Keeping you in the loop – our full covid-19 traffic light system policy is outlined below
Thank you for your ongoing understanding, as we scrabble to keep up with the rapidly changing rules and regulations which affect our profession and healthcare practice.
Please understand that the following information is advice, guidance and protocol from:
- The Ministry of Health;
- Chief Allied Health Professions Officer Martin Chadwick;
- Osteopathic Council of New Zealand;
- Osteopaths New Zealand;
- New Zealand Government.
This information does NOT reflect personal opinions of any members of staff or contractors working at ThreeSixty Osteopathy.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and there are many different ones surrounding Covid-19 at present. All opinions are respected at ThreeSixty.
However, please know that no matter what yours may be, we are bound by certain rules and regulations, and the content of this blog post is to convey information and how this information will affect the daily operation of events at ThreeSixty Osteopathy for the foreseeable future.
Osteopaths Are Vaccinated Health Professionals
The Covid-19 Public Health Response (Required Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021 specifies that certain roles and physical settings require individuals to be vaccinated.
Osteopaths are on the list of professions who must be vaccinated. This is because our “role involves being within 2 metres or less of a health practitioner or member of the public for a period of 15 minutes or more.” (5)
“The order is a legally binding health instruction” (6). Therefore, it is illegal to practice or call yourself an Osteopath if you are unvaccinated.
Furthermore, the Covid-19 Public Health Response (Required Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021 also specifies full vaccination is required for:
- Health practitioners providing health services to patients in person (such as massage)
- Workers who work in close proximity to health practitioners providing services to members of the public (for example, reception and administration services).” (2, 5, 6)
ThreeSixty Position Statement Regarding Treatment of Unvaccinated Persons
As a healthcare provider, we will continue to treat both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
There will be no requirement to provide a ‘My Vaccine Pass’ certificate or evidence upon arrival. We will not be asking people their vaccination status when they book either online or over the phone.
We will continue to treat asymptomatic individuals only – no exceptions. And all covid-19 screening questions must be asked upon booking and at the time of confirmation text being sent the day prior to consult.
Persons who have been in contact with a known covid-19 case, have been to a location of interest or who have a high risk job* will be asked to have a negative test within 24 hours of attending an appointment.
*High risk job includes: border workers, those working in MIQ, at an airport, high-risk front line workers such as ED staff and those providing transport and logistics for supporting the vaccination program including Covid-19 testing or who have been overseas within 14 days prior to appointment.
Our justification for this is in line with the legal responsibilities set out by the Ministry of Health
- Unvaccinated “Individuals cannot be refused access to healthcare – access to healthcare is a fundamental right” (1)
- “Vaccination status is only one of the risk factors in infection and transmission, and there is currently no evidence to restrict access to healthcare on vaccination status alone” (1).
- “If you are a health service operating a designated premise, you must not request people to provide a COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate or other evidence of being vaccinated to access your health service.” (8)
- “health services must not deny access to premises or provision of goods and services on vaccination grounds.” (8)
Further to this, the Ministry of Health has also emphasised that:
“Where there is high covid-19 coverage (i..e over 80% of eligible people are fully vaccinated), transmission is more likely to occur from a vaccinated than an unvaccinated individual.” (1)
Therefore, vaccination status becomes irrelevant to transmission potential. The problem more becomes that persons with little, low or no symptoms may be carrying the virus into our healthcare clinic (and all other locations they visit), thus undetectably passing the virus on to others, before symptoms develop.
“asymptomatic infection is the issue, not the vaccination status.” (1)
Your Questions Answered
"Can we ask all unvaccinated persons to have a negative test prior to consultation?"
There is not sufficient evidence to classify all unvaccinated individuals requiring to have a test prior to consultation at present. Routine testing of asymptomatic individuals prior to consultation would identify some infectious individuals, but feasibility, cost, effectiveness and available long term testing resources are problematic.
"Can we ask unvaccinated persons to attend treatment at a certain time of day / appointment block or on a particular day all together? "
“Developing a pathway for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals will not prevent the risk of inadvertently seeing an infectious person (regardless of vaccination status).”(1)
“The management of unvaccinated individuals through an alternative pathway is highly likely to negatively impact access to care.” (1)
Our best defense against potential transmission is to keep excellent health, hygiene and sanitization procedures in place.
Please call to speak to us in confidence if you are:
- Concerned, or would like to take extra precautions;
- Immunosuppressed (yourself of any member of your bubble);
- Have a young child who cannot be vaccinated and must join you in attendance for your appointment or in attendance for their own appointment.
In these cases, it is our suggestion and preference that you be seen after a 30 minute break, or at the beginning of the day so as to further minimise the risk of potential transmission.
- MOH position statement 18th November 2021. 18th November – Ministry of health position statement on the management of unvaccinated individuals in healthcare settings
- Chief allied health professions office – Martin Chadwick letter 18th November 2021
- Osteopathic Council NZ email correspondence 23rd November 2021
- Osteopaths NZ email correspondence 23rd November 2021
- Covid-19: Mandatory Vaccinations (11th November 2021)
- Health and Disability Worker Vaccinations Order: Guidance document for PCBUs and Workers 22nd October 2021 edition.
- Worksafe: Howe to decide what work requires a vaccinated employee and WorkSafe’s enforcement approach.
- Chief allied health professions office – Martin Chadwick letter 1st December 2021.