If you are reading this, chances are you have already been inundated with information on COVID-19. Through this unprecedented health crisis, and in this time of instantaneous media, it’s hard to keep track of the fast paced progress of the virus and the steady stream of advice and information that have followed in its wake. As we move slowly but steadily towards increasing restrictions and increasing measures for social distancing, it will be important to have access to accurate information.
To this end, in this week’s blog I wanted to share some ‘go to’ credible sources of trusted information that health professionals or consumers may find useful in the weeks ahead.
You can also download the healthdirect app from Google Play or iTunes. The app provides convenient access to trusted health information and allows you to check your symptoms and find a health service at the tap of a key.
Australian Department of Health COVID-19 page
The Department of Health is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. The information on this website provides daily updates, answering questions about the latest news, current facts and figures, travel advice, key contact and phone numbers.
WHO has also launched a messaging service with partners WhatsApp and Facebook to keep people safe from coronavirus. The service can be accessed through a link that opens a conversation on WhatsApp. Users can simply type “hi” to activate the conversation, prompting a menu of options that can help answer their questions about COVID-19.
Therapeutic Goods Administration
The TGA has developed a COVID-19 web page to host all information relating to the virus and therapeutic goods regulation in Australia, including medicine supply and limits.
Temporary Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) items will allow doctors, nurses and mental health professionals to deliver services via telehealth, provided those services are bulk billed. The new MBS items will allow people to access essential health services in their home while they undergo self-isolation or quarantine reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for vulnerable people in the community. This is a temporary six-month measure.
As part of their response to the impact of COVID-19 and to support clinicians in the community, the Reboot Pain Management Program is waiving the $59 course registration fee for the Reboot online program until the end of April.
This means that clinicians can easily prescribe or recommend Reboot online as part of in-person or telehealth treatment of clients with chronic pain or to assist in their own self-management. For more information visit: https://thiswayup.org.au/for-clinicians/
The ABC’s Coronacast is a podcast, hosted by Dr Norman Swan, that helps to answer your questions about coronavirus or COVID-19. The podcast breaks down the latest news and research to help you understand how the world is living through an epidemic. Listen for free on ABC listen app, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.
The New England Journal of Medicine is offering a collection of articles and other resources on the COVID-19 outbreak, including clinical reports, management guidelines, and commentary. https://www.nejm.org/coronavirus
These are extraordinary times, and the team here at Painaustralia will continue to work to support people living with chronic pain through this public health crisis. Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything you would like more information on.
Next week we would like to provide selected sector sources of information to assist people living with pain conditions. Please let us know if you have evidence based information platforms that you would like to share.