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Frequently Asked Questions

What is happening with Elective Surgery? 
Our teams are working the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a staged process to how we will reintroduce elective surgery. Please be assured that if we postponed your surgery you will be prioritised for a new date. We will contact you by telephone to let you know when your new surgery date is.

Will my appointment be cancelled / postponed? 
In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently scaling back our operations to reduce the number of visitors at the hospital and the risk of infection. 

You will be contacted by the Eye and Ear booking unit by phone, text or letter to advise you if your appointment is being postponed. A qualified and experienced doctor will have read your health care records and assessed that this is safe to do so.

I've tried ringing on the phone, but can't get through.
We are experiencing a high level of calls and enquiries at the moment. If you are calling in relation to your appointment, you can also email: outpatients@eyeandear.org.au . Please include the following patient information in your email: 

  • Name
  • Date of Birth 
  • Postcode
  • Contact number
  • UR Number

When will you be in touch with me about a new date for my appointment? 
Once we resume our full range of services at the hospital, we will be in contact with you to reschedule your appointment. We are currently unable to advise on a timeline relating to this, but in the meantime, if you feel your condition is worsening, please email outpatients@eyeandear.org.au or call 9929 8500. 

Are surgeries still going ahead? 
Surgery is being performed on patients who have been deemed by medical staff as requiring lifesaving, emergency and essential elective surgery. We are starting to slowly reintroduce non-essential Category 2 surgery. 

What happens if my surgery is cancelled?  
If you are listed as a Category 2 or Category 3 patient and the treating team advises that your surgery is not essential at this time, we will not proceed with your elective surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will not impact your place on the waiting list or disadvantage you in anyway.

It is not known when elective surgery services will return to normal but we will contact you to book your surgery as soon as the hospital is in a position to provide the best possible care for you. 

What do I need to do if my surgery is cancelled? 
We’d like your help during this time to ensure our Elective Surgery Waiting List record is up to date during this period. 

Please contact imren.kuyucu@eyeandear.org.au as soon as possible if a) you no longer want your procedure OR b) you have had your procedure at another hospital. Otherwise, there is no action you need to take. 

What should I do if my condition feels like it is getting worse?
Please contact your GP or referring doctor if there are any changes in your condition, if you’d like advice about pain management or you are requiring other support during this time. We appreciate this is a difficult time and regret that the COVID-19 situation is affecting our services in this way. Your support and understanding during this challenging period is appreciated.

We will also continue to provide emergency care at the Eye and Ear hospital. We cannot provide advice over the phone so if you feel your eye or ear condition requires emergency attention, please visit our Emergency Department. 

Can someone accompany me to my appointment? 
We are limiting the number of visitors we have at the hospital. If possible, we ask that patients come alone to the hospital. If a carer/support person is absolutely required, this is restricted to one person – this applies for children also. If you are bringing a carer / support person, please ensure that they: 

  • Do not have any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath;
  • Have not been overseas in the past 14 days; or in contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.

If accompanying a friend or family member for day surgery, you will not be permitted to wait in the hospital for surgery to finish. You will be required to leave the hospital and only return when you receive a phone call from our staff to advise that the patient is ready for discharge.

Can someone visit me if I am staying the night at the hospital? 
Partners and carers are welcome to visit if you are in our inpatient ward; however, visits are restricted to one visitor per patient, per day. Visits will be limited to a maximum of 1 hour.  We respectfully ask that other family members and friends do not visit at this time.

Partners or carers should not visit patients if they have any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath and/or have been overseas in the past 14 days; or in contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. 

What measures are in place to reduce the risk of infection at the hospital? 
A number of measures have been put in place at the hospital, to ensure patient and staff safety. These include: 

  • An assessment upon arrival for all visitors and staff entering the hospital: this includes questions from our clinical staff, as well as having your temperature taken; and being asked to sanitise your hands.
  • Social distancing measures have been put in place to separate patients in waiting rooms; and visitor numbers have been reduced to allow for this;Additional hand sanitising stations have been set up throughout the hospital; 
  • Additional cleaning is taking place in frequently used areas; 
  • We have limited lifts to a maximum of two people.

Will the hospital be closing? 
The hospital currently has no plans to close, and will continue to provide eye and ear care to Victorians. This is a rapidly changing situation and we will update patients if there are any changes to the services we provide. 

What is happening with the old Peter Mac at Eye and Ear on the Park?
St Vincent’s Hospital has been asked by the Department of Health and Human Services to manage bringing 84 new beds into the health system. These beds will be in the inpatient wards on the old Peter Mac site, which is located at Eye and Ear on the Park. This is not an area that the Eye and Ear functions in. We are working closely with both St Vincent’s and DHHS ensuring that our patient safety remains a key priority with all decisions that are made.

I need my prescription refilled, but I don’t want to travel to the hospital. What can I do? 
If you have questions or concerns about coming to the hospital to get your prescription refilled, contact our Outpatients Booking Unit on outpatients@eyeandear.org.au or call them on 9929 8500 to speak to an operator. 

I need to get my eye injections? Can they wait?
For specific queries relating to your treatment, contact our Outpatients Booking Unit on outpatients@eyeandear.org.au or call them on 9929 8500 to speak to an operator. 

I am concerned about traveling to the hospital, as I use public transport. What are my options? 
If you do not want to travel to the hospital, given the current situation, we can work with you to cancel your appointment. Please email outpatients@eyeandear.org.au  and include your appointment details in the email. Alternatively, you can call 9929 8500.
Currently the hospital has reduced capacity to assist patients to be transported to appointments as the Red Cross driver network has been significantly reduced. Patients can be transferred to the Transport officer to discuss their eligibility for non-emergency ambulance.