Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA), Myotherapy Association Australia (MA), in conjunction with AHPA members and affiliates, today met with the Victorian Chief Allied Health Officer and representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services to seek further clarification in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) reopening roadmap for Metropolitan Melbourne (https://www.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions-roadmap-metro-melbourne). Unfortunately, at this time there is no further official guidance and we are continuing to wait for details, which we understand will be available next week.
However, based on our discussions to date it is our understanding that restrictions remain at their current levels for an additional 14 days from the 14th of September to the 27th of September. We encourage providers to contact clients with bookings over the next 14 days that do not meet the current definitions outlined in the permitted workplaces guidance (https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/health-care-and-social-assistance-restrictions-covid-19) to reschedule appointments appropriately.
We are cautiously optimistic that restrictions will be eased slightly from the 28th of September, however we will provide further updates early next week or whenever further information is available.
We also understand that guidance on student clinical placements issued by DHHS on the 14th of August (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwii1eGm9t3rAhVIfisKHbGiAP0QFjABegQIAhAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dhhs.vic.gov.au%2Fstudent-clinical-placements-updated-guidance-notes-14-august-2020-0&usg=AOvVaw1QGZS-cJwG_3_6NRJ2sj-H) remains current, and the department will advise if/when there is any update available.
While we appreciate that this may not necessarily provide us with the answers we had hoped at this stage, it is encouraging to know that there is an opportunity for the current restrictions to be eased from the September date as indicated above.
Does this necessarily mean that the current overarching criteria relating to non-registered professions such as myotherapy only being permitted to provide in-person care to patients on an endorsed care plan will be removed or eased? While the question was certainly raised today, we were unable to obtain a direct answer and anticipate further clarification will be provided next week when the finer details come out.
Are we to expect changes to how business in Victoria under Stage 3 restrictions can operate?
Allied health businesses in Regional Victoria remain under Stage 3 restrictions and should expect to remain under similar restrictions for now. We expect further information about potential easing of those requirements as part of the regional roadmap to come next week.
We thank and acknowledge our members and the broader myotherapy profession for their ongoing support for the community and their diligence in managing the tough balance between maintaining client health of their clients and reducing potential exposure to Covid-19.