26 Mar 2020
The AMA(SA) has worked closely with the Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) and ReturnToWorkSA (RTWSA) in recent days to introduce new guidelines to support doctors and patients in response to COVID-19.
Collaboration with DPTI and RTWSA has fact-tracked the introduction of new measures that will help doctors already struggling to manage their workflows.
AMA(SA) President Dr Chris Moy thanks DPTI and RTWSA for their understanding and rapid cooperation in what are extremely busy times for us all.
DPTI has been made aware of the impact on GPs’ workflows of appointments relating to drivers’ assessments.
As a result, the Registrar of Motor Vehicles has issued a list of exemptions that will apply in the short-term, to ease pressure on GPs. Some exemptions will not be changed because of perceived risk, but others have been altered so that suspensions will be held over.
Please see the PDF at the bottom of the page for the specific patient situations and any changes that have been deemed appropriate.
RTWSA will implement a series of new fees for treating medical practitioners (GPs, specialists, consultant physicians and psychiatrists) to enable continuity of care for patients who are unable or do not wish to attend an appointment because of COVID-19. These new fees are for people who do not have COVID-19 and are not considered vulnerable, and are specifically for capacity certification or prescription renewal.
(RTWSA had previously implemented the MBS fees for patients who have COVID-19, are required to self-isolate or are considered vulnerable.)
The latest fees mirror GP and specialist consultation fees (e.g., 23, 36, 44, 104, 116, 302, etc.). The descriptions are similar - e.g., telehealth/telephone attendance by a GP lasting at least 20 minutes, and the fee is equivalent to the existing item (which is the AMA recommended rate for GP consultations).
More information will be made available through the RTWSA website as soon as possible.
RTWSA has also recognised there are circumstances, because of COVID-19, where an independent medical examination needs to be via telehealth and is currently working to facilitate that occurring.
Published: 26 Mar 2020