How we are working to keep our clients and staff safe
Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Update for Dietitian appointments at Nutrition Health Experts:
Last updated on 21st April 2020
Written by Stelios Sioutis, Accredited Practising Dietitian
To our valued clients,
We would like to provide an update in relation to the uncertainty in the community during this pandemic. At present, the Australian Government has advised all Australians to engage in social distancing, avoid unnecessary gatherings and to stay at home where possible. These measures are designed to limit the transmission of the coronavirus throughout Australia.
Our thoughts are with those suffering health impacts from this virus, those risking their own health by working on the front line for us, those keeping food flowing into our kitchens and those keeping society functioning. We understand the extreme uncertainty that many would be feeling during this time.
It is wonderful to learn that many Australians have listened to the advice of authorities and stayed at home to limit their contact with other people. This is likely to be the case until more certainty about the control of this virus is reached. This has already led many people to cancel their personal care appointments in the community. Many cancellations have been made mandatory following the Government's closure of certain businesses that pose a high risk of transmission.
The Government continues to engage with allied health services across the country, encouraging accessible and timely access to health care services. This advice means Nutrition Health Experts will remain open for both in-person and telehealth services.
The Government has advised us that 'at risk' members of our community, require continued management of their chronic health conditions, so that preventable hospitalisations don't add any pressure to the hospital system during the pandemic period as its fragility could be quickly realised if viral transmission grows in the community beyond our control. At this time, signs are indicative of a slow down in the transmission of this virus and we should all be commended for our efforts in working together for this encouraging outcome.
Do what you are in control of. Stay focused on your health-management plan. Nourish your body. Maintain healthy behaviours like keeping a routine, move your body daily and do your best to maintain good sleeping habits. Many of our clients do come to us with malnutrition which may pose a risk, as they could be immune compromised. Eating to achieve 100% of your nutritional needs can help keep you medically stable and able to resist any potential illness that eventuates during this pandemic.
Good nutrition forms a vital part of enabling an appropriate immune response to infections and for this reason, we encourage our community to continue their efforts in preparing meals that nourish their body as discussed previously with the dietitian. If you have been meeting with your dietitian recently, you are encouraged to continue your appointments as necessary. If you haven't met with the dietitian in a while, and you feel you need further support, good access to appointments are available at present.
We understand our responsibility to support our community at this uncertain time, with timely access to nutrition support, so that effective meal planning, preparation and healthy eating can occur in the homes of our clients.
We also acknowledge the importance of following Government advice to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
In order to continue to provide nutrition support for our community, Nutrition Health Experts would like to take the following precautions to assist the community to control transmission of the virus, until further notice:
- Dietetic consultations with your dietitian can continue at this time and throughout the crisis in some form, or another
- Dietitian consultations can be swapped from the ‘in person’ format to a ‘telehealth’ format via telephone or video
- Video calls require testing beforehand to ensure you have the right equipment and a smooth consultation experience
- Telehealth services can be claimed as part of the Medicare-subsidised care plans for Eating Disorder Management, Chronic Disease Management and Department of Veteran's Affairs Gold Card Holders
- Telehealth consults will be billed in the same manner as already is in place for face-to-face consultations in the clinic
- For those who normally pay a gap for longer consultations, this private billing can continue
- In person dietitian consultations can still occur with added precautions:
- Extra cleaning of the clinic and admin area will occur between every consultation using sanitary wipes of all client contact surfaces
- Hand sanitizing gel and gloves are available for client use throughout the clinic
- Waiting area and consult room seats are now spaced at least 1.5 metres apart
- Dietitians and staff have ensured the distancing of themselves to 1.5 metres, avoiding all physical contact with clients
- Hand sanitation is now mandatory for dietitians and clients before and after each consultation
- If you have symptoms of illness, contact us to cancel or swap to an online consultation
- Our staff will not arrive at our clinic with any known symptoms of illness or known contact with a Covid-19 case
If you would like to schedule a new appointment or modify your existing appointment, you can contact our team on (08) 7226 2919.