Support for health services affected by floods
Our thoughts are with health services and staff that have experienced and are preparing for floods.
This information has been collated to provide you with useful information and links. If you require additional support, email: email@example.com or visit our community page, which includes links to financial support, emergency services and what to do after a flood.
The RACGP is making regular updates to its providing care and support during disasters webpage, that includes accreditation; exemptions for telehealth eligibility in areas of natural disaster; caring for yourself and accessing support during disasters and financial assistance.
Victorian general practices can receive free access (until 31 December 2023) to the Emergency Response Planning Tool (ERPT), which has been developed in conjunction with the RACGP, to help prepare for, respond to and recover from the impacts of emergencies. If you need support to access the ERPT email your local quality improvement consultant or firstname.lastname@example.org
- RACGP provides three free consultations to all RACGP members who are registered medical practitioners through the GP Support Program.
- Murray PHN has fully subsidised an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) available to general practice staff and their immediate family members.
Telehealth and MBS items
Patients in flood-affected areas are eligible to see a new GP via telehealth - the ‘established clinical relationship’ requirement is waived in that situation. More information is supplied by MBS online here.
If your practice is unable to provide care, non-urgent telehealth support is available for patients through:
- NURSE-ON-CALL - call 1300 60 60 24 if you are in Victoria for 24/7 health advice from a registered nurse
- Victorian Virtual Emergency Department - connect to emergency doctors and nurses online, who can help to organise tests and prescriptions
- Instant consult - speak to a doctor through video call (cost).
- 24-7 MEDCARE - speak to a doctor through a phone or video call (cost).
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia provides information pharmacies affected by disaster; alternatively contact your own peak body organisation for more support.
The Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) can provide information about websites and helplines that provide further assistance; resources for help dealing with some of the issues and stressors related to pharmacy work and tips for looking after your wellbeing.
Medications, scripts and immunisations
In an emergency where patients are not able to reach a community pharmacy, a public hospital pharmacy may fill prescriptions.
Where a patient does not have access to their prescription, you are unable to send the prescription electronically or verbally, the pharmacist may be able to provide a one-time supply of eligible medicine/s (in 12 months) when there is an immediate need, under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Continued Dispensing Arrangements.
All immunisation providers must have an up-to-date cold chain protocol to support staff in the event of a breach. For more information, see: National Vaccine Storage Guidelines ‘Strive for 5’ and cold chain management.
Flood water can increase the risk of diseases such as Leptospirosis and Trench foot, or immersion foot syndrome.
Stagnant water can also lead to a rise in mosquito-borne diseases: Japanese (JEV) and Murray Valley encephalitis viruses and Ross River virus disease. For more on eligibility and local providers of the JEV vaccine, click here.
Patients can access support through:
- Head to Health - Call 1800 595 212 between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday for free mental health support
- Lifeline - Call 13 11 14 for 24/7 crisis support
Or for a list of additional and dedicated services, click here.
- Victorian Small Business Immediate Flood Relief Program - Directly impacted businesses can apply for a one-off payment of $5,000 to support clean-up, safety inspections, repairs, the hiring of equipment and purchase of stock that businesses need to get back in business as quickly as possible.
For other available payments, visit our community flood page.
HealthPathways provides health professionals with free access to clinical information, resources and local referral details to make decisions together with patients, at the point of care.
If you can help support affected primary care providers and relief centres, please consider registering as an emergency volunteer here.
Page last updated 28 October 2022