A MESSAGE TO COLLEAGUES FROM DR O’MAHONY REGARDING COVID (19th May 2020)
Dear Colleagues, I hope you and your families remain well in this extraordinary time.
I have previously posted 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 your patients have a procedure booked with me or would like to book for surgery under my care we can now plan to proceed with surgery, subject to theatre availability. Many 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.
In order to encourage social distancing and manage the number of people on-site in our offices I am keen to continue to offer some Telehealth appointments where appropriate. I also understand there are many of our 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 with this.
For some conditions such as skin lesions and 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 remains important. For more lengthy or complex operations I usually meet with patients at least twice before surgery anyway and it can work well to undertake one pre-operative consultation in person and the rest by video call.
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.
I have reduced my consultation fees when undertaken by Telehealth.
I would like to thank you all for your support in this extraordinary time. Please contact me directly at any time you need to discuss your patients.
We hope you and your families stay well and your practices are recovering from the impact of all the restrictions we have been working with.