Don’t neglect your health - follow these tips as we head into the winter flu season
We all want to avoid getting the flu and avoid spreading COVID-19. There are simple steps we can take to avoid catching and spreading viral diseases. If you do become unwell, here's why you should call your GP and keep the emergency department of emergencies only.
1. Practise good hygiene
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds at a time.
Handwashing reduces the germs, pesticides, and metals on your hands. Regularly washing your hands gives you the best chance of preventing sickness.
Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser in between hand washes to kill germs when soap and water is not readily available.
Coughing and sneezing hygiene
Cough or sneeze into your elbow or into a disposable tissue, then dispose of the tissue thoughtfully.
Stay home when unwell
If you are feeling unwell stay home and do not socialise. If you suspect you may have COVID-19, visit a COVID-19 testing clinic. If you feel that you need medical help call your GP to make an appointment.
2. If you are feeling unwell, call your GP
GPs should be your first port of call when you are feeling unwell*. Your GP plays a key role in dealing with many medical issues that do not require attention in a busy hospital emergency department.
Having a chat with your GP about a physical or mental health concern is a good idea. A GP can support you and help direct you to a specialist to make sure you get the care you need.
If you feel you need medical help, call your GP to make an appointment. (If you have a health emergency, call 000 (triple zero)).
Many GPs provide consultations over phone or video calls - telehealth
Consider booking a telehealth appointment with your GP. You can then talk to your GP (doctor) from a location that suits you.
You won’t need a special program or app to have a telehealth appointment. All you need is a telephone. For video consultations you may need a computer or smartphone.
Call or visit your regular GP clinic to find out if they offer telehealth appointments.
Telehealth bulk billing
Concession card holders, vulnerable patients and patients under the age of 16 are bulk billed. Many allied health providers such as psychologists can also bulk bill patients under the new telehealth guidelines. Talk to your GP or health provider to find out more.
Who is vulnerable?
- Patients over the age of 70
- Parents with children under 12 months
- Patients with chronic medical conditions
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
- Patients who are isolating because they:
- currently have COVID-19
- have just been tested for COVID-19
- may have been exposed to COVID-19
Can't access your regular GP? Use an after-hours service
There are many after-hours medical services available to residents of South Western Sydney.
Don't have a regular GP?
If you are feeling unwell but don’t have a regular GP, now is the time to find one.
There are many clinics in South Western Sydney that are open long hours and weekends who will be happy to care for you.
Use the Service Finder at healthdirect to locate a General Practice Clinic that best suits your needs.