Victorian allied health professionals make return to routine in-person consultations

On 18 October, the Victorian government announced all Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency-registered allied health workers would be able to return to routine in-person consultations, provided they adhere to strict infection control measures. After months of strict restrictions, this comes as a relief to both patients and allied health professionals who, for months have only been able to provide in-person services in the case that it would prevent significant clinical deterioration that would require an increased level of care.

This comes after elective surgery across the state’s public and private hospitals and dentistry were given the green light to resume on 17 September.

Professions formally recognised under the umbrella of allied health include psychologists, physiotherapists, social workers, dieticians, occupational therapists, social workers, speech pathologists, osteopaths and optometrists. Face-to-face appointments for audiology, exercise physiology, orthotists and prosthetists, and healthcare workers providing support for art and music therapy are also able to resume, but indoor group session are still not permitted.

“We are delighted that a broad range of allied health professionals have had the restrictions lifted,” Allied Health Professions Australia chief executive Claire Hewat told The Age. “In fact, all allied health professions, which are recognised as being allied health professions, have been given that opening now, so we are very pleased about that.”

All allied health workplaces in Victoria must have a COVID Safe workplan in place to operate during Stage 3 and 4 restrictions, even if only providing telehealth services. Those who have been given permission to work must still carry a ‘permitted worker permit’ and should carry photo identification when travelling to and from work, and Allied Health Professions Australia recommends that allied health professionals also carry proof of their AHPRA registration or membership/accreditation from their professional association.

If you are looking for skilled allied health employees, contact Austra Health today and speak with one of your consultants.