Montford Specialist Centre will continue to operate through the coronavirus epidemic, but we will do our best to promote social distancing where possible.If you have an above-baseline risk of coronavirus, you MUST stay at home and organise a telehealth appointment in place of your face-to-face appointment. An above-baseline risk refers to any of the following:
- You have traveled overseas in the 2 weeks prior to your appointment.
- You share a household with someone who has returned from overseas in the last 2 weeks.
- You or a household member has a runny nose, cough, temperature or any other symptoms suggestive of a virus.
If you have a typical risk of corona virus, similar to the rest of the community, we would still prefer you to stay at home and convert your appointment to a telehealth appointment. In this case, the aim is to reduce the overall transmission rate in the community and prevent you from coming into contact with other patients, and with our medical staff who invariably enter premises that have infected patents.
Telehealth appointments are particularly appropriate for Review Appointments, where your neurologist is likely to have performed an examination of your neurological system at previous visits. They are also appropriate for patients who have no new disabilities since they were last examined. They are a reasonable option for patients who have a primary complaint of headache, well-controlled epilepsy, or stable multiple sclerosis – particularly if your Montford neurologist has already had a chance to examine you. For patients with Parkinson’s Disease, a telehealth appointment is not quite as informative as a face-to-face appointment – a neurologist can assess some of the signs of Parkinson’s Disease over a webcam, but it is not possible to assess muscle tone. On the other hand, patients with Parkinson’s Disease are expected to face a high risk of serious consequences if they contract the virus, particularly if over the age of 70. If you have Parkinson’s Disease and wonder whether you could skip the face-to-face appointment, please discuss this with our front desk staff who can pass the query onto your doctor. In most cases, if it is clear that you need more treatment or that you are happy with your level of treatment, the assessment of muscle tone can be omitted.
To conduct a telehealth appointment, you have the option of using a webcam or telephone.
[Edit. We are no longer recommending Skype. Please use Coviu for video-consultations, where possible.]
If you attend for a face-to-face appointment, you will need to adopt the following rules to minimise risk:
- Wait in your car as long as possible rather than sharing the waiting room with others.
- Bring only one relative or friend.
- Do not shake hands or touch anyone unless instructed by the doctor examining you.
- Wash your hands with alcohol at the entrance, on entering, and again on leaving.
- Avoid touching your face, and wash your hands if you accidentally touch your face.
- If you must cough or sneeze unexpectedly, please cough into your elbow or a tissue, and then thoroughly wash your hands. You will need to put on mask if this happens and may be asked to leave.
- Feel free to wear a mask, even if you have no symptoms.
If you have any concerns or queries about these measures, please contact us on 5100 9434.
Opinions on the correct response to COVID-19 clearly differ, but Dr McColl believes that governments are doing too little, too late. [Edit. As of late March and early April, the government has taken more appropriate measures, and the curve is now flattening.] Please encourage social-distancing measures among your friends and family to avoid overwhelming health resources.