Keep your GP appointments during COVID-19

Keep your health on track - check in with your regular health provider

Medical centres across South Western Sydney are taking steps to make sure you and your family can still receive safe healthcare.

You may also have the option of a telehealth appointment (phone or video call) - meaning you can talk to your GP (doctor) from the location that suits you best. 

If you have COVID-19 or flu symptoms, get a COVID test before booking a consultation with your GP. Ask about the option a telehealth appointment (phone or video call).

> COVID testing options in South Western Sydney

Safe health icon larger-100 It's safe to visit your GP or usual health provider. 

Why it's important to keep seeing your GP during COVID

  • If you have a chronic illness like diabetes or heart disease, it's even more important to keep up with regular appointments, prescriptions and check in with your GP. 
  • Don't miss out on immunisation or health screening. Healthcare providers are concerned many patients are delaying or avoiding seeing their GP, missing important health checks and potentially missing early diagnoses.
  • Any physical or mental health concerns can be talked about with your GP. Your GP can help you keep your health on track by dealing with issues or concerns early on.  

Don't neglect your health campaign launched

Following a drop in GP visits since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic we have joined forces with South Western Sydney Local Health District to launch the Don't Neglect Your Health campaign. This campaign featured videos of local GPs and emergency department doctors reassuring the community it is safe to seek medical care and that their regular health should not take a backseat during the pandemic. 


Can I still speak to my GP from home?
Yes! If you don’t want to leave home, you can still make an appointment using telehealth. Just talk to reception at your local GP about your options. 

What is telehealth?
Telehealth is a phone or video call appointment with your GP or regular health provider. To make a telehealth appointment, you contact your GP as usual and book an appointment to either speak to your GP over the phone or accept a text or email invitation to have a video consultation with your GP via your computer or your smartphone. You don’t need a special program or app to do this. 

Do I need a special program or app for telehealth appointments?
No. You can use a landline telephone or mobile for phone appointments. For video consultationas you may need a computer or smart phone. 

What if I don't want to physically leave the house to visit my GP?
You can still make an telehealth appointment with your GP. This means speaking to your GP using the phone or by video call. You can talk about different options when booking your appointment.  

Are telehealth appointments bulk-billed?
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

Is it really safe to visit my GP?
GPs have taken steps to make sure that their patients can recive safe medical care. See below for a list of some of the steps medical centres are taking to keep their practices clean and safe. You can call your GP to make an appointment and find out your options.

What are medical centres doing to keep me and my family safe?

General practices and medical centres keep patients safe by:

  • phone screening of patients on booking
  • physical distancing of patients with separated seating and staggered appointment times
  • strict cleaning measures
  • reduced number of people in the medical centre
  • always seeing people with acute respiratory symptoms via telehealth first

I'm worried about sitting in a GP waiting room
Your GP has taken steps to make sure that their practice is clean and safe. Take a look at the list above. You can also have a telehealth apoointment which is via phone or video call. Call your GP to find out what options would work best for you. 

I don't know whether I need to see a GP, another health provider or specialist
Your GP is a great first port of call. Having a chat with your GP about a physical or mental health concern is a good idea. A GP can support you and if needed, help direct you to a specialist to make sure you get the care you need. 

Should I go to the GP or the hospital Emegency Department (ED)?
If you have a health emergency, call 000 (triple zero). Remember - emergency departments are for emergencies. You can help hospital emergency department staff by using alternative services when you are not seriously ill including:

  • General Practitioner (GP) - Call your local/family general practitioner (GP) for an appointment. Some GPs have weekend and late night after hours services. Find After Hours services here.  
  • After Hours healthdirect Helpline - Call 1800 022 222 anytime (24 hours 7 days a week) for free health information and advice from trusted health professionals. 
  • Pharmacist - Your local Pharmacist can also advise on many non-serious conditions.
  • Call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 for 24 hour health advice you can count on. 

Do GPs do COVID-19 testing?
There are special COVID-19 testing locations across South Western Sydney. Find testing options available in South Western Sydney

I'm worried about COVID-19, who do I talk to?
It is normal to feel concerned during challenging times. If you or someone you know needs support - take a look at the range of support options and local services to help get you back on track. 

More reading

  • Message from the CEO "Data from a recent health consumer survey about access to healthcare is concerning".