Telehealth during Covid-19 outbreak

How to Book Your Telehealth Appointment

The Australian Government has announced Medicare funding for patients to be able to access Telehealth consultation service in the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic. At this stage these rebates will be available until September 2020.

The easiest way to book is to book online through our HotDoc online booking system. You can select Telehealth as your appointment type. If you are unsure how to use this, please feel free to call our reception on 02 9680 9644, or by clicking on the ‘Call Now’ button to the right.

How Much Will it Cost?

Any patient who is at risk of Covid-19 infection is eligible for a Medicare funded telephone appointment. All Medicare-eligible telephone consults will be bulk-billed. This includes:-

  • Suspected or confirmed Covid-19 patients (as per current government screening criteria)
  • All patients 70 years of age or over
  • All Indigenous patients 50 years of age or over
  • Patients with a chronic disease
  • Pregnant women
  • Parents of children under 12 months of age

If you don’t fit into one of these categories, but would like to arrange a telephone consultation to avoid coming in to the clinic, we can do this for you too. There just isn’t a Medicare rebate, but we are discounting these appointments to try and minimise the out of pocket cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I book my phone consult?

Just like other appointments, there are two ways to book a telephone consult.

  1. Book via the HotDoc app, by clicking here. Remember to select ‘Telehealth – Phone’ as your appointment type.
  2. Call reception on (02) 9680 9644.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible for a Medicare consult, we recommend booking via HotDoc, as they have a handy series of questions to guide you.

Ensure that you provide the correct phone number at time of booking, so that we can get in touch at the right time.

 

How do I prepare for my phone consult?

  • Try to be prepared, with a short list of what you need to discuss. If you have booked a standard appointment, these are 15 minutes long. That gives us about 10-12 minutes to discuss your problem before we need to spend time writing notes, and ordering tests or prescriptions for you.
  • At the time of your appointment, try and find somewhere quiet to sit where you can hear, and be heard. Please don’t try and talk to us on the car system, or on speakerphone.
  • Wait for our call! Just like in real life, we are definitely going to run late sometimes. If we’re a few minutes late, please be patient. If we’re more than 15 minutes late, call the surgery and get our receptionists to check on things for you – a GP’s day rarely goes to plan and there are lots of reasons why we may be running late.
  • If you need prescriptions, tests, or referrals to other health care professionals, we will send these on your behalf directly where they need to go.

At present (March 26th 2020), all of our GPs are available for telephone consults.

How do I book my video consult?

At this stage, only Dr Saini is doing video consults. Just like other appointments, there are two ways to book a video consult.

  1. Book via the HotDoc app, by clicking here. Remember to select ‘Telehealth – Video’ as your appointment type.
  2. Call reception on (02) 9680 9644.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible for a Medicare consult, we recommend booking via HotDoc, as they have a handy series of questions to guide you.

Ensure that you provide the correct phone number at time of booking, so that we can get in touch at the right time.

 

What video platforms are you using?

We are using Apple FaceTime as well as WhatsApp Video calling. Both of these methods allow us to make secure video calls to our patients.

You will often start with a phone consultation, and if it is more helpful for you and your doctor to be able to see each other, your doctor can quickly switch to a video consult with your permission. This type of consult is great for situations in which simple examinations are required.

How do I prepare for my video consult?

  • Try to be prepared, with a short list of what you need to discuss. If you have booked a standard appointment, these are 15 minutes long. That gives us about 10-12 minutes to discuss your problem before we need to spend time writing notes, and ordering tests or prescriptions for you.
  • At the time of your appointment, try and find somewhere quiet to sit where you can hear, and be heard. Immediately prior to your appointment, your doctor will send you an email with a personal link to your private video chat. Click on the link, and hey presto!
  • If we wait for 5 minutes and you haven’t been able to log in to the video chat, we’ll call on the telephone instead
  • Just like in real life, we are definitely going to run late sometimes. If we’re a few minutes late, please be patient. If we’re more than 15 minutes late, call the surgery and get our (wonderfully reliable) receptionists to check on things for you – a GP’s day rarely goes to plan and there are lots of reasons why we may be running late.
  • If you need prescriptions, tests, or referrals to other health care professionals, we will send these on your behalf directly where they need to go.

 

At present (March 26th 2020), Dr Saini is the only GP available for video consults.

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