13 Mar 2020
Registered health practitioners play a vital role in treating and containing the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Optometry Board of Australia recognises that as health practitioners, you may be feeling anxious and concerned about decisions you may need to take to provide the best care in these challenging and uncertain circumstances, especially if the coronavirus becomes more widespread.
We recognise that in these challenging circumstances, there may be a need for you to adjust established procedures to provide appropriate care to patients and clients.
The regulatory guidance of National Boards is designed to be flexible and to provide a framework for decision-making in a wide range of situations.
If a concern is raised about your decisions and actions, as always, the specific facts will be considered, including the factors relevant to your working environment. We would also take account of any relevant information about resources, guidelines or protocols in place at the time.
We encourage all registered health practitioners to work with colleagues and people using services, to use your professional judgement to assess risk, and to deliver safe care informed by any relevant guidance and the values and principles set out in professional standards and the codes of conduct for your profession.
We also encourage you to take steps to look after your health, including to seek help when needed.
It is vital that during this rapidly evolving situation, everyone follows national public health directions and guidance.