Dear patient/ family and friends,
Due to the evolving COVID19 situation globally Alice Specialised Medicine is having to operate very differently. Currently Susie and myself (and Josh, our son) are in mandated self-quarantine due to recent overseas travel. Please bear with us as we restructure the way our clinic is run. For the time being routine face to face consultations are not available, and for the next few months unlikely to happen without prior arrangement.
Medicare has created a new item number which if you fit the criteria, we will utilise and not charge those patients who are eligible. This can only be used for patients who have been physically seen at our clinic within the last 12 months. For everyone else we will attempt to run telemedicine clinics, where patients who are have a current file (within the last 2 years) can ring us, then there will be a $75 fee (and currently there is no rebate) paid by credit card first. I can then ring you back at a pre-arranged time, eg. If the appointment is scheduled for 3pm, I might ring slightly earlier or up to 30 minutes later, as it is very likely I will run late.
COVID10 is not like the flu. It has mutated from animals and although the media is saturated with stories on COVID19 the medical fraternity is struggling with the slowness of various Governments including our own, to better slow the spread. Please be mindful only certain people are eligible for swab tests and just because you might want to know, does not make it happen. The local hospital is going to be over-run in the next few weeks, and private testing (such as every player in the NRL) is not feasible. You can have the virus and have absolutely no symptoms, but if symptomatic, you will usually have fever, cough, fatigue and shortness of breath. Those that become severely unwell, develop ARDS, (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and may need help breathing, which is why the medical/health profession is super concerned as there are only a limited numbers of ICU beds in Australia.
We strongly advocate that if you can stay home, please do so. If you have school aged children please keep them out of school if you can. Hand washing is super important, using soap and water (counting for up to 20 – 30 seconds) and don’t touch your face, especially eyes, nose and mouth. If you need to cough or sneeze, use your elbow (like a dab) and then wash your hands afterwards.
I have attached some information that I think can be helpful to better understand the current situation. Please feel free to share to your friends and family. We are all in this together so be kind to one another. As the situation evolves, we will attempt to communicate more current information if we feel it will benefit our patient group. Please be mindful Susie and I are trying to restructure our business, and appreciate everyone is anxious and under pressure, so please try not to bombard us with requests we cannot facilitate.
A good resource for mental health during this difficult time
A really good link to show how & why physical isolation is so important
Stay safe, and if you can stay home please do.
Dr. Deb Mitchell
Alice Specialised Medicine
PO Box 8574 (17 Stuart Highway)
ALICE SPRINGS NT 0871
ph 08 8952 7774
fax 08 8952 6774