We appreciate that this is a difficult time for all of you.
We have joined together to issue this joint statement to help all of our members better understand the current situation as it applies to massage and myotherapy.
Our Boards and staff are working very hard to bring you factual, up-to-date information relevant to your practices. Given the ever-changing nature of the current situation, we are fact-checking before we communicate with you. This means we are regular communication with State, Territory and Federal government departments and Ministers to clarify the situation for our members. They all have a lot of responsibilities right now and we respect the time it takes for them to respond.
Please be patient and respectful with our staff. We are working through our enquiries just as quickly as we can.
QLD Health Department released a statement late on Thursday 26th March, outlining that exemptions to continue work applies to Health services provided by health practitioners registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, with social distancing observed to the extent possible.
On 26 March, we attended a briefing with the Principal Medical Advisor at the Department of Health. Key messages from that briefing are:
- government encourages healthcare workers to continue working, to help ease the pressure on our hospital system; and
- where you don’t need a face-to-face consultation, government encourages audiovisual consultations.
Please find a letter from the Department of Health here.
- This week, the private health funds contacted us to ask us to help them with policies on audiovisual consultations for health practitioners during Covid-19. We are collating evidence to help the health funds formulate appropriate audiovisual consultation policies during this time.
- So far, government has listed activities that are not allowed. Our understanding is that if you are not on that list, you do not have to shut. However, we are actively pursuing this with government and will let you know as soon as we have an answer.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Should I Close My Practice?
This is the number one question from our members and there are no black and white answers.
The short answer is that we cannot advise that you are required to close your business. Government encourages healthcare workers to continue working, to help ease the pressure on our hospital system.
You need to consider your own personal situation when deciding whether to close your practice. You, or someone you live with, may have healthcare concerns that make it prudent for you to limit your physical interaction with others.
Government is asking practitioners to refrain from using masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) and help conserve stocks for hospitals and other higher need areas.
Whatever decision you make, always remember to respect government advice on Covid-19 hygiene.
Am I Covered by my Professional Indemnity Insurer to Continue Practicing?
Our insurers have confirmed that you are covered as long as you:
- practice within your scope;
- follow all the latest government Covid-19 advice; and
- keep comprehensive notes.
Here are some resources to help you and your patients with Covid-19 hygiene:
- hand washing;
- isolation guidance;
- know the signs;
- stop the spread;
- online infection control training (general and covid19-specific).
Can I Provide Audiovisual Consultations?
Remedial Massage – it is difficult to see how massage could be provided remotely. However, you may choose to provide your clients with some stretches, exercises if in scope, or self-massage tips to help them.
Yes, you can provide audiovisual consultations to your clients. In fact, where you don’t need a face-to-face consultation, government encourages audiovisual consultations.
You are insured, as long as you practice within your scope of practice and keep comprehensive notes. Insurance providers are suggesting that, where possible, initial consultations should still occur face-to-face, as it may be more challenging to perform an initial client assessment online.
On 26 March, private health funds do NOT provide rebates for audiovisual consultations. It is important that you tell your clients this, so there are no misunderstandings later.
Please note – we are working with the private health funds in the hope of implementing rebates for audiovisual consultation services.
Where Do I Access Information About Financial Help?
We want to reassure you again that we are here for you and doing everything we can to bring you fact-checked information as it becomes available.
Thursday, 26 March 2020
Myotherapy Association Australia
Nick Steward, President
Anna Yerondais, CEO
Elizabeth Greenwood, President
Jim Old, CEO
Peter Berryman, President
Charles Wurf, CEO
Massage and Myotherapy Australia
Andrew Gallagher, President
Tricia Hughes, CEO