02 Apr 2020
As we continue to face the biggest public health challenge of our lives, responding to the pandemic will test our health system and each of us like nothing before it.
While many are caring for sick and frightened patients, some will face our own illness and need to care for our families and loved ones. Some will be called on to work in unfamiliar situations where our knowledge and experience are needed most.
Professional judgement will be critical to guide us when resources are limited and demand intense.
The National Boards and Ahpra understands that the current national emergency presents extreme challenges and we sincerely thank you for your commitment and the care you provide. We know our regulatory approach must be modified to accommodate these exceptional circumstances.
The Boards have made a series of pragmatic decisions (to boost the number of available practitioners in key professions to respond to the emergency) and to temporarily modify some of our regulatory requirements, while maintaining patient safety. These decisions will impact on you, so please read them as soon as you can.
Our professions have well established behaviours and values which provide a framework for ethical decision making in a wide range of situations. You should continue to apply such guidance as far as is practical recognising these are unique and challenging circumstances.
We must care for our patients and clients, ourselves and each other. In providing care for patients, we do not expect you to place yourself in harm’s way. Ensuring effective use of personal protective equipment and following relevant infection control requirements and public health advice is key to this.
We are aware some health services will be reduced or stopped including where they cannot be provided in ways that ensure both the practitioner’s and the patient’s safety.
If you know or suspect you are infected you should follow current public health advice including self-isolating. If you have pre-existing health conditions that increase your risk of infection, you should take action to manage this such as discussing with your colleagues, employer or place of work.
We will provide regular updates on our website and via email as the situation develops and we respond.