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Are AT Businesses an Essential Service?

By March 27th, 2020No Comments
With the fast-changing circumstances along with the mixed messages that were coming through about the possible lockdown of non-essential services, ATSA wrote early this week to all 15 Disability and Health Ministers across the country last night to ensure that the supply of AT remains on the agenda as an essential service.

Each state has differing approaches within their legislations regarding what is an essential service and what is not,  e.g. it is clear in NSW where the support of medical devices is listed within the legislation, whereas in Victoria it will be determined at the time.

Regardless of this, ATSA strongly recommends that you plan with the expectation that the supply of AT will be an essential service in the event of a “lockdown”. ATSA was also in discussion with the NDIA last night on the fast unfolding situation – they are also working to ensure the AT sector is fully supported and considered as an essential service.

The current situation at the time of writing is that only activities that have been listed are to cease operation. The supply of goods and services is not listed, therefore, AT suppliers need to continue to operate.

In the letter to the Ministers, ATSA has requested that the industry be provided with support and consideration for the following:
Logistic support cost relief due to the falling dollar and the impact that the COVID-19 is having on the cost of doing business.

Access to PPE
Some states have elected to close their borders – it is important that you let me know if you have any issues in shipping or supplying stock or if you are having issues in obtaining PPE. In addition, if you are having difficulties in sourcing suppliers from overseas, or in accessing your orders through customs.

If there is any interest for ATSA to open discussion with Government about Telehealth to support your clients with their AT, please contact us. With respect to your supply contracts with Government or others, ATSA highly recommends that you contact them to discuss cost implications due to the fall in the Australian dollar now. If you are having difficulties in any of these areas please also get in touch.