Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 virus has affected the entire World and we in Tasmania are no exception. At Hobart Eye Surgeons our priorities are: the visual and clinical needs of our patients, the safety of our staff, the safety of the community in terms of maximizing physical distancing, the needs of our referrers and the need to conserve medical resources.

WHAT WE ARE DOING TO MINIMISE RISK We have two separate staff teams; one responsible for Argyle Street and one for our Branch offices which lessens the risk of numbers of staff contracting COVID and having to close.

With this in mind we are taking the following steps:

  1. We are staying open.
  2. We are deferring in clinic consultations for patients for non urgent conditions. We will be contacting patients and advising them soon.
  3. We are increasingly moving to a virtual service through tele-health or telephone consultations for both you and existing patients.
  4. We are seeing and treating patients with urgent and sight-threatening conditions. Foremost amongst these are the anti-VEGF injections for macular degeneration. Some of these patients can be deferred for a brief period but this essential service will remain.
  5. We are accepting new referrals. Doctors will examine each referral and will make a decision as to whether the patient needs to attend urgently or should initially be assessed with a phone consult. In this way we can ensure that patients receive the ophthalmic care that they need and have appropriate follow-up and continuity of care.

Our doctors are available on the phone for advice. If you are uncertain about either our policies or a particular patient, please feel free to ring.

We wish you and your staff and families well in this very difficult time and we look forward cautiously but confidently to the time when we can resume our normal operations as a society and as a Practice.

With kind regards,

Clin Assoc Prof Paul McCartney, Clinical Professor Nitin Verma AM, Dr Guy Bylsma, Dr Andrew Traill, Professor Alex Hewitt,
Dr Kate Rattray, Dr Robin Abell, Dr Tom Bonnelame, Dr John Banks