Together we can face this challenge
As we prepare ourselves for a new way of life for the next six months or more due to new measures implemented to stem the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus nation-wide, it is important to know that the APA is with you.
The APA places the utmost importance on the welfare of our members, employees and their families. During this time, we have continued to follow advice from the appropriate authorities to ensure that all necessary measures are in place for the health and wellbeing of our community. We trust both you and your families are taking the necessary care during what it is a very difficult time for everyone.
Our strategy in the short, medium and longer term as the impact of the virus spreads includes utilising the digital/virtual world as much as possible. At the time of writing, we have advocated strongly, and achieved physiotherapy telehealth funding through Medicare and private health insurance. This will make the battle easier and safer for patients and members.
We are also:
• taking positive steps to provide clarity and support for members through daily updates to the COVID-19 page on our website (australian.physio) and phone advice via our Member Support Team, and by prioritising education relating to telehealth and supporting new roles for physiotherapists during the crisis, as well as keeping our businesses afloat
• working with each state Chief Allied Health Advisor and state governments to ensure a coordinated approach to physios from the private sector, joining efforts in hospital departments as workforce pressures increase
• continually updating a list of business resources on our COVID-19 page to help make the current business challenges easier
• providing respiratory physiotherapy training to New South Wales in order to assist upskilling of the
workforce to deal with this crisis, and expect this will be available nationally
• in regular dialogue with the AMA and RACGP at the highest levels in order to work together to reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments and GP practices
• actively looking at what medium and longer term supports our members will need and are planning appropriately.
Notably, we have made the decision to cancel all face-to-face lectures, courses and events scheduled until 31 May 2020 and will endeavour to convert as many face-to-face lectures to a virtual recorded format (lectures on demand) on cpd4physios and reschedule courses to the same time/weekend in 2021.
On a personal level, if you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure in any way, please know you are not alone. Our telephone counselling service is available free of charge to all members during this time, and I urge anyone who needs support to make use of it. This confidential service is staffed by qualified counsellors 9.00am until 5.00pm Monday to Friday AEDST. There is a call back/text message service outside of these hours. Please call 0407 086 000, or email email@example.com. The access code is ‘APA Member’.
This is an extraordinary time that requires flexibility and responsiveness and we will be looking at the best ways we can support you on a daily, weekly and longer term basis. Rest assured we are working around the clock seven days a week to do this—we are here for you.
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