Stage 4 restrictions are aligned to Victoria’s current State of Disaster and are understandably focused on saving and protecting the lives of all Victorian’s through restricting non-essential movement across the state.
Under the ‘Permitted Work Premises for the purposes of the Restricted Activity Directions (Restricted Areas)’ instructions, if you provide a critical Allied Health services within the context of an ‘approved workplace’, such as a public or private hospital, you can continue to deliver this service/s without issue.
If you operate as a private practitioner or within an Allied Health private practice setting, you (or your employer) will need to ensure that your patients/clients fit within the prescribed inclusion criteria for an ‘essential’ service; https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/business-industry-stage-4-restrictions-covid-19
‘All AHPRA registered health workers – and in addition, social work, speech pathology, dietetics and any other health worker required to fulfil a care plan endorsed by NDIS, TAC, Workcover or DVA – to provide services that prevent a significant change/deterioration in functional independence necessitating escalation of care (e.g. a requirement for specialist input/review, an increase in care needs and/or alternate accommodation, avoiding a hospital admission or emergency department presentation)’.
Routine services are not permitted.
Care must only be provided if the absence of, or delay of this care, would result in a significant change/deterioration in the patient/client’s functional independence necessitating escalation of care – as described above. These directives are about protecting the public and protecting health workers. Practitioners must critically consider if the service is essential for the patient/client in the next 6 week period. This is about saving lives.
Services provided by ‘any other health worker’ (i.e. those not AHPRA registered excluding social work, speech pathology or dietetics) may only provide care to someone with an endorsed plan and only if that service is preventing a significant deterioration in functional independence. Again, the intent is about saving lives.
Please note you do not require a medical referral to provide care.
There are also no restrictions on the delivery of Allied Health services via Telehealth. We would encourage private practitioners to consider using Telehealth where at all possible so that patients/clients can continue to benefit from their Allied Health services.
We very much appreciate that this is an extremely difficult time for all Victorians, and in particular health professionals and our patients/clients.
We will await further information following this mornings meeting to be held with DHHS and some Allied Health bodies. MA will continue to provide updates as quickly as possible.