COVID-19 Patient Update
As health professionals, the team at Create Health are monitoring the coronavirus situation and are taking the risk of infection very seriously. We are up to date with medical information from our Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Australian Medical Association, Victoria Health and our hospitals. The care we provide and the wellbeing of our patients, their families and our staff are a priority for us, and we have protection procedures in place.
What is Coronavirus?
The current outbreak of coronavirus is a new strain of flu, first detected in human patients in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The virus manifests with typical flu like symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and general breathing difficulties. Other symptoms may include runny nose, headache and fatigue. Some people infected with coronavirus may only experience mild symptoms and recover quickly while others may become very ill.
Who is at risk?
Many Australians of all ages have been and will be diagnosed with coronavirus in the coming months. Early indications are that the elderly (over 65 years) and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart and lung disease are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms.
As this is a new virus there is limited evidence on the impact this disease has on pregnancy and unborn children. It is expected most pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms and we do not believe that pregnant women are more susceptible to the virus. The UK College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists report that there have been no reported deaths of pregnant women from coronavirus.
Couples undergoing fertility treatment
The Fertility Society of Australia recommends that individuals seeking to become pregnant naturally or by way of Assisted Reproductive Technology (IVF) should avoid non-essential travel to known areas of infection and avoid contact with individuals who may have become infected or have travelled to or from an area that is known to be of high risk.
We recommend that our patients avoid non-essential travel, where possible, especially our pregnant ladies.
What precautions should you take?
If you are experiencing any of the earlier mentioned symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately by contacting your GP. If you have a scheduled appointment with us and feel unwell, please call ahead and understand that at this time we will not be able to treat you. Unlike a hospital or GP clinic, we do not have infectious disease control in our normal practice. We do encourage you to contact your GP quickly and before you feel extremely unwell.
If you have recently travelled overseas (in the last 14 days), please also advise us before attending an appointment. Do note that from Sunday 15 March, the federal government has encouraged all Australians returning from overseas to self-isolate for 14 days.
Further precautions to minimise your risk of infection
- Wash your hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or a hand dryer.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
- Stay at home if you feel sick. If you take medication make sure you have enough.
- Phone your doctor or the dedicated Coronavirus hotline 1800 675 398 if you need medical attention. They will advise you what to do. The hotline is available 24 hours per day/ 7 days per week.
- Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, eat well and get plenty of sleep.
- Wearing a face mask is not necessary if you are well.
- Buy alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60% alcohol.
- Be vigilant and self-aware in public spaces and reduce direct exposure to unwell people
We are open!
Rest assured that as medical specialists our practice will stay open. We continue to consult in rooms and via telehealth, be on-call for births and from 6th August will only perform urgent surgery. Appointments may change in the future and in this circumstance, we will contact you.
The government has extended telehealth services to specialists including obstetrician and gynaecologists to support and care for women. We now offer telehealth consultations for reviews, test results, initial consultations and any appointment that does not require a physical examination or scan. We are able to use computers, mobile phone, and even FaceTime. The options available will be determined by the type of consultation required and on the advice of your doctor.
As part of our protection procedures and in accordance with government social distancing policy and Stage 4 restrictions, we now require that only the patient attends an appointment (please only bring a support person and children by obtaining prior approval.) All patients must wear a face mask while at the clinic.
Some other changes that you will see in our practice
- To maximise social distancing, we have reduced and distanced the chairs in our waiting rooms.
- Hand sanitiser is provided at the reception and we require that all visitors wash their hands on arrival.
- Temperature will be checked at the clinic prior to your appointment.
- All magazines have been removed from our waiting rooms.
Whilst we are open, it is very important that if you are unwell that you call us before you attend your appointment.
The coronavirus situation is changing daily, and we suggest that if you use social media that you follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date. We will continue to post updates and share the latest health alerts and information with our patients on our social platforms.
Remember, we are all in this together so let’s all play our part in keeping everyone safe. If you have any questions, please contact your doctor or refer to our social media.
Please note: This information is correct at the time of publication (17th March 2020) and the coronavirus situation is changing fast. Please look for updates on our social media.