2nd February 2021, Dr Chee L Khoo
Since my last post on the expression of interest (EOI) in participating in the Phase 1B covid-19 vaccine roll out, there have some changes and clarification to the silly announcements that may make it more acceptable to submit the EOI:
The National Booking System (NBS) has not been created yet and is unlikely to be ready in time for the launch of Phase 1B (if at all). So, there is no one stop shop for patient to book an appointment for vaccination. Now, who’s silly idea was it to start with? To create a software to integrate with GPs’ software at the practice? Seriously at the 11th hour?
Version 1 of the EOI appears to say that we are required to use the NBS. Version 2 now says using the NBS is not mandatory anymore. If you already use an online booking system, you can continue to use it but if you don’t have an online booking system, don’t worry about it.
I understand that the AMA has sought clarification and we are allowed to co-bill usual attendance if there are further discussions surrounding the vaccination. We can also incorporate vaccination into routine clinical care and bill your usual billing item. Obviously, the patient need to “qualify” for Phase 1B to start with.
Version 1 says that “in the early stages of the roll-out it will be necessary for participating general practices to have designated ‘vaccine clinics’ to maximise rapid vaccine uptake and minimise wastage”. Well, now if appears that you can nominate certain hours for vaccinations alongside your usual hours.
These are game changer modifications to the original EOI which recognise that one size does not fit all in general practice. I understand that Assoc Prof Charlotte Hespe (Director, RACGP Board) and Danielle McMullen (President, NSW Branch AMA) have been active in pursuing those changes that made the EOI more palatable for GPs.
With that, I have tentatively submit my application for EOI. You still have time as the closing has been extended to 11.59 pm Wednesday 3rd February 2021. Here is the link.
Submitting an EOI does not mean you have to go ahead if the conditions are not conducive.