VAHS can safely assess and test Community for COVID-19 at our VAHS Fitzroy Respiratory Clinic

If you have symptoms such as a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose or shortness of breath – book an appointment at VAHS Fitzroy to be tested for COVID-19. The VAHS Fitzroy Respiratory Clinic is open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their immediate family members.

Even if your symptoms are only mild it is recommended to get tested. Help keep our Community safe.

CALL 0478 767 140 to book an appointment and get tested now!

Respiratory Clinic opening hours

Monday           10.00am-12.30pm and 1.30-4.00pm

Tuesday          10.00am-12.30pm and 1.30-4.00pm

Wednesday     10.00am-12.30pm and 1.30-4.00pm

Thursday         10.00am-12.30pm and 1.30-4.00pm

Friday              10.00am-12.30pm and 1.30-3.00pm

The VAHS Fitzroy Respiratory Clinic is supported by funding from the Commonwealth Department of Health.

VAHS IS OPEN & STILL CARING FOR OUR COMMUNITY

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a serious health matter. VAHS will continue to provide services to the Community but they will look a little different.

CHANGES VAHS HAS MADE TO PROTECT YOU, THE COMMUNITY & OUR STAFF

Opening hours

VAHS Fitzroy & Epping sites remain open.

Fitzroy clinic hours are:

  • Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm
  • Friday 10am to 3pm
  • The Fitzroy Saturday clinic is closed

Epping clinic hours are:

  • Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm
  • Friday 9am to 4pm

VAHS Preston site is closed BUT Family Counselling Services (FCS) are still operating via phone and video consults. If you wish to connect with FCS please call 9403 3300 and our reception staff will connect you with the support service you need.

Phone consults

VAHS is delivering most care through phone consults, this is for the safety of both Community and staff.

If you ring for a new appointment you will be offered a phone consult. Your GP or clinician will then ring you at your appointment time, and you can decided together if you need to come into VAHS for a face to face consultation.

If you already have an appointment, you will be contacted and offered a phone consult at the same time. You can still make an appointment to come into VAHS for a face to face consultation if you need to.

All VAHS staff are wearing masks for face to face consultations to protect Community and staff, and time spent in face to face consultations is being limited to less than 15 minutes wherever possible.

Front door screening

Everyone attending a VAHS site is screened at the front door every time they attend. You will be asked about fever, symptoms of cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, and loss of sense of smell or taste, as well as contact with anyone who has/had COVID-19.

Even if you have been to VAHS recently and been asked the front door screening questions before, please be patient and answer all the questions again.

People who have fever or symptoms can be seen by VAHS staff in a separate area.

Front door screening is important to keep VAHS safe for Community and staff.

VAHS Fitzroy Respiratory Clinic

The Respiratory Clinic has been set up to provide Community with a safe space to be assessed and tested for COVID-19.

Entry to the Respiratory Clinic is through the car park at Fitzroy and there are parking spaces allocated for Community attending the Respiratory Clinic.

If you have symptoms, please ring 0478 767 140 to make an appointment and get tested for COVID-19.

VAHS is not currently able to test people who do not have symptoms. If you have been advised you need to be tested and don’t have symptoms, please ring the COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 675 398 to find your nearest testing clinic that can provide asymptomatic testing.

Transport

VAHS drivers are not currently transporting patients. If you are attending VAHS for an appointment and need transports, please call to discuss options before your appointment.

Medication drop-offs

VAHS drivers are able to drop off medications to VAHS clients. Please contact VAHS to arrange this service; medications will be delivered the day following your request and you need to be at home to receive them.

Dental

Priority is given to emergency, essential treatment and to patients from our priority list. If you have a toothache or facial swelling please call VAHS Dental on 9419 3000 press 2, for an appointment.

Dental treatment has changed since COVID-19. Some instruments cannot be used at this time, to keep you and our Dental Team safe. Restrictions apply to some dental treatments and to certain equipment and instruments.

Remember to call VAHS Dental the day before your dental appointment for health screening questions.

Flu shots

VAHS strongly encourages Community to get a flu shot. You can make an appointment for a flu shot at both Epping and Fitzroy.

VAHS groups

All VAHS group have been suspended temporarily.

VAHS phone numbers

Fitzroy – 9419 3000

Epping – 8592 3920

Preston – 9403 3300

SOME ADVICE

Always remember to protect yourself, your family and the Community by:

  • Staying home and getting tested if you have symptoms, even if they are mild
  • Washing your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Staying 1.5 meters away from other people
  • Covering your cough and sneezing with the bend of your elbow or a tissue
  • Avoiding large gatherings and crowded public places

Here are some websites to keep up to date about COVID-19:

STAY CONNECTED WITH VAHS

Given the developing nature of this situation, information and decisions made today, may change tomorrow due to evolving and uncertain situation with the COVID-19 outbreak.

To stay up-to-date with the latest changes and information from VAHS stay connected with us on Facebook.

Michael Graham | CEO

Statement of regret

Dr Peter Walsh and Erin Manderson

Between 2010 and 2018 ASK provided, among other things, transport services to VAHS patients. The two organisations were and are committed to the improvement of Aboriginal health.

On 17 September 2018 VAHS published a statement concerning the activities of ASK trading as First Peoples’ Health and Wellbeing (FPHW) and raising concerns about its Aboriginal governance structure. Dr Peter Walsh and Erin Manderson, two non- Aboriginal people who had been working with VAHS and who had chosen to work with ASK, were not named in the statement. However, the statement has been interpreted by some people as questioning their integrity and whether they had offered appropriate loyalty to VAHS.

VAHS’ intention in issuing the statement was to clarify the nature of the relationship between VAHS and FPHW following concerns raised by VAHS members, stakeholders and other members of the Aboriginal community. Dr Walsh and Ms Manderson have raised concerns that the statement questioned their integrity.  Dr Walsh and Ms Manderson for their part have the strong view that at all times they had acted in good faith and considered the statement defamatory of them.  VAHS never intended to upset, hurt or offend Dr Walsh or Ms Manderson.

The parties have now reached a settlement of the dispute between them, the terms of which are confidential.

VAHS acknowledge that Dr Walsh and Ms Manderson have shown commitment to the improvement of Aboriginal health. VAHS was not seeking to convey that Dr Walsh and Ms Manderson were disrespectful of Aboriginal patient information. VAHS regrets any upset, hurt feelings or offence caused to Dr Walsh or Ms Manderson.

For their part, Dr Walsh and Ms Manderson acknowledge and recognise the integral role VAHS has played and continues to play in the improvement of Aboriginal health.

VAHS has had as its mission the advancement of Aboriginal health for 47 years.  It is passionate and committed to this cause and has always had as its priority its members, clients and Aboriginal communities.

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