On this page we will be keeping you up to date about our response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our top priority has been providing safe access to appropriate medical care. We encourage you not to delay seeking the advice of your doctor during Covid!
You will find information on what to do if you test positive, information about COVID-19 antivirals and their eligibility and how to arrange vaccination at Royal Park Medical to protect yourself from COVID-19.
Choose face-to-face or Telehealth
Royal Park Medical has adopted and evolved Covid-safe policies, while remaining accessible to our patients. We are here to help support you, your family and our community. You are welcome to attend the clinic for your appointments however we ask you to wear a mask when you do so.
If you have COVID-19, we request that you book for a Telehealth appointment. We can offer medical advice and care via a Telehealth consult. Should your illness persist, your doctor may arrange for you to attend the clinic after the initial Telehealth assessment. We can also arrange PCR tests if needed.
Please note that Dr Paul Grinzi is offering face to face consultations again, as well as telehealth, but he will not be able to see any person with symptoms of a contagious infection (eg Covid, other viral respiratory illness or gastroenteritis).
What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?
For most people, particularly those who have had a full course of COVID-19 vaccination; the illness can be mild. Common symptoms include fever, sore throat, body aches and tiredness. Some people experience cough and shortness of breath. However for others – particularly those who are elderly, frail, immunocompromised or pregnant -COVID-19 infection can be severe.
If you test positive, we encourage you to check in with your doctor via a video Telehealth appointment for up to date guidance and medical review. Supportive measures at home are usually appropriate for most however antiviral medication against COVID-19 are available and are highly recommended for high risk individuals. They are most effective if started within 5 days of infection.
COVID-19 anti-viral eligibility
If you test positive for COVID-19, you may be eligible for antiviral treatments if you are:
- 70 years of age or older, regardless of risk factors and with or without symptoms.
- 60 years of age or older with 1 additional risk factors for developing severe disease or have had past COVID 19 infection resulting in hospitalisation.
- 50 years of age or older with 2 additional risk factors for developing severe disease or have had past COVID 19 infection resulting in hospitalisation.
- First Nations person, 30 years of age or older with 1 additional risk factor for developing severe disease or have had past COVID-19 infection resulting in hospitalisation.
Risk factors include:
- living in residential aged care
- living with disability with multiple conditions and/or frailty (but not limited to living in supported accommodation)
- neurological conditions like stroke or dementia and demyelinating conditions e.g. multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome
- chronic respiratory conditions including COPD, moderate or severe asthma
- obesity or diabetes (type I or II requiring medication)
- heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies
- kidney failure or cirrhosis
- living remotely with reduced access to higher level healthcare
- past COVID-19 infection episode resulting in hospitalisation.
People aged 18 years or older
If you test positive for COVID-19 and are moderately to severely immunocompromised, you may be eligible for antiviral treatments.
- blood cancer or some red blood cell disorders (thalassemia, sickle cell disease)
- transplant recipient
- primary or acquired (HIV) immunodeficiency
- chemotherapy or whole-body radiotherapy in the last 3 months
- high dose corticosteroids or pulse corticosteroid therapy in the last 3 months
- immunosuppressive treatments in the last 3 months
- anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody treatment in the last 12 months/
- cerebral palsy or Down Syndrome
- congenital heart disease
- living with disability with multiple conditions and/or frailty.
Please note the criteria for eligibility is set by the government and not by Royal Park Medical and it is ever-changing. We will endeavour to keep this up to date.
Contact Royal Park Medical as soon as you test positive for COVID-19. Anti-viral treatments are most effective when started withing 5 days of infection. We will endeavour to arrange a Telehealth appointment with one of our doctors on the day. Please do let our staff know you have tested positive for COVID-19, so we can triage your appointment promptly. Out of hours, please contact the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department who can arrange anti-virals without delay.
How to book a Telehealth appointment
Telehealth appointments can be booked online — click above and choose a phone or video consultation.
We use a secure Australian-based video platform. If you select a Telehealth appointment, you will receive a web link to the virtual waiting room. Please click on this link on your smartphone, tablet or webcam-enabled computer 5 minutes before the appointment time.
Simply clicking on the link will allow you to join the video consultation. You don’t need to download any software, or go through any long sign-up process. The system will ask you to type your name, and agree to the consent form. Once you are in the virtual waiting room, you may need to wait until your doctor has finished their previous consultation.
If you do not have a webcam or smartphone, we can still do telephone consultations. Please let us know if this is what you need. Our doctors will ask questions to ensure they understand your needs. Bear in mind that the doctor won’t be able to see you and it can be difficult to get a full understanding of your medical concern. Medicare rebates for telephone consultations were cut back in 2022, so the maximum rebate you will get is $39.75 even if you need a longer consultation.
If your doctor decides that you need further examination or a procedure you may be asked to come to RPM at a convenient time.
Royal Park Medical is offering COVID-19 vaccination boosters in 2023.
For adults (18 or over), the current advice is to book in for a further COVID-19 vaccine if it has been more than 6 months since your last vaccine or more than 6 months since you had the COVID-19 infection, whichever is more recent.
Please book in now. It does not matter if this is your 3rd, 4th or 5th dose.
We are administering the new Pfizer bivalent vaccine, which has better coverage for the newer COVID-19 variants.
Boosters are also recommended for people aged 12-17 who are at high risk of complications from COVID-19.
Tips for preparing for your vaccination
- Allow 30 minutes for the vaccine appointment, as you will need to remain for at least 15 minutes after your injection
- Attend in loose clothing, ideally short-sleeves
- Bring ID
- We will require you to complete a consent form, either online ahead of time or when you attend
- Read the information sheets (links will be sent via SMS once your appointment is confirmed) and prepare any questions
- Bring details of any serious allergies (especially to vaccine products)
- If you have very complicated medical conditions, or concerns about your suitability for vaccination, you may wish to discuss with your usual doctor beforehand
- Bring evidence of eligibility, if applicable
Pregnancy and COVID vaccination
Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
Guidance from vaccine experts and government has been updated to recommend that COVID vaccine be offered to all pregnant people at any stage of pregnancy. This is based on research and extensive experience from around the world. We also know that there is a higher risk for severe outcomes from COVID in pregnant people and unborn babies. Booster vaccination doses are highly recommended during pregnancy or if breastfeeding.
Research has also suggested that being vaccinated during pregnancy will protect your unborn baby from COVID, as antibodies are present in breast milk and cord blood.
Breastfeeding women are recommended to have any COVID-19 vaccination.
Please ask your doctor if you are concerned or would like more information.