​Primary care response during COVID-19 in Australia. The key messages presented by Dr Emily Kirkpatrick at GP20 included:

  • COVID has had a significant impact, especially on GPs and primary care practitioners, and also on the viability of practices.

  • The overall health of the community has been significantly affected by COVID, especially from a mental health perspective.

  • Less people are coming into practices and a tele-health model has been rapidly adopted. This has been vital in ensuring continuity of care; and has made it safer for GPs.

  • GP practices have moved to a pod approach ie 2 alternating workforces to decrease the risk of transmission.

  • The role of the nurse has adapted and changed to be more of a tele-health triaging consultant rather than face-to-face.

  • With a decrease in the number of skin checks being conducted an emerging issue will be how to maintain and increase diagnostic screening.

  • The has been a significant focus of getting PPE into General Practice, especially during the second wave, to ensure the safety of primary care workers.

  • General Practice has the overall skill set to manage COVID patients in the community; and the majority of patients in SA are being managed by GPs – highlighting the vital contribution that primary care is making in managing the pandemic.

  • GPs are at the forefront of patient education (including preventative measures and encouraging testing).

  • Primary care has been vital in managing hotel quarantine programs.

  • Primary care in the post-COVID world will utilise more technology, more tele-health, and a much stronger focus on mental health.

 

 Thanks to the presenter: Dr Emily Kirkpatrick, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, SA Health

 

 For further discussion connect with a General Practice specialist at HPG:

 

Brayden Ball (02) 8877 8740 or bball@hpgconnect.com

Cocoa Lynch (02) 8877 8742 or clynch@hpgconnect.com

Courtney Roche (02) 8877 8701 or croche@hpgconnect.com

Rachele Sinclair (02) 8877 8736 or rasinclair@hpgconnect.com

 

HPG (Healthcare Professionals Group)

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