By Waveny Holland on behalf of the AACMA Board and Office
We are currently trying to cope through extraordinary times and the whole world is involved with us in this rapidly changing environment that is COVID-19. It is very easy to be panicked by the overwhelming media coverage and the restrictions that are being applied to daily lives and potentially our livelihoods.
We are working to provide you with the most recent and relevant information. During this time, we will communicate with members via email, Social Media and on our website. Please ensure that you remain well informed and keep up to date with both Federal and State Health Departments.
Chinese medicine is a registered health profession and recognised by the Federal Government as allied health. Allied health practitioners are part of the primary care health sector that provides an essential health service to the community.
There has been no directive from the government for any allied health service to close or stop providing treatments. Very strict infection control guidelines should be observed in both treatment and waiting rooms and distancing requirements in the waiting room and reception desk. The use of any available personal protective equipment (PPE) gloves, masks etc is advised.
Yes. All of us, practitioners, authorities and the public alike, are very concerned about COVID-19 and its possible spread. The practice of self care is very important in these times and for you, that may include closing your clinic. We have a responsibility for ourselves and our families to do what is best for us. That gives every practitioner the choice and control over what is best for them – when and if to close and reopen their clinic. Exercise the most suitable choice for you.
If you are unwell and potentially contagious, you should not be treating patients.
You have the right to refuse to treat a patient. If they have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or have just returned from overseas and are unwell or fulfil any other criteria for COVID-19, you can/must refer them to their GP for assessment. Here is a link to a self-assessment tool
If the patient consents to having an online consultation, it would be appropriate to deliver a consultation via telephone, Zoom, Skype or the like. All necessary practice guidelines such as record keeping and patient confidentiality should be followed. However, at this stage, the Private Health Funds do not provide rebates for online consultations.
AACMA certainly is. We are communicating with the government about this issue and several others at the moment.