The situation with COVID-19 has evolved incredibly rapidly since the first case was confirmed by Victoria Health Authorities on 25 January. The ACA are committed to keeping members informed of the changing circumstances related to COVID-19 and supporting you through these challenging times. While the situation appears to be showing signs of relief, many practices and communities will continue to experience the effects of this pandemic for many more months.
Should you continue to provide chiropractic care to patients?
On 2 April, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd AM, reiterated the position of the Australian Government that all allied health services continue to be considered ‘essential services.’
Nevertheless, Professor Kidd also acknowledged that some procedures, treatment or care provided by both medical and allied health practitioners may not need to take place in light of the current situation with COVID-19.
If you continue to provide chiropractic care to your patients, you must ensure:
- all decisions about patient care help to contain the spread of the disease and the wellbeing of patients; and
- vigilance is maintained to prevent further transmission while infections are increasing across Australia so as not to place a significant burden on the health and aged care systems.
In layman terms, all practitioners must make their own individual assessment around the risks of dealing with individual patients versus the health benefit to the patient if care is provided. This includes an assessment of the risk to other staff members and patients as well.
What about face to face care?
At this stage all governments are encouraging allied health practitioners to continue providing face to face care where this is necessary and appropriate. As noted above, practitioners should make their own individual assessment around the risks this involves for each patient and whether care is necessary or can be delayed. To further minimise this risk all practitioners must scrupulously adhere to the following:
- appropriate infection control processes;
- practise good hygiene; and
- practise social distancing and limit appointments to less than 30 minutes (where possible).
ACA COVID-19 Portal
As primary contact healthcare professionals, it is vital that you keep up to date with the latest information about COVID-19. This is why the ACA established a COVID-19 Portal in the members’ area of the ACA website in February.
In this portal ACA members will find the following resources and information to help navigate through this incredibly challenging and complex situation.
Infection Control Resources
In here you will find information on cleaning healthcare settings in primary and community care, including information on hand hygiene and information for your cleaning staff.
Most importantly, this area contains a link to an online infection control training module produced by the Australian Government Department of Health. This online training is designed for all care workers (including health) across all sectors in preparing for COVID-19. The module takes approximately 30 minutes, with a quiz at the end. Participants who successfully complete the training can download and print a Certificate of Completion.
In here you will find resources for health professionals produced by the Australian Government Department of Health including a COVID-19 Health Alert. There are also links to COVID-19 resources published by the World Federation of Chiropractic including its rapid review of relevant literature on the ‘Effect of Spinal Adjustment/Manipulation on Immunity and the Immune System’ undertaken in mid-March.
This is the newest area in our COVID-19 Portal. In here you’ll find resources and advice about telehealth services in Australia, including links to information to help you provide telehealth services to your patients where appropriate.
The ACA has now developed a Telehealth Guide exclusively for ACA members. In this area you will also find our submission to Private Health Australia recommending that private health insurers expand telehealth coverage for chiropractic management of low back pain, neck pain and musculoskeletal conditions.
Workplace Relations and WHS
This area contains advice about your workplace relations and work health and safety (WHS) obligations relating to COVID-19. Much of this information was developed for ACA members by the ACA HR Service. You’ll find expert advice in human resources, industrial relations, employment conditions and law and WHS.
Business and Financial Resources
On this page you will find links to financial resources or services to help you or your practice navigate this difficult time. This includes information to help you access a broad range of government payments or funding assistance for both individuals and businesses affected by coronavirus.
ACA Member Updates
Since the beginning of March, we’ve significantly increased the number of emails sent to ACA members about COVID-19. These emails contain vital information you need to be aware of.
On this page you’ll find a link to a copy of every email sent to ACA members about COVID-19 since 31 January 2020, including state-based information found in emails.
ACA members can access the ACA COVID-19 Portal at members.chiro.org.au/covid-19