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COVID-19 process April update

Wednesday, 25 March 2020 - 4:46pm




Please be aware that these conditions will be subject to change as Government changes come into effect.

Recently the Australian Government expanded the telehealth services to all individuals as a bulk billing item.

However, as the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, further changes regarding the structure of the current Medicare arrangements may occur.

From 6 April 2020, it is a legislative requirement that the new telehealth services must be bulk billed for Commonwealth concession card holders, children under 16 years old and patients who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

 Vulnerable patients are persons considered to be at risk of COVID-19 , so an individual who:

· is required to self-isolate or self-quarantine in accordance with guidance issued by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee in relation to COVID-19; or
· is at least 70 years old; or
· if the person identifies as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent—is at least 50 years old; or
· is pregnant; or
· is the parent of a child aged under 12 months; or
· is being treated for a chronic health condition; or
· is immune compromised; or
· meets the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection.

For other patients, the Government has now allowed general practices to charge a gap fee against the Telehealth item number.

Such a fee will assist practices to remain sustainable throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Eastern Shore Doctors have now introduced a discounted gap fee for those patients who fall outside of the legislative requirements. These discounted gap fees are $25 for a standard length telehealth appointment and $35 for an extended appointment.
The Australian Government has stated that Telehealth services will continue to be available until 30 September 2020 when further review of the situation will take place.

Eastern Shore Doctors are committed to continuing to provide patients and families with a high standard of care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.


The following information is still up to date:

1 – Eastern Shore Doctors will now be cashless – We will still have full EFTPOS facilities available and payment over the phone with a debit or credit card

2 – HotDoc online bookings for Telehealth/Phone consultations are open

3 – All appointments will now be Telehealth/Phone consults. Your doctor will make any decision related to coming into the surgery. Please DO NOT present to the surgery. Make sure you are available to speak with your doctor at the scheduled appointment time (please note times may vary in the event that the previous appointment runs late). Should you not be available at your appointment time and have not cancelled your appointment, cancellation fees will apply.

4 - Please note if you are booked for any appointment types below, please park in the designated patient car parks at each surgery, wait in your car and we will call you when we are ready for you to come into the surgery.  Your temperature will be checked on arrival:

  • Immunisations
  • INR checks
  • Ear syringes
  • Wound care
  • Or similar

ESD thanks you for your understanding, and the kindness being shown to our staff in this challenging environment.


ESD team