Can I still visit my GP during the COVID-19 situation?

Q&A with Dr John Crimmins

Our Medical Home medical centres remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide continued access to essential primary health services.

We had the opportunity to speak with Dr John Crimmins, a general practitioner with over 25 years of experience, to answer commons questions from patients at this time. A summary of Dr Crimmins' answers is also written below. 

How are we protecting our patients at this time when they come to one of our medical centres?

Now, when you visit Our Medical Home medical centres, we ask whether you could be a COVID-19 or coronavirus suspect or not. If you are, it will mean that you will have to be swabbed and separated from the rest of the patients, which I know you will all understand. But if you’re not, then you’re allowed into the centre.

If you have cold-like symptoms or flu-like symptoms, you’ll be asked to wear a mask and sit separate to everyone else, which I think is good hygiene. Now what is important is that the doctors seeing you, if you’re a COVID suspect, will be in protective kit.

What is the importance of coming to see your GP in-person?

All of our medical centres are safe to come to. Over 99% of the patients that we see are not COVID suspect at all. This is very important. There are times that you do need to come to see a GP, because GPs are very important to your total healthcare. The most important doctor that you see in your lives is your GP. At times the GP does need to actually see you, maybe to take a blood pressure to see that you’re not getting worse in any way and also sometimes just to talk to you, so that they can see a human face to talk through a series of other problems that you may have. So I think it is important to still come to see your doctor face-to-face, however now, at Our Medical Home medical centres, we do have the option of using phone or video consultations, which means that for follow up you can actually contact the centre and talk to your GP by phone or video.

Should patients have the flu shot?

I believe, with the flu season coming, everyone over six months old onwards should have the flu shot. Definitely those patients that are vulnerable, such as those with chronic diseases, immunocompromised, those that are pregnant, they definitely need to have the flu shot.

And so, it’s important that you come down to the medical centres and get your flu shots because they’re available now.

If you’re new to the medical centre, introduce yourself to a GP who can look after you, should you need a face-to-face or telehealth consultation moving forward.

In there anything else patients should be aware of at this time?

I just want to reiterate that ‘Our Medical Home’ medical centres are open from 7am to 10pm each day and night. The rest of the medical centre also remains open - we’ve got physiotherapy, we’ve got dietetics, we’ve got pharmacy, and also we have radiology and pathology. So it’s important that you know that you can access all the healthcare services that you need in one visit - it’s a one stop shop. I want to also say to each of you, stay safe.

Our Medical Home has bulk billing medical centres in the following locations:

NSW

QLD

VIC

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