COVID-19 Stage 4 Restrictions  – Patient Information

With stage 4 restrictions now in place across Metropolitan Melbourne please see below for important information as this may affect your appointment at Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics.

Is Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics open?

Yes. Podiatry is considered an “essential” service so we remain open through stage 4 restrictions which are currently in place in Metropolitan Melbourne from 2nd August until September 27th 2020, following the recent 2 week extension.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) states that podiatrists can practice during this period with some restrictions.

What are the restrictions?

In order to restrict non-essential movement across the state DHHS states that podiatrists can only provide essential services or services that prevent a significant change/deterioration in functional independence necessitating escalation of care.

In other words podiatrists can only provide care if the absence of, or delay of this care, causes a significant deterioration in the person’s ability to carry out daily activities, resulting in an escalation of care such as – referral to a specialist, an increase in care needs (physical or mental), or hospitalisation.

Should I come in or reschedule my appointment?

If your appointment meets the “essential” criteria as outlined below then yes, you are free to make and attend your podiatry appointment.

If your appointment does not meet the criteria then it is likely to be considered “non-essential”. You should strongly consider rescheduling or postponing your appointment until after the stage 4 lockdown period is over (ending on the 27th September).

Do I need a GP referral?

You do not require a GP referral to access podiatry services under stage 4 restrictions but you must meet the “essential” criteria in order for care to be provided.

MPAO

Is my podiatry appointment essential?

The below questionnaire will help you decide if your podiatry appointment is essential or non-essential.

The ultimate goal is to stay safe and healthy during the pandemic, whilst also helping to reduce the spread of the virus.  If you can afford to postpone your appointment we urge you to do so, however at the same time DHHS recommends you should not put off healthcare during the pandemic.

You are the most important person to us and we are here to
support you as we navigate through this pandemic.

Ultimately the final decision is up to you and will depend on your individual circumstances, so you should do what you feel is best for your health. Remember foot care and podiatry is vitally important to your health, exercise and mental well-being.

 

Q1.  Is the problem affecting your ability to walk, exercise, perform daily tasks or your
mental health?

  • Yes: See Q2.
  • No: See Q4.

 

Q2. Will the problem likely get worse and require an escalation in care if not treated?

  • Yes: See Q3.
  • No: Treatment is likely to be non-essential and you should reschedule your appointment until after September 27th.

 

Q3.  Do you require urgent podiatry care or can you afford to postpone treatment for up to 4 weeks?

  • Urgent: Treatment is essential to prevent further progression of the issue.
    DHHS recommendation is ‘do not put off healthcare’.
  • Postpone: Treatment is non- essential and you should reschedule your appointment until after September 27th.

 

Q4.  Are you a DVA, Medicare CDM or NDIS patient?

  • Yes: Treatment is essential for these patients.
    DHHS recommendation is ‘do not put off healthcare’.
  • No: See Q5.

 

Q5.  Do you suffer from an illness or disease (e.g. diabetes, arthritis etc.) that make your feet high risk?

  • Yes: Treatment is essential to prevent high risk foot complications.
    DHHS recommendation is ‘do not put off healthcare’.
  • No: See Q6.

 

Q6.  Are you unable to attend to your feet for general foot care such as nail cutting?

  • Yes: See Q7.
  • No: The treatment is likely to be non-essential and you should reschedule your appointment until after September 27th.

 

Q7.  Will your feet likely get worse and require an escalation in care if not treated?

  • Yes: See Q8.
  • No: Treatment is likely to be non-essential and you should reschedule your appointment until after September 27th.

 

Q8.  Do you require urgent foot care or can you afford to postpone treatment for up to 4 weeks?

  • Urgent: Treatment is essential to prevent further problems arising.
    DHHS recommendation is ‘do not put off healthcare’.
  • Postpone: Treatment is non- essential and you should reschedule your appointment until after September 27th.

Please reply to the SMS message

Following the questionnaire please SMS reply one of the following three options:

E (essential)

NE (non-essential)

U (unsure)

For essential treatment, provided you have let us know via the SMS reply, you do not need to do anything further and your appointment is confirmed.

For non-essential treatment please call us on 9882 5584 to reschedule your appointment until after the lockdown period ends on September 13th. Alternatively a staff member will contact you to reschedule your appointment.

If you are unsure a podiatrist will contact you (most likely the the day before your appointment) and discuss your case in more detail to determine if it meets the essential criteria.

If you have any further questions please contact us on 9882 5584 and a staff member will be happy to assist.

Are there any other options for non-essential treatment?

If you require non-essential treatment advice you could consider a telehealth appointment. Telehealth is an online video podiatry consultation and can be great for still treating a number of foot conditions that don’t require a “hands on” approach. It is also fantastic when seeking a second opinion.

For more information please visit our telehealth page.

Important – Coronavirus Policy

To be eligible for a face-to-face podiatry consultation all patients must still meet the strict terms of our coronavirus patient policy.