Patients urged to call the clinic

Sarah MakseGreat Southern Herald
St Luke’s Family Practice staff Cindy Zheng and Jasmine Byrne.
Camera IconSt Luke’s Family Practice staff Cindy Zheng and Jasmine Byrne. Credit: Supplied.

A Katanning medical practice is encouraging patients to pick up the phone after the Federal Government’s decision to extend telehealth services to all Australians to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled a $669 million boost this week to allow all patients to consult healthcare professionals remotely using Medicare-subsidised telehealth services.

St Luke’s Family Practice manager Claire Fleming said the clinic’s doors would remain open, but she encouraged patients to reach out over the phone for appointments and advice.

Ms Fleming said despite the situation changing daily, the clinic was doing all it could to ensure everyone received the care they needed.

“A lot of people can’t leave the house and mental health is going to absolutely go through the roof,” she said.

“To be able to pick up the phone and make an appointment for your doctor to give you a call is pretty fantastic and it means we can check regularly on these patients.

“Just letting them know that they are not alone and there are people thinking of them.”

Ms Fleming said with staff facing a shortage of personal protective equipment, the practice had taken matters into its own hand, with perspex barriers and face shields from the hardware shop.

“The shields are pretty impressive. We look like we are about to take on combat but essentially we are — we are combatting COVID-19,” she said.

The practice launched flu clinics this week, delivering injections in the carpark.

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