On 11 March 2020, the Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, announced a $2.4 Billion health plan to fight COVID-19 to protect all Australians, including vulnerable groups such as the elderly, those with chronic conditions and Indigenous communities, from the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Bulk-billed video-conference consultation services, which can be provided by allied mental health workers for certain vulnerable people.

Vulnerable/isolated patients are those where at least one of the following apply:

(a) the person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 virus but who is not a patient of a hospital; or

(b) the person has been required to isolate themselves in quarantine in accordance with home isolation guidance issued by Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC); or

(c) the person is considered more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus being a person who is:

(i) at least 70 years old; or

(ii) at least 50 years old and is of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent; or

(iii) is pregnant; or

(iv) is a parent of a child under 12 months; or

(v) is already under treatment for chronic health conditions or is immune compromised; or

(d) the person meets the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection.

Psychological counselling services may be provided by video or phone attendance by an eligible psychologist if:

(a) the attendance is where:

(i) the person is a patient at risk of COVID-19 virus; or

(ii) the eligible psychologist is a health professional at risk of COVID-19 virus; and

(b) the person is referred by:

(i) a medical practitioner, either as part of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan, or as part of a shared care plan or as part of a psychiatrist assessment and management plan; or

(ii) a specialist or consultant physician specialising in the practice of his or her field of psychiatry; or

(iii) a specialist or consultant physician specialising in the practice of his or her field of paediatrics; and

(c) the service is provided to the person individually; and

(d) at the completion of a course of treatment, the referring medical practitioner reviews the need for a further course of treatment; and

(e) on the completion of the course of treatment, the eligible clinical psychologist gives a written report to the referring medical practitioner on assessments carried out, treatment provided and recommendations on future management of the person’s condition; and

(f) the service is at least 50 minutes duration;

where the service is bulk-billed.

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© 2020 Victorian Counselling & Psychological Services

Contact

Fax:(03) 8678 3880
Post:

PO Box 142,

East Melbourne 8002

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