A COVID-19 Update For Our Patients

by | Apr 8, 2020 | COVID-19 Updates

Clinical changes due to COVID-19

The current coronavirus pandemic has caused worldwide illness and many fatalities. Its effect on society both in terms of health and economic devastation is unprecedented. The only way to contain the spread of the virus is by social distancing.

The virus cannot spread without people spreading it.

The only way to control the virus is with a vaccine. This may be many months, or years, away. That means that our clinic, like many organisations, must respond with new measures to help stop the spread of disease. Find out what social distancing and other recent health measures affect our clinic, and what it means for your surgery or follow up.

Telehealth appointments

Many surgical practices, including ours, have moved to “virtual clinics.” This is as part of the societal measures to limit the movement of people and therefore reduce the transmission of the virus. We employ telehealth platforms to deliver care for both new and existing patients.

Some surgeries on hold

The government has also instructed public and private hospitals alike to cease operating on most category 2 and all category 3 elective (planned) procedures. Most weight-loss surgeries fall into the category 3 status. Only urgent, or emergent, problems arising from weight loss surgery can be carried out at present.

This change is to ensure hospitals have the capacity to deal with the volume of sick patients when the pandemic peaks in Australia. It also takes pressure off the supplies of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Adequate supplies of PPE help ensure the safety of healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients. As I am also a General Surgeon I will also continue to provide surgery for patients requiring treatment for conditions such as appendicitis, cholecystitis, abscesses, bowel obstruction and others.

Keeping you up to date

We realise this has caused and will cause, significant disruption to our patients and their planned surgeries. We ask for understanding in these uncertain times. As this situation evolves we will continue to keep you up to date. As always, our commitment is to the safety of our staff, patients, and all their families.

Stay safe and stay at home.

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About Dr Garth McLeod

Dr Garth McLeod is a Sunshine Coast General and Bariatric Surgeon. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) in general surgery, with subspecialty training in obesity and metabolic surgery. Dr McLeod adopts a whole-patient approach to bariatric care with a multidisciplinary team