The Gastroenterology Society of Australia (GESA) has provided a statement with frequently asked questions for patients with GI & liver diseases (updated 19 March 2020).
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on endoscopic services at Monash Health.
Answers to the Frequently Asked Questions provided below is a general guide. The information provided is current as of 10th June 2020 and will be updated regularly. Decisions and plans can change rapidly in the current environment, so this information may lag behind what is currently in place
It is likely that there will be a delay in the normal bookings for endoscopy. This is to reduce the number of patients coming to the Endoscopy Unit to minimise your exposure. In accordance with governmental and public health guidance, we are currently running at reduced capacity and this is having an impact on wait times. We understand that this may be frustrating but appreciate your understanding.
Emergency inpatient endoscopy will continue as required during the COVID-19 pandemic.
All endoscopy referrals are currently being reassessed by specialist gastroenterologists to determine if they should proceed or can be postponed. Specialists are using national guidelines by the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) specifically created to assist with triaging endoscopy during the COVID-19 pandemic. You may receive a call from a Monash Health gastroenterologist or Endoscopy Liaison Nurse to help clarify your symptoms to accurately triage your endoscopy. If your phone displays a “Blocked Number”, please answer it as it may be from Monash Health.
The risk of contracting COVID-19 during an endoscopy is unknown, but thought to be very low. The doctors and nurses looking after you during the endoscopy procedure will be using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in accordance with Department of Health and Monash Health protocols to safeguard yourself and themselves during the endoscopy.
If your endoscopy has been deemed urgent to proceed, we are following all Department of Health recommendations to undertake your endoscopy in a safe environment for yourself and for Monash Health staff.
We thank you in advance for complying with these arrangements.
If you are acutely unwell, please contact 000 or your GP for advice.
We have established an Endoscopy “hotline” (phone and e-mail) for your GP to contact should they have concerns regarding any delays in your procedure. Enquiries will be addressed by a gastroenterologist and we will endeavour to respond within 24 hours and advise accordingly.