COVID-19 Update

During these difficult and unprecedented times, we are here to support you in any way we can. Your wellbeing is very important to us. We encourage you to give us a call to discuss your options or any other questions you may have at this time.

Please rest assured that for those who may have eggs in storage, our experienced and expert scientists will continue to ensure they remain safe. We will be ready and waiting for you to continue your fertility journey, as soon as we can in the coming months.

Chill will continue to consult with patients via phone and video conference. You can contact us on 1300 215 332 for further information on the limited services available.

 

What can we help with over the phone?

Whether you are a new or one of our existing patients there are a number of matters we can assist you with over the phone including (and not limited to):

  • New patient consultations: discussing your current medical situation; taking medical and fertility history; discussing your options etc.
  • Counselling sessions: Chill affiliated counsellors are able to offer remote supportive counselling services.  A variety of appointment days and times are available including after-hours (subject to individual counsellor availability).
  • Medication education: advice; education; online demonstrations; and coaching.
  • Nurse guidance: Pre-treatment advice; individualised advice and education of treatment prescribed by the fertility specialist; advice and support via phone call, text message and email.
  • Reviews: Existing patient cycle review with a fertility specialist or embryologist
Please refer to our social media channels (Instagram and Facebook) for the most up to date information related to COVID-19 and how it is affecting fertility treatment.

UPDATE AS AT 02.04.2020 | 9:00 am

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR VIC PATIENTS (Victoria State Government)

On Thursday 2nd April 2020, Victoria State Government issued a COVID-19 directive stating that certain categories of elective surgery (including elective surgery procedural aspects of egg freezing) have been suspended. Chill will continue to offer phone and video consultations until further advise is received in Victoria. However, patients who are currently ‘in-cycle’, or who require urgent stimulation and cryopreservation for oncofertility will be able to continue their treatment. If you are mid-egg freezing cycle, please speak with your fertility specialist directly for advice and direction.

The Victoria State Government has also provided the following recommendations:

  • Clinicians should not initiate new treatment cycles. This applies to non-urgent gamete cryopreservation.
  • Patients planning to start fertility treatment should consult with their treating specialist and discuss care plans following lifting of this treatment suspension

 


UPDATE AS AT 26.03.2020 | 11:00 am

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL PATIENTS (Federal Government update for all patients)

In these unprecedented times, we want to ensure you are provided with the most up to date information.

For any patients currently undergoing treatment, The Health Minister, Greg Hunt, and the Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy have indicated that patients who, as of 25 March 2020, 1.00 pm. have started an IVF cycle will be allowed to complete their treatment, this includes fresh and frozen cycles. Please contact your treating fertility specialist or clinic for further advice.

We are continuing to liaise with Federal and State Governments and we will continue to provide any important updates as they are made available.

We will continue to provide phone and online (skype etc) consultations.


Patient-related Q&A

To help alleviate your concerns around the COVID-19 virus and how this might affect your fertility treatment, we have compiled a list of the frequently asked questions to keep you informed.

Treatment

Can I start treatment?

Effective 26 March 2020 we are liaising with the Federal and State Governments to determine if we can have access to procedures centres for egg pick-ups.

We will continue to provide any important updates as they are made available.

What happens if I want to cancel my cycle and wait?

That is okay, we can work with you and your specialist to manage your future treatments.

I am in cycle; can I still continue?

Yes, you are able to continue your cycle.  Please discuss your treatment options with your fertility specialist.

What if I get sick mid-cycle?

If you get sick mid-cycle and it is suspected that it is due to COVID-19, firstly, you will need to notify your treating clinician and GP. To ensure your health and the health of staff we may need to cancel your cycle until such a time that you have been in self-isolation and or been tested.

We would ask that you seek medical advice regarding your personal circumstances and consult with your treating specialist so we can manage your care accordingly.

Are my eggs at risk of Coronavirus?

As per usual procedure, all surfaces and equipment are wiped down between patients before the next freezing event.

Your eggs are safely stored in individual straws in liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees.

What if I am overseas when my day one starts?

Given all people returning from overseas to Australia are required to self-quarantine for 14 days, your treatment cycle will need to be delayed until a later date as we cannot manage your cycle without having any direct contact with you.

 

Essential travel for medical appointments in Queensland

What happens if the border between two states (e.g. QLD and NSW) closes and patients want to start treatment?

