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Novel Coronavirus information: Latest news for general practices

03 April 2020

While first published in January, this page is continually being added to and updated.

Novel coronavirus is an evolving international health concern. We are publishing regular updates on this page, but encourage health professionals to also view the Coronavirus for health professionals section of our website.

3 April Update:

CareMonitor Webinar Thursday 9 April at 7.00pm

This webinar is for GPs to learn more about a region-wide approach to managing COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms in the community, through the use of the CareMonitor. We are funding the use of CareMonitor for all interested practices. 

CareMonitor is a new health platform that provides remote monitoring of patients in real time. It is a telehealth, patient monitoring and shared care technology that practices can use to remotely monitor their chronic and complex patients. It can also be used for COVID-19.

During this webinar AMA (NSW) President, Dr Kean-Seng Lim will demonstrate how he is using CareMonitor, to manage his COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms in the community. 

Register for CareMonitor webinar 

Financial Support Measures for Practices

There are a variety of support measures in place for general practices affected by the impact of COVID-19.

These include support measures recently announced by the Australian Government, tax relief initiatives via the Australian Taxation Office and support packages from Australian banks.

We have developed a document summarising some of the key information to assist in understanding the support your practice may be eligible for.

Support Available to Answer Your Questions

If you need help working out if you are eligible or understanding the criterial for financial support measures, our Workforce Support Officer, Rakesh Patel, is available to answer your questions.

You can contact Rakesh by phone on 4708 8194 Tuesday or Thursday, or by email.

Free Mental Health Resources during COVID-19

During these uncertain time it is common for people to be feeling anxious, worried or afraid as new steps are introduced to stop the spread of COVID-19. Please remind patients that looking after their mental health is an important part of staying well.

There are a number of free high quality services accessible from home. The below link has a mixture of self-guided mental health resources and programs as well as one-on-one connection to professionals through webchat,  online counselling  and phone services.

Mental health services and support contact list (NSW Health)

2 April update: 

COVID-19 Aboriginal Health Resources

NSW Health, AH&MRC, Australian Department of Health and NACCHO have developed a range of COVID-19 resources for the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander community.  We have links on our newly available COVID-19 for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people page on our website, which will we add to over time.

1 April update: 

COVID-19 updated advice for healthcare professionals (NSW Health)

NSW Health has new and updated information in relation to:

  • GPs managing patients with mild to moderate symptoms
  • advice to give to patients sent home
  • when to contact the Public Health Unit
  • testing for COVID-19 in NSW

Expanded testing criteria for hospital COVID-19 clinics

There are currently four coronavirus testing clinics operating at hospitals in our Local Health District. Please note these clinics are ONLY for COVID-19 testing who meet the following criteria:

For people who:

  • have returned from overseas in the past 14 days and develop respiratory illness with or without fever
  • have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days and develop respiratory illness with or without fever
  • have severe community-acquired pneumonia and there is no clear cause
  • have a referral for COVID-19 testing from their GP or the Public Health Unit
  • are a healthcare worker, working directly with patients, and have a respiratory illness and a fever

Coronavirus clinics are accessed from outside the hospitals. Please do not walk through the hospital. There are signs to guide you to the clinic. 

COVID-19 Statistics for our region

31 March update:

RACGP COVID-19 podcasts

The RACGP has an ongoing series of COVID-19 podcasts (under Webinars, podcasts and education) to assist you to keep up to date. Most of them are 5–10 minutes long,  you can listen to them anytime.Some recent topics include:

  • PIP update with Brett McPherson
  • Infection control at reception with Dr Penny Burns
  • COVID How did we get here? With Dr Penny Burns
  • Positive COVID? Practice closure? with NSW Health

Telehealth online learning for practice nurses

APNA telehealth online training for nurses is now available.

30 March update: 

Further expansion of telehealth services

On 29 March, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, announced: Whole of population telehealth for patients, general practice, primary care and other medical services to support the response to COVID-19.

Primary Care Package – Practice Incentive Payments