COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN has welcomed a new campaign by the RACGP which encourages people to look after their health during the current COVID-19 crisis and continue seeing their GP and/or other health professionals. Dianne Kitcher, CEO of the South Eastern NSW PHN, said people have taken the responsibility to stay at home very seriously during the pandemic, however this has resulted in many people avoiding vital medical care and tests – even though this is permitted and encouraged. “It is important that people, especially those with chronic conditions, continue to look after their health and wellbeing during these challenging times. The last thing we want is an increase in serious health issues and worsening of chronic conditions after COVID-19, simply because people are concerned about going to see their GP,” said Ms Kitcher. Ms Kitcher said GPs play a critical role in treating patients with chronic conditions, as well as a range of other conditions and providing preventative advice. “It’s never been easier to access their GP – people can now have a consultation online, over the phone or in person. “For most people, a telephone or video consultation will be suitable – but some patients will still need to see their GP in person for the flu vaccine, pathology tests or physical examination. “You can be assured that visiting their GP is safe, given the infection control processes in place within general practices, such as personal protective equipment and sanitisation regimes,” said Ms Kitcher. Many practices across the region are also delivering flu vaccinations via pop-up clinics in a bid to minimise the risks associated with COVID-19. “Some practices are extending their opening hours or providing vaccinations via drive- through or pop-up clinics in order to reduce foot traffic through the medical centres. “So don’t forget – GPs are available and ready to see you,” said Ms Kitcher. To make an appointment people should contact their usual general practice or Aboriginal Medical Service. For more information go to healthdirect.gov.au
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