Consultations with Dr John Weiner during the COVID-19 pandemic – updated 28 MARCH 2021

Please also read the post on general issues with appointments

The following updated post includes information on:

Triage of referrals

TeleHealth consultations

Face-to-face consultations

Mask wearing

Fees

Skin tests and Lung function tests (spirometry)

Address details

Please take the time to read it all (2 minute read)

Please wear a mask to the consultation. Even though the rules on mask-wearing have eased, you will not be allowed entry to our clinic unless you have a face-mask on, even if you have a medical exemption (more details below*). If you won’t wear a mask in our clinic, for whatever reason, you cannot have a face-to-face consultation, and you will be offered a TeleHealth consultation.

After a tough lockdown lasting months in Victoria, restrictions are lifted to a “Covid-Normal” level and will remain that way until the majority of the population is vaccinated, and provided vaccine-resistant variants don’t arise. There will be outbreaks but we trust control will be targeted now that there are zero cases.

My staff and I have continued working throughout the pandemic. For a few, TeleHealth is appropriate. For most, face-to-face consultations are either necessary or preferable.

Before we make an appointment, if you are a new patient,  or a review patient who I haven’t seen for over 12 months, please email a current referral to our clinic on allergynetaustralia(at)gmail(dot)com . Please provide a contact number. I will view and triage those  referrals. Nicole Klecina, my clinic manager, will then contact you and offer you either a TeleHealth consultation or a face-to-face consultation.

TeleHealth consultations are fully rebatable, and no out-of-pocket expenses are incurred.

A face-to-face consultation will incur non-rebatable costs as usual. Details of those costs can be obtained when you are contacted with an appointment time.

The following will incur a face-to-face consultation (not every time, and this list is not exhaustive):

  1. If requested by your referring doctor
  2. Initial dose of allergen immunotherapy treatment
  3. Most people with asthma
  4. Complex problems
  5. Most other conditions (possible exceptions below)

Those people who are especially vulnerable to coronavirus infection will have a TeleHealth consultation unless unavoidable. Those who live in a rural or semi-rural area will usually (not always) be offered a TeleHealth consultation. Most reviews (not all) can be done by TeleHealth.

If you have a medical exemption from wearing a mask, then you will be offered a TeleHealth consultation. Masks must be worn in our clinic.

Please wear a mask to the consultation. Even though the rules on mask-wearing have eased, you will not be allowed entry to our clinic unless you have a face-mask on, even if you have a medical exemption. If you won’t wear a mask in our clinic, for whatever reason, you cannot have a face-to-face consultation, and you will be offered a TeleHealth consultation. (see next paragraph*)

*Even if mask-free is allowed in most parts of Victoria, a mask must be worn in our clinic. As most people realise, if one of our staff develops symptoms of a non-covid virus or cold, the whole clinic is shut down until a negative covid swab is confirmed for that staff member. Masks not only reduce the chances of transmitting covid, they also reduce the chances of transmitting flu, common cold viruses, and other non-covid viruses. Masks will be required in our clinic until the vast majority of the community is vaccinated, and provided that vaccine-resistant covid variants don’t arise.

We can arrange TeleHealth appointments using FaceTime. If you do not have access to FaceTime, perhaps you can arrange a friend or relative to help. It’s always better to see you as we speak, but the Australian Government has allowed telephone calls to qualify as TeleHealth if nothing else is available.

Our rooms are Suite 1, Level 4, 517 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. This building is on the corner of Commercial Rd. The corner is well-served by public transport (trams). Many people will Uber or taxi. A very small private parking area is available next to our building off Commercial Rd. This is often full. Otherwise surrounding streets have meter parking. Allow 15 mins to get a park.

Hand sanitiser is available outside the elevators. Only 2 people are allowed in the elevators at any time. We have large communal waiting rooms that service 8 suites per floor. Half of the chairs are taped off to ensure appropriate isolation.

On arrival, Nicole will ask you the usual questions about recent ill-health and recent contacts on arrival.  On entering my consolation room you will be seated at least 1.5 meters from me. I will also wear a mask  the whole time. If I examine you then I will usually wear a face-shield as well. It’s possible that my examination may require you to briefly lower your mask.

If lung tests are needed, I have a small breathing test machine (spirometer) that uses one-way disposable mouthpieces that trap germs. The spirometer is cleaned and undergoes UV sterilisation after every use.

Skin tests, if needed, will be performed by me.

You can arrive with a companion, but only you, the patient, will be allowed into my consulting room, unless assistance is needed. I no longer see children, as Melbourne is now serviced by many excellent paediatric allergists.

Thank you, and take care everyone.

John Weiner

 

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