To our amazing patient community, past and present
First of all, we hope you and your families are safe and well. Please do everything you can to keep it that way.
We just wanted to update you on where things stand if you need our help with a foot or ankle problem in the coming weeks. Hasn’t it been crazy? Everybody’s apprehensive, hopefully everybody’s washing their hands and maintaining social distancing, work is suddenly a cottage industry… It will probably be some time before normality returns, so until then, here is what we want you to know:
Firstly, we are OPEN. It’s not totally business as usual though, because there are a couple of changes to the way things are done in line with the current situation. The Health Minister has deemed podiatry as an essential service, in part to ease the burden on GPs and hospitals for things that really could be seen elsewhere.
What does this mean for you? There are a couple of elements:
- How we can help
- When you should probably stay home
- Is it safe to come to the office?
- Remote consults and telehealth
- Financial considerations
How we can help…
We are available for all urgent cases and foot pain. This means that if your foot hurts, if you roll your ankle, if you’re having trouble walking, if your knee is sore, if you think you might need an x-ray referral, if you have an ingrown toenail… these are all things that we can help you with.
Fortunately, they make up most of what we do during the week, so in that sense it’s a good thing. Call us if you’re not sure.
When is it better not to come in?
This is pretty standard across most health care facilities, but we’ll give you a brief summary:
- If you’re suffering from cold and flu symptoms, if you have a fever, if you’ve having any sort of general feeling of being unwell, please let us know and we’ll discuss beforehand whether it’s appropriate to attend.
- If you’ve been knowingly exposed to CoViD-19, or a family member, close contact or someone else that you share a home with has, please let us know beforehand and do not attend until your health status has been cleared.
- If your reason for coming is simply to get out of the house and you’re not in any pain. We are happy to help people that need it, but social distancing and isolation are an important element of combating the spread of the current situation. You’ve heard about “flattening the curve”. This is one way to help.
Is it safe to visit The Lower Limb Clinic?
On any given day, we have numerous safety and infection control measures in place and these have been increased as you’d expect. Here are a few things you might like to know.
Everyone working here has training in infection control.
- A medical grade hand sanitiser, like the ones we use in the offices themselves, is stationed at reception and all patients are required to use it upon arrival.
- All frequently touched surfaces, including banisters, keyboards, doorknobs, desks and armrests are regularly sanitised during the day.
- Appointments have been spaced or lengthened to minimise the likelihood of interacting with other people and allow for extra cleaning time.
All magazines have been removed and the coffee and tea facilities are no longer in operation.
- If you are in an age or illness bracket where we are concerned about extra risk to you (but still feel it’s safe for you to come in), we may ask you to wait in your car and call you once we’re ready for your appointment.
Remote consults and Telehealth
We enjoy what we do and under normal circumstances, we’d much prefer to have you in the office. It’s better for us, it’s better for you. We value the relationship and we really do feel that the care is best this way. These are not normal circumstances however.
Even though you can still attend in person, for some people this is not only not recommended, it’s simply not possible. Now obviously, we can’t fix your ingrown nail remotely, but we have implemented systems that will allow us to consult, diagnose and in many cases even cast and treat people via a phone or computer linkup. We are even able to do orthotics for you this way, although there is a little extra time and a couple of postpacks involved in the mix.
Fixing your pain is our priority, so if you’re not sure, give us a call and see if the Telehealth option might work for you. Right now none of us know just how long to expect before things return to normal, so if you’re experiencing difficulties, please don’t wait too long to see if it will go away by itself.
How does the money side of things work?
In most cases, if your consultation would have had a fee in the office, it will still have one via telehealth. The only inconvenient aspect is that unlike in the office, you’ll have to pay and claim through your health fund, rather than processing the rebate at the time through our HICAPS machine. Unfortunately we can’t process your claim without the card present.
All orthotic quotes will include the cost of postage at this stage and we will endeavour to keep things as reasonable as possible until things normalise.
One last thing… We know nothing is quite normal right now. If you need treatment but you’re struggling financially because someone in the household isn’t working right now, don’t suffer in silence. Talk to us. We’ll figure something out and we will look after you. That’s why we’re here.