Tea Gardens medical centre enforces new ‘no mask, no consult’ policy

No mask, no consult.


OCHRE Health in Tea Gardens has been enforcing a ‘no mask, no consult’ policy at its centre since Monday, 10 August.

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Practice Manager Andrea Hammond said that based on the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases across Australia, along with the evolving evidence supporting the protective nature of masks, the centre decided to introduce mandatory mask use.

“As the COVID-19 situation has evolved, Ochre now supports universal mask wearing in the GP setting,” said Ms Hammond.

“There’s increasing evidence of aerosolised spread of the virus, as well as the efficacy of masks decreasing the risk of transmission.”

“There are also concerns that patients may be asymptomatic when screened.”

“We’ve also considered that GP clinics attract a population with a higher risk of infection, and that there may be difficulties in maintaining physical distancing while at the centre.”

Ms Hammond asserted that wearing a face covering protects the community by providing an additional barrier to COVID-19, and acknowledges that there are exemptions for not wearing a face covering.

“If you have a medical condition or other condition that impairs your ability to wear a covering, that’s an exemption,” she said.

“Children under the age of twelve also do not need to wear a face covering.”

Ochre Health will supply disposable masks to patients if they cannot source their own. Fabric reusable masks will also be for sale at the centre.

“All of the staff really appreciate the past and present cooperation of our community in adhering to our policies and procedures in keeping us all COVID safe,” Ms Hammond continued.

“We are taking things week-by-week, following the guidance of public health.”

“Things are likely to change every minute so we encourage everyone to keep up-to-date.”

Hawks Nest Medical Centre advised that they were not enforcing any such requirements at their clinic.



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