OUR RESPONSE TO COVID-19
How we're keeping you safe.
Updated March 3, 2021.
Prahran East Medical Centre will continue to provide the highest standard of care for our local community throughout the duration of the pandemic. We have instituted a number of measures to optimise the safety of patients and staff alike. These measures are designed to reduce the foot traffic through our clinic and keep those inside as safe from infection as possible.
Vaccine coming soon!
We have been approved as an early access vaccination centre and expect to begin vaccinating high risk groups within weeks. More on this soon.
Choose telephone or in-person consultations
As long as you have no symptoms of COVID-19, you may book either a face-to-face or a telephone consultation, depending on what you feel would work best. Following a telephone consultation, the doctor may still need to ask you to come in for an examination or procedure.
Patients to be seen are asked to wait in their car or on our front porch until called by the doctor. If you are walking to the clinic and the weather is unpleasant, or the porch seats are taken, there is limited seating available in our waiting room. Anyone in the waiting room must be free of symptoms of the coronavirus. They will be kept a safe distance apart.
Any person entering the building is asked to (of course) wear a mask and use the hand sanitiser at our 'welcome' stand.
Please DO NOT enter the building if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 (loss of sense of smell or taste, cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath or fever) or you are in mandatory self-isolation or quarantine. Call us or book a phone appointment.
The staff at Prahran East Medical Centre thank you very much for your kind cooperation and understanding.
Free testing available
Bulk-billed testing via nose and throat swab, for people with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (see below), is available via self-testing by calling reception. A nurse will meet you at the rear of the building and instruct on self-testing. Alternatively, if you feel you may require examination by a doctor, you can be assessed and tested by a doctor onsite, in an isolated outdoor area. First a doctor will call you to confirm your eligibility and book your swab test. Book the phone consultation via the button at the top of this page.
Symptoms that warrant testing are a new onset of cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense of smell or taste, shortness of breath, or fever (or symptoms of fever, like chills or sweats), where another cause for the fever is not obvious. For health and aged care workers and those with close contact* with an affected case or recent overseas travel, testing is also performed for less specific symptoms, like headache, muscle pains, blocked nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea.
What about people with no symptoms yet?
There is no test to exclude the risk of developing COVID-19 in people who may have been infected but remain symptom-free. Incubation can take up to 14 days, and a test can be negative one day and positive the next. For this reason, people with close contact* must quarantine (self-isolate) for 14 days, and get tested if they develop any symptoms. See here for advice on self-isolation. Testing for asymptomatic close contacts under instruction from the Department of Health is available at some pop-up and mobile testing units.
*Close contact is people who have had face-to-face contact with actual cases for at least 15 minutes, or spent at least two hours in the same space.
Cost of phone consultations
The fees for phone consultations are the same as face-to-face visits and are time-based. See our Fees page.
Fees will be charged after consultations automatically, with Medicare rebates going into your bank account, arranged by us. We will call you for a credit card number prior to your consultation.
Consultations that involve phone and in-person components with the same doctor, on the same day, for the same problem are charged as a single consultation, for the total time taken.
We encourage everyone to download the COVIDSafe App to enhance contact tracing, which we hope will help to further limit the spread of the virus and bring forward the easing of restrictions.
See here for daily updates on COVID-19 from the Victorian Health Department.
An excellent video explaining COVID-19 in detail, from the Head of Infectious Diseases at Heidelberg's Austin Hospital and friend of PEMC, A/Prof Patrick Charles, is here, with updates here: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9.