Updated: Apr 13, 2020
Our top priority is the health and safety of our clients, clinicians and staff. The global pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing rapidly.
The situation places unprecedented pressure on the health industry and has required our practice to embrace new technology and new ways of working to assist with controlling and supressing the spread of this highly infectious virus.
We take our responsibility, as allied health practitioners, to follow the guidance material by the relevant authorities in managing the outbreak of the virus very seriously.
We have developed the following consultation options and practice policies to minimise the risk to you our clients, our clinicians and staff. We seek to update this information as more information becomes available to us in this rapidly changing environment.
Video Conferencing and Telephone Options
We will be offering video conferencing and telephone options rather than providing face-to-face services for clients who: are at risk of the COVID-19 virus; have close contacts who are at risk of the COVID-19 virus; have recently returned from overseas; or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 but have not been admitted to hospital.
Patients and their close contacts are at risk of the COVID-19 virus if they have symptoms, such as, a fever, tiredness, headache, dry cough, aches, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea, or have recently returned from overseas. If you think you are infected, please call the 24-hour coronavirus health information hotline on 1800 020 080. Further information can be sourced from the Department of Health website www.health.gov.au. If clients exhibit any of these symptoms when in the practice they will be asked to leave.
Clients who are considered more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus will be encouraged to access services by video conferencing or telephone options, such as, clients who are pregnant; are parents of a child under 12 months; are already under treatment for chronic health conditions or are immune compromised; are 70 years of age or over; or are 50 years of age or over and are of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. These categories may change as more epidemiological data is attained both nationally and globally due to the rapidly evolving situation.
Our clinicians reserve the right to request that services be provided by video or telephone if clinicians are at risk of COVID-19 or have been required to isolate themselves in quarantine in accordance with guidance material by the relevant authorities as it evolves.
Rebates for Video Conferencing and Telephone Services
New Medicare items have been created to ensure services may be provided by video or telephone when clients or practitioners need to self-isolate. The new items must be bulk-billed.
Video Conferencing services
Video conferencing or telehealth services provide a safe and secure alternative to in person, face to face services for clients. We use the Zoom platform to ensure client confidentiality. Zoom technology provides multiple security layers with end to end encryption. If you are uncomfortable with using the Zoom technology, you may opt for the service to be provided by telephone instead.
Hygiene at Our Practice
We have implemented a protocol to ensure a hygienic environment for clients, clinicians and staff. The practice will be cleaned and disinfected daily by professional cleaners. Hand sanitisers will be available at the reception. As the situation evolves, clinicians may choose to wear masks, gloves and googles. Furniture in the consultation rooms and the waiting rooms have been rearranged so that clients, clinicians, and staff can maintain social distance. We ask that clients do not make physical contact with clinicians, staff, and other clients when in the practice.
We encourage our clients, clinicians, and staff to stay up to date with government advice via the Department of Health website www.health.gov.au.
If you are expressing stress or anxiety as the coronavirus situation evolves, please click here to see the information developed by the Australian Psychological Society:
If you have any questions or concerns about the measures, we have put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact the Director, Lynette Bainbridge Psychologist MAPS firstname.lastname@example.org