Protecting our Healthcare Heroes
Australian healthcare providers are our true heroes as they put their patients’ treatment before their own personal health and safety.
Unfortunately, several AHPRA registered professionals in private practice such as GP’s, dentists, psychologists and physiotherapists do not have access to an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). Practitioners are rationing the use of their PPE and having to guess which patients entering their clinic present a risk of COVID 19 and which do not – all before any tests are conducted or results are received.
Thankfully healthcare providers have access to innovative technology such as telehealth and many are making the shift. Telehealth allows patients to access quality healthcare and at the same time help to reduce the spread of the virus in our community by maintaining social distancing. The technology is also keeping our frontline heros and their family members safe. The notice issued by the Australian Department of Health on 3rd April 2020 confirmed the federal government’s support of telehealth services.
As the crisis develops there are discussions about retired healthcare professionals coming out of retirement to support the additional load on the system. There may even be a redistribution of practitioners from those less vital disciplines to more critical areas such as respiratory health. If this occurs, then there will be a need for additional training for those re-entering the workforce and for those changing disciplines.
It is amazing to see how ingenious Australians have been in this crisis across many industries, from breweries making hand sanitizer, to vacuum manufactures making medical grade respiratory units. As our healthcare professionals and medical clinics being to change the way they deliver their services, their exposure pivots at the same time.
Take the time to consider how your medical liability and professional indemnity protection will deal with telehealth, or a change in your professional discipline. As practitioners move towards working from home your cyber and privacy liability exposure intensifies and the use of home internet and personal devices presents a new exposure.
This article originally appeared on Adroit Insurance & Risk Blog and has been published here with permission.