The coronavirus (COVID-19) is front-of-mind for all of us. It is a dynamic and global situation and we are all in it together. IPAR is taking a precautionary approach to managing the spread of COVID-19, which is in line with the latest national health advice.
Centralised information, planning and expertise
IPAR’s parent company, MedHealth, has a working group to ensure we are sharing information, optimising our preparation and managing any issues that may arise from the COVID-19 outbreak. This group monitors the situation daily.
We are well positioned to access any additional expert advice we may need. Our Chief Medical Officer, Dr Peter Steadman, has engaged the services of two leading doctors to contribute, assisting with specific disease advice and organisational health management.
We are basing all our centralised advice and screening protocols on the Australian Department of Health advice and daily updates.
As much as possible, our operations will proceed as normal. As always, in the event of any disruption or changes, we will keep you fully informed.
Visitors to our premises
All our premises are operating with robust screening and management protocols. Our focus is on safeguarding all visitors.
- All appointment reminder processes whether by phone, email or text (where allowed) screen clients, customers or visitors with the questions listed below. This occurs 1-2 days before clients are to attend appointments at our premises. We also ensure that our clients know that they cannot bring more than one other person to the appointment with them. For clients in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, they will be reminded that they will need to wear a mask throughout their appointment.
- Additionally, all front-of-house team members screen clients, customers or visitors upon arrival:
- Do you have, have you had or are you being tested for COVID-19?
- Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
- Do you have / or have you had cold and flu symptoms within the past 14 days?
- Have you travelled overseas and returned to Australia in the past 14 days?
- Regional specific screening as follows:
For all Victorian offices– Have you visited any location in the Northern Beaches local Government area in Sydney since 11 December 2020?
For all NSW offices – Do you live in the Northern Beaches local Government area? Have you been to one of the identified hotspot locations in the time periods provided by the NSW Government – list located here?
For all Queensland offices – Do you live in, or have you visited any location in the Northern Beaches local Government region since 11 December 2020?
For all Northern Territory offices – Have you travelled from an identified hotspot listed here, in the past 14 days? Have you obtained an approved border entry form?
For all South Australian offices – Nil further questions.
For all Western Australian offices – Have you travelled from New South Wales since 11 December 2020?
For all ACT offices – Nil additional questions
For all Tasmanian offices – Have you travelled from or been in one of the identified hotspot regions in the past 14 days? If from other states, have you got an approved Tas e-Travel form?
- Mask use requirements have been updated below
- Vic Regional are no longer required to ask if visitors are from Metro Melbourne
- NSW has opened its borders to Victoria, and as such there is no longer a NSW/VIC border zone
- Appointments should not proceed for anyone answering yes to the above, however can be rebooked for >14 days. The exception is for clients who indicate they have had COVID-19 – in this instance, our COVID OHS officers will be contacted for advice before proceeding with the appointment or rescheduling the appointment.
- Mask use:
- Victoria: All clients / examinees / customers / visitors attending our offices in Victoria must wear a mask upon entry to our premises. If they for some reason do not arrive with a mask, please issue them with a surgical mask. If they refuse to use a mask, the appointment cannot proceed. Team members do not need to wear a mask if completing general tasks in the office, however when consulting with clients / examinees / customers / visitors team members must wear a mask as maintaining 1.5m may not be practical throughout.
- South Australia: All people in healthcare settings must wear a surgical mask when in the physical presence of other people on the premises as per South Australian Government requirements. (Until 23 December 2020)
- MedHealth has set up an advisory hotline on COVID-19, offering advice and support on each unique scenario for our people. Should a client present at our premises with any potential exposure to COVID-19, our team member calls the hotline for advice on next steps, while also immediately isolating the individual in question, ensuring mask use and supporting them to mitigate risk as they travel home to seek medical support via telephone. Under consultation with the Specialist, the appointment does not go ahead if there is any identified risk.
Protocols if someone presents with cold or flu symptoms to our offices
- We will isolate the individual into a room.
- Provide them with tissues or a mask.
- Organise for transportation home via taxi and advise them not to visit public places.
- Ensure they contact their treating practitioner and the Coronavirus information line on 1800 020 080.
Protocols, support and considerations for our people
If any of our team members are unwell, we ask they do not come into the office. This is for any illness, whether respiratory or not. It is an especially important principle at the moment.
We are following all Australian Department of Health guidelines on travel and self-imposed quarantine.
Additionally, MedHealth’s employer direct business Cogent Thinking has been operating a hotline within MedHealth since 2 March, to support our team in managing risk and ensuring safety.
As always, IPAR puts the health and safety of our people, customers and clients at the forefront of our thinking and actions. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if there are any issues you would like to discuss.