A GROUP of well-known Tasmanian GP clinics have issued an urgent appeal to patients – don’t delay your GP visit because of COVID-19.
General Practice Plus, which operates five clinics across Hobart and surrounding suburbs, has seen a 43 per cent decline of in-clinic appointments over the past month.
Doctor Abby Rundle, who works out of the Cascade Road clinic in South Hobart, said people should not be avoiding seeing their doctors because of COVID-19, with General Practice Plus having launched a ‘don’t delay your GP visit’ campaign.
“Not receiving treatment for pre-existing or emerging medical conditions could have major consequences for patients,” Dr Rundle said.
“Any big increase in delayed diagnosis and treatment because people are staying away from GP clinics could overwhelm the healthcare system once this pandemic is over.”
Dr Rundle said it was important to continue to contact your GP to talk about any health issues you may have, especially heading into flu season.
“All General Practice Plus clinics are open and waiting to help you,” she said.
“We are offering free telehealth appointments to all patients and if you do need to come in, our clinics are clean and safe.
“Whether you have a chronic condition, require ongoing treatment or have new health issues, it is vital to stay on top of your medical needs so that they do not get worse right now.”
Dr Rundle said patients should stop worrying about putting pressure on the healthcare system by visiting their GP.
“You are not a burden – our GP clinics are open, and we really want to care for you,” she said
“It is also important to remember that you are allowed to leave home to get medical care, including from your GP.”
Dr Rundle said anyone experiencing worrying symptoms should contact their General Practice Plus clinic straight away, with booking online being the quickest and easiest way to make an appointment.
“All our clinics are regularly cleaned, social distancing is in force, chairs are 1.5 metres apart in waiting rooms, magazines and toys have been removed, and people with COVID-19 symptoms are not coming into the clinics – they are being sent to public health facilities for testing,” she said.
General Practice Plus, which is owned by Tasmanian General Practitioners, operates five caring, friendly and professional surgeries in South Hobart, Sandy Bay, New Town and Kingston.
For more information, visit www.generalpracticeplus.com.au.
Caption: Doctor Abby Rundle from General Practice Plus.