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UPDATE 12 March 2020 - Coronavirus COVID-19

March 12, 2020

The information below is current as at 4:00pm Thursday, 12 March 2020.

The World Health Organisation has now characterised COVID-19 as a pandemic.

New MBS item numbers will soon become available for telehealth consultations

  • The Department of Health has announced temporary Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) item numbers to allow GPs, nurses and mental health professionals to deliver services to people via telehealth while they undergo self-isolation or quarantine, and to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for vulnerable people in the community.

The new MBS item numbers are a part of the $2.4 billion National Health Plan in response to COVID-19 announced by the Australian Government. For more information about this package, click here.

healthdirect Australia Video Call

Our PHN offers free access to the healthdirect Australia Video Call platform for GPs and health care providers to use in our region. The platform allows you to deliver care to your patients via video consultation. Benefits of the Video Call platform include:

  • it's easy to use for consumers, web-based, requires no software download, uses low bandwidth and meets Medicare security requirements; and
  • the PHN can set your practice up with login details and offer training.

Contact practicesupport@ddwmphn.com.au to learn more and get connected.

New Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) resources

Please consider printing the following poster for display in clinical areas of your general practice which outlines the appropriate use of PPE:

Safe fitting and removal of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare staff poster

To view the full 'Queensland Health Infection prevention and control guidelines for the management of COVID-19 in healthcare settings—interim version' visit the Queensland Health webpage for clinicians.

Queensland Health and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care have put together a series of posters to support general practice with PPE precautions, including:

  • Standard Precautions
  • Droplet Precautions
  • Contact Precautions
  • Airborne Precautions

Click here to download the posters

Fever Clinics

Queensland Health have advised that Fever Clinics have been set up across the state in various locations.

  • The list of clinics can be viewed here. We will keep you updated if additional clinics are established as we are notified.
  • Fever clinics are initiated when the number of presentations of patients with suspected COVID-19 exceed the capacity of local Emergency Departments to assess and test.
  • If your practice is appropriately resourced to assess and arrange testing for patients meeting criteria for suspected COVID-19, either in person or via telehealth or private pathology, please continue to do so.

If your practice would like to be involved in a primary care fever clinic, please contact practicesupport@ddwmphn.com.au

My Health Record reminder

Please consider uploading shared health summaries to My Health Record for all patients seen in the coming weeks, in case they require care away from their usual care setting.

The PHN's Digital Health Team can provide support to practices who are not yet enabled to upload or view shared health summaries in My Health Record. Email practicesupport@ddwmphn.com.au for more information.

Uploading Advance Care Planning documents

Consider preparing or reviewing Advance Care Planning (ACP) and Acute Resuscitation Plans (ARP) documents for vulnerable patients as per the advice provided in the links below. Please forward completed documents to the office of Advance Care Planning (details below) to allow access to these documents by Queensland Health staff should they require it.

Office of Advance Care Planning contact details

PO Box 2274, Runcorn Qld 4113
Phone: 1300 007 227
Fax: 1300 008 227
Email: acp@health.qld.gov.au

Useful Resources

General resources for clinicians

HealthPathways now live with COVID-19 Information

Darling Downs and West Moreton HealthPathways have been updated to include information about COVID-19.

Darling Downs
Click here to login
Username: dduser
Password: ddpassword

West Moreton
Click here to login
Username: wmuser
Password: wmpassword

Contacting your local Public Health Unit

PLEASE NOTE
GPs are asked to notify their relevant Public Health Units of 'suspect cases' of COVID-19.

Please discuss any cases of concern with your local Public Health Unit immediately so that appropriate actions and testing can be organised.

  • Darling Downs P 07 4699 8240 (business hours) P 07 3646 1699 (after hours)
  • West Moreton P 07 3818 4700 (business hours) P 07 3176 2111 (after hours, ask for public health)

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affecting Health Care practitioners in the Darling Downs and West Moreton Regions: