Communications and Advocacy update: 4 November
4 November 2021
Here’s an update on a few of the issues AMA Victoria is working on for members, including:
- Inquiry into support for older Victorians from refugee and migrant backgrounds
- Update on COVID-19 guidelines for IMEs regarding face-to-face interviews with workers
- Rapid antigen self-tests.
Inquiry into support for older Victorians from refugee and migrant backgrounds
The Victorian Legislative Assembly’s Legal and Social Issues Committee has asked AMA Victoria for input to help shape its recommendations to the Victorian Government on how to better support Victorians aged 60 years and older from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
Issues that the committee’s Inquiry into Support for Older Victorians from Migrant and Refugee Backgrounds will look at include:
- The adequacy of services for older Victorians from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
- The unique challenges faced by this cohort.
- Ideas to advance the physical and mental health and wellbeing of Victoria’s multicultural seniors.
This cohort has been profoundly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we know that AMA Victoria members have played an important role in supporting and advocating for the health and wellbeing of this community (not to mention providing care for many of its members directly). We would be very grateful for any relevant insights, ideas, or experiences our members may be able to share.
If you wish to contribute towards our submission to the committee on this important topic, please contact Senior Policy Adviser, Lewis Horton, at LewisH@amavic.com.au by no later than Tuesday 16 November.
Update: COVID-19 guidelines for Independent Medical Examiners regarding face-to-face interviews with workers
We have previously informed members of our formal request to WorkSafe Victoria for COVID-19 guidelines for Independent Medical Examiners (IMEs) regarding face-to-face interviews with workers.
WorkSafe Victoria has since responded, including a set of guidelines. These guidelines state that face-to-face examinations may resume from 29 October 2021, with the following requirements:
- Face masks must be worn by visitors and consultant specialists indoors unless an exemption applies.
- The Victorian Government QR Check-in system is compulsory – all visitors will need to follow this protocol upon arrival.
- COVID safe measures including social distancing and other health hygiene requirements are mandatory.
Further, the guidelines note that, “health providers are not obligated to conduct face-to-face examinations with unvaccinated injured workers” under the provider’s COVIDSafe requirements. However, they state that it is the responsibility of the examining practitioner to communicate their COVIDSafe requirements to the injured worker. Moreover, they recommend that a COVID pre-screening call take place between the examiner’s rooms and the injured worker and that this will provide the opportunity to communicate any COVIDSafe requirements prior to the assessment taking place. They also suggest that an injured worker’s exemption status is also discussed during this call.
For the full guidelines, please click here.
Rapid antigen self-tests
Members may be receiving questions from patients regarding rapid antigen self-tests, including what to do if they receive a positive result.
The Victorian Department of Health’s guidance on using and understanding rapid antigen tests at home may be of assistance. This guidance can be accessed here.