The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in Victoria, have made it very clear that during stage 4 lock down restrictions, you should still seek the healthcare you need, which includes physiotherapy.
There has been some confusion in the general public about what is and isn’t allowed allowed for physiotherapy services in Melbourne currently. The main points that you need to be aware of are:
- You DO NOT need a GP referral to see our physiotherapists
- You CAN travel outside the 5km radius to receive healthcare – use your appointment SMS as proof of service
- DHHS have encouraged everyone who needs healthcare to continue to receive healthcare, though you may only attend the clinic in person if the absence of care will mean that your condition and function may deteriorate or worsen, which may result in you needing to seek further care for this deterioration
- Telehealth exists for all patients, no matter what condition you may be dealing with. We are here to help you!
What do the stage 4 lock down rules mean for Physiotherapy?
According to the DHHS physiotherapy guidelines, if you are in pain, and worried that your condition may deteriorate or worsen, which may possibly result in you needing an escalation of care (e.g. a requirement for specialist input/review, an increase in care needs and/or alternate accommodation, avoiding a hospital admission or emergency department presentation) then you are definitely allowed to seek physiotherapy care.
Please don’t underestimate your condition! Recently, we have had people attend our clinic with what they thought were minor issues, and they turned out to be serious injuries, some being stress fractures.
If you are unsure whether or not you should attend, but you are in pain, then we would prefer to see you for a face-to-face consultation. This will allow you to gain a firm diagnosis and plan for your recovery. Where required, we’ll continue to see you in the clinic for face to face physiotherapy consultations.
If we feel your condition doesn’t require further immediate care, then we can review you via telehealth to continue to provide you physiotherapy care. Otherwise, we will give you a plan to help you get through until you are able to attend again face-to-face.
Do I need a GP referral to see a Physiotherapist during stage 4 lock down?
No, you do not need a GP referral to see a physiotherapist during lock down.
There was some initial confusion relating to this, but the DHHS have confirmed that, just like normal, you do not need a GP referral to see a physiotherapist during stage 4 lock down.
Can I travel more than 5km to go and see a physiotherapist during stage 4 lock down?
Yes, you can travel outside the 5km restriction zone to seek healthcare from your physiotherapist. You can use your appointment confirmation SMS message as proof that you have an appointment.
You can also accompany someone for essential medical treatment if you are a parent, guardian or necessary support person.
A reminder: DHHS have advised you to continue to seek the healthcare you require and not put off getting medical care.
Stay safe everyone!