PACFA has received information from Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) concerning our members in NSW and Victoria.
The COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Directions (No 4) have expanded to include healthcare settings and workers.
Under section 9(3)(a), a healthcare setting includes:
- community health centres and services including mental health, child and maternity, and drug and alcohol counselling services; and
- health clinics, including medical specialist and allied health professional operated clinics.
Under section 9(3)(c)(i), a healthcare worker includes:
- lifestyle and social therapists; and
- allied health professionals.
Under these guidelines, and based on AHPA’s advice, counsellors and psychotherapists who work in healthcare settings are mandated to receive a COVID19 vaccine, unless they have a medical exemption evidenced by an authorised medical practitioner.
From 15 October 2021, in order to work in a healthcare setting, you must be able to provide evidence that you:
- are fully vaccinated with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, or
- have received your first dose and have a booking to receive your second dose by 15 December 2021, or
- haven't received any doses but have a booking to receive your first dose by 29 October 2021.
New South Wales
PACFA has received the following information from the AHPA regarding counsellors and psychotherapists in NSW:
“Vaccination for COVID-19 is now mandatory for many health practitioners, including allied health professionals working in various health settings and patient groups.
Currently there is no mandatory requirement under the NSW Public Health Order for allied health professionals to be vaccinated who only work in a private practice if they do not provide services in healthcare or aged care facilities or live or/and work in an LGA of concern. It is strongly recommended that all health practitioners are vaccinated including those where vaccination is not mandated.”
Under these guidelines, and based on AHPA’s advice, if you meet any of following descriptions, it is mandated that you receive a COVID vaccine:
- counsellors/psychotherapists who see clients face-to-face and live or work in an LGA of concern;
- counsellors/psychotherapists who work in public healthcare settings (not private practice);
- and counsellors/psychotherapists who work in aged care facilities.
Under the NSW Public Health (COVID-19 Vaccination of Health Care Workers) Order 2021, counsellors and psychotherapists who meet the above descriptions must not work unless they have received at least one dose of the vaccine before 30 November 2021, and two doses of the vaccine on or after 30 November 2021.
Specific questions surrounding COVID19 vaccine mandates in either NSW or Victoria should be directed to the appropriate contacts.
24/7 COVID-19 hotline: 1800 675 398
24/7 National Coronavirus Helpline: 1800 020 080
24/7 Service NSW: 13 77 88