The Queensland Government recently restricted all non-essential cross-border travel between Queensland and New South Wales due to COVID-19. This restriction commences at 12.01 am Thursday 26 March 2020.

If you reside in NSW this could impact your fertility treatment.

We are pleased to advise, the Queensland Government has confirmed that cross-border travel for medical treatment purposes at our Robina clinic is allowed.

In an effort to help minimise the travel required for you, we can now:

  • Provide phone and or video consultations where practical;
  • Courier medications to you if required;
  • Provide medication training via video conferencing; and
  • Arrange for your scans to occur locally, where possible.

As a result of the above changes, you will now only be required to attend our Robina clinic for your procedure. For this, we will provide you with a letter from your fertility specialist to state you are travelling for medical purposes. We request that you please contact our Patient Services Team on 1300 859 116 to obtain a copy of this letter before attending your appointment.

We are continuing to monitor the Department of Health alerts and provide any important updates to patients as soon as they are available. For additional information on COVID-19 please visit www.health.gov.au

 

Safety

How do we know staff aren’t infected?

As is the case for all health services, we are implementing a range of safety precautions to minimise this risk, these include:

  • Stay away from work policy: We are advising anyone who falls into the following categories, to not attend work and seek medical advice:
    -Active flu-like symptoms
    -Recent direct contact with proven COVID-19 case in the past 14 days
    – Recently returned from overseas travel within the past 14 days (since 15 March these people must self-isolate for 14 days.)
  • Daily staff health screening: To help us protect everyone in our clinics, day procedure centres, and call centres, we are implementing a daily health check screen for all staff, patients and visitors. We are asking staff to record their temperature and status of their travel or whether they have been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Patient health check on arrival: We will also be asking patients some health check questions and taking patient temperatures with an infrared temperature device.
  • High Infection control protocols: We are undertaking thorough daily cleaning of all high-touch areas with high-grade disinfectants, including reception surfaces, door handles, and treatment areas.
  • Hand sanitisation: All staff, patients, and visitors to our clinics are required to use hand sanitiser upon entering the clinic. All staff are required to use it before and following contact with patients.
  • Social distancing in our clinics: We have implemented social distancing measures in our waiting rooms and staff working areas.

 

Hospital

Is the hospital going to close down?

The Australian Government announced on 25 March 2020, that as of 12.01am 26 March 2020, public and private hospitals cannot perform elective surgery.  The patients currently in-cycle can continue to complete their treatment.  We are seeking further clarification from the Health Minister.  We will contact you immediately to discuss alternative arrangements if possible.

What happens if the day hospital closes?

In the event of the hospital associated with your clinic closes, our sister-clinic, City Fertility, has its own off-site procedure centres/day hospital in the following locations:

  • In Queensland, two procedure centres (Sunnybank and Gold Coast) where we can provide ongoing care and services.
  • In New South Wales, our Gateway Day Hospital in the CBD can provide ongoing services.

 

Costs

What are the costs if I must cancel a cycle?

If you must withdraw from treatment because of an actual or suspected COVID-19 exposure before the egg collection, we will not charge you any out-of-pocket fees. If you have collected medication, please store this as per directed and this can be used for a future cycle when it is safe for you to proceed with treatment.

In the circumstance that your treatment is not Medicare-eligible, then a small cancellation fee will be charged equivalent to the Medicare bulk-billed rate. This covers any costs incurred e.g. ultrasounds, blood tests etc. 

 

Telehealth

What can you provide me with via your telehealth services?

Whether you are a new or continuing patient there are a number of matters we can assist you with over the phone or online including (and not limited to):

  • New patient consultations: discussing current medical situations, taking a medical history and fertility history, discussing potential treatment options etc.
  • Counselling sessions: Chill affiliated counsellors are able to offer remote supportive counselling services.  A variety of appointment days and times are available including after hours (subject to individual counsellor availability).
  • Counselling sessions: facilitate counselling to address any concerns relating to the treatment.
  • Medication education: advice, education, demonstrations and coaching.
  • Nurse guidance: Pre-treatment advice, individualised advice and education of treatment prescribed by the fertility specialist, advice and support during the treatment and post-treatment phase including phone call, text message and email.
  • Existing patient cycle review with an embryologist

What type of remote education can I access?

We have a comprehensive education e-book full of important information, including a number of remote learning support videos which we can share with you to watch from your home.  These videos include information on understanding the menstrual cycle, the fertility window, the IVF process including starting treatment, giving injections and egg retrieval.