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Support and assistance for flood-affected communities.

The PHN has summarised the services available for health professionals and the community facing challenges throughout the recent flood events.

MBS Telehealth items

MBS Telehealth items are available to GPs, medical practitioners, specialists, consultant physicians, nurse practitioners, participating midwives, allied health providers and dental practitioners in the practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Patients in areas declared a natural disaster in response to recent flooding can access telehealth services from any GP. Eligible regions are State or Territory Local Government Areas identified as a natural disaster at the time of the service.

There are exemptions from the pattern of service (‘30/20 rule’) for telephone attendances provided by consultant physicians and GPs. This includes patients who are in regions affected by natural disaster according to State or Territory declarations.

The PHN strongly recommends creating a note in the patient records, such as “MBS telehealth for consultation due to government deemed natural disaster area”.

Fact Sheets

The Department of Health and Aged Care is highlighting the following relevant Fact Sheets:

Mental health and wellbeing support

Patients and health professionals can access a number of free counselling services to assist with mental health and wellbeing support during times of stress.

MindHealth is a free professional counselling service operating between 7am and 9pm Monday to Saturday for people 15 years and older living or working in the Hunter New England and Central Coast regions. Services are available both online and via phone counselling on 1300 029 131.

Health professionals can refer a client by completing and emailing a Client Referral Form.

Head to Health
Head to Health offers telephone counselling via 1800 592 212 and provides links to digital mental health services from some of Australia’s most trusted mental health organisations. Practitioners can use digital mental health resources and services as an adjunct to other treatment, or as a stand-alone intervention. For Health Professionals | Head to Health

Provided by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, Head to Health brings together apps, online programs, online forums, and phone services, as well as a range of digital information resources.

Resilience NSW
Resilience NSW is advising communities to utilise the SES website hazard watch to check the flood status, local emergency centres, flood preparation tips, and road closures etc in individual regions.

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