COVID-19 Information and Planning

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is front-of-mind for all of us. It is a dynamic and global situation and we are all in it together. IPAR is taking a precautionary approach to managing the spread of COVID-19, which is in line with the latest national health advice.

Centralised information, planning and expertise

IPAR’s parent company, MedHealth, has a working group to ensure we are sharing information, optimising our preparation and managing any issues that may arise from the COVID-19 outbreak. This group monitors the situation daily.

We are well positioned to access any additional expert advice we may need. Our Chief Medical Officer, Dr Peter Steadman, has engaged the services of two leading doctors to contribute, assisting with specific disease advice and organisational health management.

We are basing all our centralised advice and screening protocols on the Australian Department of Health advice and daily updates.

Our operations

As much as possible, our operations will proceed as normal. As always, in the event of any disruption or changes, we will keep you fully informed.

Visitors to our premises

All our premises are operating with robust screening and management protocols. Our focus is on safeguarding all visitors.

  • All appointment reminder processes whether by phone, email or text (where allowed) screen clients, customers or visitors with the questions listed below. This occurs 1-2 days before clients are to attend appointments at our premises. We also ensure that our clients know that they cannot bring more than one other person to the appointment with them. Where mask use is required, clients will be reminded that they will need to wear a mask throughout their appointment.
  • Additionally, all front-of-house team members screen clients, customers or visitors upon arrival:
      1. Do you have, have you had or are you being tested for COVID-19?
      2. Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
      3. Do you have / or have you had cold and flu symptoms within the past 14 days?
      4. Have you travelled overseas and returned to Australia in the past 14 days?
      5. Please see region specific screening questions below:
        1. For all Victorian offices – Have you visited or travelled to/from one of the identified hotspot locations listed on the VIC Government website listed here, in the past 14 days?
        2. For all NSW offices – Have you visited or travelled to/from one of the identified hotspot locations listed on the NSW Government website listed here, in the past 14 days?
        3. For all Queensland offices – Have you visited or travelled to/from one of the identified hotspot locations listed on the QLD Government website listed here, in the past 14 days?
        4. For all Northern Territory offices – Have you visited or travelled to/from one of the identified hotspot locations listed on the NT Government website listed here, in the past 14 days?
        5. For all South Australian offices – Have you visited or travelled to/from one of the identified hotspot locations listed on the SA Government website listed here, in the past 14 days?
        6. For all Western Australian offices – Have you visited or travelled to/from one of the identified hotspot locations listed on the WA Government website listed here, in the past 14 days?
        7. For all ACT offices – Have you visited or travelled to/from one of the identified hotspot locations listed on the ACT Government website listed here, in the past 14 days?
        8. For all Tasmanian offices – Have you visited or travelled to/from one of the identified hotspot locations listed on the TAS Government website listed here, in the past 14 days?

Please note:

  • Appointments should not proceed for anyone answering yes to the above, however can be rebooked for >14 days. The exception is for clients who indicate they have had COVID-19 – in this instance, our COVID OHS officers will be contacted for advice before proceeding with the appointment or rescheduling the appointment.
  • MedHealth has set up an advisory hotline on COVID-19, offering advice and support on each unique scenario for our people. Should a client present at our premises with any potential exposure to COVID-19, our team member calls the hotline for advice on next steps, while also immediately isolating the individual in question, ensuring mask use and supporting them to mitigate risk as they travel home to seek medical support via telephone. Under consultation with the Specialist, the appointment does not go ahead if there is any identified risk.

Mask use

  • Victoria:  Masks must be used indoors and outdoors.
  • New South Wales: All Team Members / Clients / Examinees / Customers / Visitors to wear a mask if it is hard to maintain 1.5 meters of physical distance, when caring or serving vulnerable people, or when visiting a household and you can’t meet outdoors or maintain physical distancing (especially if there’s an older or medically vulnerable person in the home). As per current NSW Government requirements listed here.

Protocols if someone presents with cold or flu symptoms to our offices

  • Please isolate the individual into a room.
  • Provide them with tissues or a mask.
  • Organise for transportation home via taxi and advise them not to visit public places.
  • For non-team members: ensure they contact their treating practitioner of the Coronavirus information line on 1800 020 080.
  • For team members: ensure you contact the Cogent hotline – 1800 264 368
  • All appointment reminder processes whether by phone, email or text (where allowed) need to incorporate the above questions in section 1) and ideally to occur at least 1-2 days before clients are to attend appointments at our premises, as well as when the client presents for their appointment. Please also ensure that you let clients know that they cannot bring more than one other person to the appointment with them. For those clients in Victoria, please let them know that they will need to wear a mask throughout their appointment.
  • Appointments should not proceed for anyone answering yes to the above, however can be rebooked for >14 days. The exception is for clients who indicate they have had COVID-19 – please contact Mat Clark (0455 067 965) or Elke Gjergja (0412 582 834) for advice before proceeding with the appointment or rescheduling the appointment.

Protocols, support and considerations for our people

If any of our team members are unwell, we ask they do not come into the office. This is for any illness, whether respiratory or not. It is an especially important principle at the moment.

We are following all Australian Department of Health guidelines on travel and self-imposed quarantine.

Additionally, MedHealth’s employer direct business Cogent Thinking has been operating a hotline within MedHealth since 2 March 2020, to support our team in managing risk and ensuring safety.

As always, IPAR puts the health and safety of our people, customers and clients at the forefront of our thinking and actions. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if there are any issues you would like to discuss.