Health Check

Getting your medicines during the coronavirus outbreak: what you need to know

Staying at home and on top of your health. Here’s what you need to know about getting your medicines during COVID-19.

Written by Editor Medibank

If you have a long-term health condition, you may be particularly concerned about COVID-19. While it’s important to reduce your risk by staying home where you can, keeping physical distance and practicing good hygiene, it’s just as important to stay on top of any other health issues that you have. A big part of that means taking your medicines as prescribed and checking in with your doctor if you experience symptoms.

In response to COVID-19, the government has made changes to improve access to medicines. This means you may be able to get your prescriptions e-mailed to you and have your medication delivered to your home. Many consultations with health professionals can now be done over video conferencing or phone too.

Here’s what you need to know:

You may be able to renew scripts remotely

Online medical consultations are now available through Medicare. Depending on your condition and advice from your doctor and pharmacist, you may be able to get an e-script or have your doctor post a paper script without leaving your home. If you feel a bit nervous about using technology, let the receptionist know when you ring to book your appointment, and they can help talk you through what to do. There are also translation services available if English is not your first language.

You may be able to have your medicines delivered to you

If you’re more likely to develop complications, if you’re suspected to have COVID-19 (according to certain criteria), you may be able to have your medicines delivered to your home. Chat to your pharmacy to see if you can access this service.

You should have enough medicine to last one month

Make sure you have one month’s worth of medicine and double check that it hasn’t expired — if you’re running low or your medicine is out of date, call your chemist first to check they have it in stock. Note that pharmacies have now placed limits on certain medicines.

Check in with your doctor if you have questions about your medicines

Taking your medicine as prescribed can help keep you well and out of hospital, and help reduce the risk of serious problems. If you have questions or concerns about any medicine that you’re taking, ring and make a telehealth appointment to discuss.

Face-to-face consultations

If you do need to see a health professional in-person or go to hospital, don’t panic, just ask if there are any special precautions you need to take. Let them know if you are taking medicines that suppress your immune system or undergoing cancer treatment, or if you have a health condition that might increase your risk of complications from COVID-19, such as heart, lung or kidney disease. Bring any medicines that you regularly take with you to hospital, including your inhaler and spacer if you have asthma.

24/7 Medibank Nurse Phone Service Medibank members with hospital cover* can call our 24/7 Medibank Nurse Phone Service on 1800 644 325, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have increased our number of qualified health experts to meet the high demand we’re currently experiencing.

*OSHC members should contact the Student Health and Support Line on 1800 887 283.

Written by Editor Medibank

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