Several medical practices in Perthshire have closed amid growing coronavirus concerns.
Queues of patients were turned away by staff wearing facemasks at the Glover Street Medical Centre in Perth on Monday morning.
A notice in the window said the centre was closed, with telephone consultations only, by “NHS Tayside order”.
Earlier, Atholl Medical Centre in Pitlochry posted on social media: “As per NHS Tayside, the practice is now closed until further notice. Please do not attend the surgery unless instructed to do so by a clinician.
“All routine appointments will be cancelled. For anyone with an emergency, you can still call the practice, but you will be given a call back by a clinician and given advice over the phone.”
Similar but differently worded messages have been issued by other surgeries.
Perth City Medical Centre said: “As of March 16 and until further notice, we respectfully ask that patients do not come into the surgery – please call for queries instead. Do not attend any appointment you have booked until we call you to discuss new arrangements. Prescriptions can be sent to chemists.”
Doctors at Carse Medical Practice in Errol also issued a statement: “We and all other local practices are moving to deliver a same day service so no appointments to see a doctor or a nurse can be booked in advance.
“Please call the practice as you usually would and a GP will phone you back to plan your care. If you already have an appointment booked please do not come to the practice until you have spoken to a GP. Please do not attend the practice for any other reason without prior arrangement. Thank you for your patience while we move over to this new way of working.”
Meanwhile, doctors at Hillbank Health Centre in the Hilltown area of Dundee have also decided to close to the public.
A receptionist said the surgery would be operating a triage service – treating patients based on the degree of urgency or severity of illness.
While urging patients not to stockpile medication, staff at the Loch Leven Health Centre confirmed over-the-phone consultations.
“The coronovirus outbreak has led to all GP practices taking exceptional measures,” a spokesperson said. “These measures are aimed at enabling us to cope with the anticipated rise in the number of cases of coronavirus, whilst also continuing to provide care to those with other acute conditions.”
NHS Tayside has been asked for comment.