COVID 19 update - Changes to how we are seeing people
by Dr. Young Lee
Changes to how we are seeing people
Hi guys - as you are all aware, we are currently in the midst of a pandemic. New Zealand doesn't really have that may cases yet - but as the risk of local transmission (person to person in New Zealand) goes up, we all have a responsibility to try to slow it down.
We have been asked to reduce face to face consultations as much as possible, if we are able to do the consultations by video or phone. There will be some cases where we should be seeing people, and this is completely acceptable at this stage.
I've had a very tiring weekend preparing for this, so we have the proper procedures in place now for this - so hopefully everything goes smoothly. So here are how procedures are going to change.
1. Please ring reception so that they can help to triage your medical problem. We respect your privacy, but reception will have to ask the nature of your consultation. Reception will first ask about any respiratory risks or travel, then about the nature of the consultation. Please keep it vague if it's a sensitive topic (i.e. "It's a mental health thing, or it might be a sexual health issue"). Then they will ask you if it's OK to do it via video consultation (preferable), telephone or if it requires examination to please come in. Seats in the waiting room have been moved to maximize the space between people.
2. Video consultations can be done with anyone with a smartphone or laptop with a web cam. We will email you a link with the appointment time. Tap on the link and you will be brought to a virtual waiting room, and I will be able to "pick" you up from there.
In case you need a copy of the link, it is:
3. Telephone consultation - It's easier for us to ring you. Please wait by your phone, and we will ring you at the agreed upon time. There might be some delays if we are held up and we'll endeavour to let you know in advance.
4. Please come in if we have advised you to do so. It is currently considered safe and low risk.
For the next week - we are going to first give injections to people who are older and have medical problems. The the following week will be for everyone else please. What we are trying to do is cover as many people as possible. The reason is that it is possible to get both flu and COVID 19 at the same time. This group of patients are funded, the flu jab is free.
If you are in the lower risk group (age <65, no medical problems, children) - please consider getting vaccinated as well next week. The cost here is $35.
New patients and enrolments
We are happy to accept new patients at this stage. This might change depending on what happens in the next few weeks. I've designed an enrolment form that is fully online, so new patients can fill it in on their smartphones and submit it. This is to reduce staff and patient contact (paper, pens, etc). They can even use their smartphones to take pictures of their passports/visas/birth certificates and sign.
Below is the QR code they can use (aim the camera app at it) or the link they can click on.
That's it! Keep safe and well everyone!