A MESSAGE FROM DR O’MAHONY REGARDING COVID-19 (29th March 2020)
The global COVID-19 pandemic that we have to face is affecting every member of our society in ways we could never have imagined only months ago. I am sure that you are feeling particularly anxious about the impact this will have on your health and that of your families, your access to non COVID-19 related medical treatment and the economic impact of this crisis on yourselves and on society.
As you will have seen from the media the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Government have ordered all non-urgent surgery to be cancelled until the threat of COVID-19 is contained. It is not clear how long this will be.
As a surgeon who operates on cancer, many of my operations remain ‘’urgent’ or ‘semi urgent’. I intend to continue taking referrals for all the conditions I usually treat, urgent and non urgent, however all initial consultations will be undertaken by telehealth to keep interpersonal contact to an absolute minimum. I will then triage conditions to determine who still needs to have an operation during this pandemic and you will then meet me in person only on the day of surgery.
This is a very different way of practicing medicine, particularly in a ‘hands on’ surgical specialty where examination remains important but I would ask for your understanding and patience with this. We are in extraordinary situation with COVID-19 and we need to take action to protect vital health workers from inadvertent exposure to the virus and to protect all my patients, many of whom are more vulnerable to COVID-19.
I will of course continue to look after all my current post operative patients, by telehealth as much as possible and face to face where clinically necessary.
We know that eventually this difficult period will pass and ‘normal’ life will resume. If you have non urgent conditions and you would like to consult with me to plan for future face to face consultations, examinations and surgery once this pandemic passes. I am very happy to offer a Telehealth consultation service for this.
All Telehealth consultations for Medicare eligible procedures will be bulk billed to Medicare at no cost to you if you have a valid referral.
What do I do if I have an operation booked with Dr O’Mahony?
If you have an operation booked with me and you have not been called in urgently we will contact you in 3 months to update you on the hospital and COVID-19 situation unless improve earlier. I will also post updates on this website as they come to hand. Please don’t hesitate to contact my practice on [email protected] to make telehealth or future bookings. If you have a date you would like to reschedule to please let us know and we will accommodate you as best as possible.
What do I do if I have a consultation booked with Dr O’Mahony?
If you have a consultation booked with me please do not attend your previously booked in-person appointment. We will contact you to arrange Telehealth appointments and confirm your contact details. Your appointment time will most likely need to be altered.
Please note in many non urgent, elective cases I will also need to examine you in person before proceeding with an operation once this crisis is over.
How do I use Telehealth?
The best form of telehealth is video based and is very simple to use. I use a medical platform that is encrypted called GPconsult. I will require your telephone number and you will need to have access to a smartphone, iPad or computer with a camera function. You will receive a text at the time of your appointment and if you click on a link I can then start the consultation. If you do not have access to video calls a telephone conversation can be arranged although this maybe less effective than being able to see an image.
In the meantime we must focus on the immediate role we each have in reducing the speed of spread of COVID-19. Please follow government advice and limit contact with others.
Please contact my office on 38316983, [email protected] or [email protected] if you have any queries. Please be patient with my staff, there is a lot to rearrange and the situation will continue to rapidly evolve but we will respond to your queries as soon as possible.
I hope you and your families stay well