NT and COVID-19

Alice Springs will go into lockdown – 30 June

Alice Springs will go into lockdown for 72 hours as of 1 pm on 30 June 2021.

Extension to NT lockdown – 28 June

The NT Government has announced an extension of lockdown for a further 72 hours.

Chief Health Officer clarification, re scope of critical clinical care

The Chief Health Officer has provide clarification as a guide for the scope of critical clinical care for ambulatory care services. This information clarifies information provided below.

All AHPRA-registered health workers – and in addition – social work, speech pathology, dietetics, audiology, exercise physiology, orthotists and prosthetists.

For this purpose, critical clinical care is defined as:

  • to prevent a significant change/deterioration in functional independence which would result in an escalation of care needs (e.g. an increase in frequency of treatment needed, an increased need for prescription medication due to a significant increase in pain, requirement for specialist input or review, an increase in care needs, and/or a substantial increase to anticipated recovery time associated with a delay in receiving services).
  • to provide assessment and diagnostic services to clients / patients whose care have been delayed as a result of previous restrictions, with any further delay likely to result in deterioration in functional independence or adverse health outcomes (including access to diagnostic imaging services or assessment for prescription of assistive equipment and technology)
  • to provide services that are essential as part of a broader plan of care with a medical practitioner (e.g. fitting a brace post-surgery)
  • to provide services that are part of a conservative management plan to avoid or delay elective surgery (as agreed with treating team)
  • to provide services immediately following elective surgery that prevent secondary complications or aid functional recovery (as agreed with treating team).

Essential health services – Northern Territory lockdown

Information relating to the lockdown in parts of the Northern Territory is available online.

Health services provided in a hospital Emergency Department, by a General Practitioner or at a hospital radiology service; medical procedures or services that relate to the following:

  • procedures and surgical treatment by a dentist in an authorised public health care centres in the management of patients with facial swelling due to infection, facial trauma or severe unrelenting pain;
  • procedures to complete a cycle of IVF treatment that was commenced before the implementation of these Directions or any procedure required for the preservation of eggs for future IVF which is required to prevent eggs from becoming non-viable;
  • surgical termination of pregnancy;
  • drug or alcohol services;
  • allied health services provided allied health professionals when providing critical clinical care;
  • mental health services.

The Association has not received any updates but may receive additional information. In the interim, members should consider the guidance that has come around COVID-19 past events in other states which have indicated that critical care is care where it would result in the deterioration of the person’s health (and result in an escalation of care of needs).

If a service can be delivered via telehealth then this is the best option.

The NT government have also indicated that an employee or contractor engaged by any of the following businesses or undertakings is an essential worker for the purposes of these Directions:

  • childcare, early childhood education, primary and secondary schools and tertiary education. SPA will endeavour to get further clarification about this tomorrow to confirm it relates to speech pathologists.

Where a member is planning to deliver an in-person services they are strongly recommend to review the Association's: