Face-to-face consults limited

Routine face-to-face consultation with Medical Clinic Millicent doctors have been cancelled for time being.

Consultations with the eight general practitioners at the Short Street practice have only been done via videolink or telephone since Tuesday morning.

There are some medical situations where face-to-face consultations are still taking place, but are being conducted at the discretion of the doctor.

Medical Clinic Millicent practice manager Kerri Cocks said the extraordinary measures are a response to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are doing everything possible to keep the clinic open for as long as possible,” Ms Cocks said.

“Since Tuesday, all consultations have been done via phone or videolink with the patients in their own homes.

“There may be a few times when the doctor wants to see a patient at the clinic.

“We have phoned all the patients with appointments to let them know of the changes.

“We are taking every precaution such as the removal of magazines from the waiting rooms.

“This disease can remain in paper and on objects and so the doctors are now wearing gloves.

“We are also faxing the prescription scripts to the chemists.”

Ms Cocks said other changes had been implemented in the day-to-day running of the Short Street practice, including a contagion room for people suspected of being contagious.

“There is also a treatment room for such situations as children needing vaccinations,” she said.

“Since Wednesday, our reception staff have been moved away from the front counter.

“They are working in the rooms at the back of the clinic and away from patients.”

Meanwhile, there is no change at this stage to the blood collection service, operated by Australian Clinical Laboratories, which is located in the clinic building.

However, people providing blood samples are required to phone ahead and wait in the car park until called.

Ms Cocks said the measure may cause a slowdown in the collection process, but will ensure only one person at a time will be in the blood collection room.

Across the region, other doctors are embracing the concept of using phone and video links to consult their patients on routine matters.

It started last week at the Limestone Coast Health Unit Trust which has clinics at Beachport, Robe, Lucindale, Kingston and Padthaway.