospitals have a backlog of procedures to clear and will still be keen to preserve some personal protective equipment (PPE) in case of future outbreaks of COVID-19, so there may need to be some flexibility on dates for certain procedures.

1. What to do if you have an operation booked with me:

If you have an operation booked I will endeavour to keep that booking for you.

If you would like to alter your choice of hospital or procedure date please contact my office by email and we will accommodate this as best we can. If this is urgent please call 3831 6983.

You will be contacted before your procedure to confirm your booking and to ask specific questions with regard to your health and any contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases. Whilst it is can be very distressing to have to postpone a long-booked elective surgery, in the interests of myself, my staff, hospital colleagues, and in particular other vulnerable patients within the hospital, I trust you will be very honest with your responses. If you need to cancel your procedure we will work with you to reschedule it as soon as it is safe.

2. What to do if you have a consultation booked with me:

It remains important to maintain social distancing and manage the number of people on site in my office. We would be grateful if you come to your appointment either alone or with one support person. One family member or friend will be very welcome to join your consultation, and for pediatric consultations both parents are of course welcome. There maybe occasions where we ask you to wait outside the rooms or to go for a short walk if the waiting room capacity is reached. I appreciate your understanding with this in advance.

I also understand there are many patients who would prefer to minimise their contact with other people due to their age or other health conditions. I am very happy to continue to offer Telehealth appointments where appropriate to assist you with this.

For some conditions such as skin cancers it can work well to meet me by video call first to plan surgery and meet me in person on the day of surgery to finalise that discussion and proceed with the surgery.

There are some conditions or procedures where examination in person is very important. For more lengthy or complex operations I usually meet with you at least twice before surgery and it can work well to undertake one pre-operative consultation in person and the rest by video call.

We each have a role in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Within my practice we are now even more conscious than ever of scrupulous hand and surface hygiene. I would ask that you take COVID-19 precautions seriously and do NOT attend the practice if you have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or have with ANY symptoms of respiratory illness, however mild, in order to protect my staff, my patients and myself.

3. What about my follow up appointments?

Follow up appointments for clinical procedures such as suture removal, drain management etc must be done in person, however some other follow up appointments such as some wound reviews or scar management can be undertaken by Telehealth. If you would prefer to have some follow up by Telehealth please discuss this with me or my nurse Chris.

4. How much will Telehealth procedures cost?

I have reduced my consultation fees when undertaken by Telehealth.

Telehealth consultation fees
(As at 19/5/2020)
Fee
Medicare
eligible
(With
referral)
RebateFee
Medicare
ineligible/
no referral
Rebate
ReInitial consultation
(skin /skin cancer)
Medicare item # 104
/91822/91832
$100
$75.05$100Nil
Initial consultation
(non skin cancer)
Medicare item #
104/91822/91832
$160$75.05$160Nil
Follow up consultation
(Skin cancer)
Medicare item #
105/91823/91833
$80$37.50$80Nil
Follow up consultation
(Non skin cancer)
Medicare item #
105/91823/91833
$80$37.50$80Nil

Telehealth consultation fees
(As at 19/5/2020)

ReInitial consultation (skin /skin cancer) Medicare item # 104 /91822/91832
Fee
Medicare eligible(With referral)
$100
Rebate$75.05
Fee
Medicare ineligible/no referral
$100
RebateNil
Initial consultation (non skin cancer) Medicare item # 104/91822/91832
Fee
Medicare eligible(With referral)
$100
Rebate$75.05
Fee
Medicare ineligible/no referral
$100
RebateNil
Follow up consultation (Skin cancer) Medicare item # 105/91823/91833
Fee
Medicare eligible(With referral)
$80
Rebate$37.50
Fee
Medicare ineligible/no referral
$80
RebateNil
Follow up consultation (Non skin cancer) Medicare item # 105/91823/91833
Fee
Medicare eligible(With referral)
$80
Rebate$37.50
Fee
Medicare ineligible/no referral
$80
RebateNil

5. How do I use Telehealth?

The best form of Telehealth is video-based and is very simple to use. I use a medical encrypted platform called GP Consult for this. I will require your mobile telephone number and you will need to have access to a smartphone or iPad that can receive a text message. Once you receive the message just follow the prompts to accept the call. If you do not have access to this a telephone conversation can be arranged although this can be less effective.

On occasion I am running late due to unforeseen complexities in consultations. Where possible we will update you of this. If you are worried you have not heard from me please call my office nurse Chris on 38316983.

Lastly, I would like to thank you all for your patience and understanding with me and my practice staff in this extraordinary time. Please contact my office on 38316983 or [email protected] or [email protected] if you have any queries.

We hope you and your families stay well

Kind regards

Susan.