Telehealth now available in Australia
Telehealth and phone consultation items are available to all Australians as part of stage 4 of the COVID-19 response. The schedule fees for the bulk billing incentive items have been increased to encourage medical practitioners to provide bulk-billed services to vulnerable patient groups. More information is available at MBSonline.

Elective surgery restrictions
We have been receiving calls asking for clarification on the restrictions in place and what procedures can’t be deferred. We ask Fellows to contact their specialty societies. As each state and territory is implementing the new policy in slightly different ways, Fellows should also consult their state and territory offices for specific clarification. 

Where a society has shared this information with us we have placed it on our COVID-19 information hub.

Australian Orthopaedic Association position statements and advice
The Australian Orthopaedic Association has published the following position statements and advice:

These are in addition to the position statements issued last week by:


Defining urgent endocrine surgical conditions
The Australian and New Zealand Endocrine Surgeons (ANZES) has developed guidelines to define urgent Endocrine surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to identify cases that can be safely deferred until the crisis is over.  Feel free to share this document with your hospital management.
 
This position statement has been developed by the ANZES executive and represents expert opinion. Individual decisions will fall to the surgeon, anaesthetist, and hospital management.
 
Download the guidelines.

Free online mindfulness sessions
The Tony Dunin, an orthopaedic surgeon and mindfulness teacher and Linda Kader, a psychiatrist, have teamed up to offer a series of free online sessions for doctors in all areas of medicine in Australia as a support in this very challenging and stressful time of the COVID-19 crisis.

The first session will be on Saturday 4 April – more details in the flyer.

Useful links