As an international healthcare provider who care for some of the most vulnerable people in society, Icon Group has a responsibility to protect the community. We are currently monitoring the rapidly changing COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) global pandemic and are taking active measures to protect our patients, staff and visitors and ensure we can continue to deliver care.
The actions we are taking as a company are continually being evaluated against the latest government advice and all necessary steps are being undertaken to safeguard patient care. We have strict preventative protocols in place across all our cancer centres, pharmacies and compounding locations. This includes aligning our self-isolation and monitoring policies in accordance with relevant government bodies, or to a more stringent level in line with the immunocompromised nature of our patients. These measures are outlined below.
Australia and New Zealand cancer centres
Across our cancer centres in Australia and New Zealand we have implemented entry screening for all patients and visitors and are informing and reassuring patients of the steps we are taking. To reduce numbers in our clinics we have requested patients only bring one support person and our doctors are moving to telehealth options when and where possible to minimise risk to patients and staff.
Clinic staff have also moved to a divided workforce model where possible, including morning and afternoon shifts and segregated workforces.
Access to our retail pharmacies have been restricted to enable us to minimise the number of people in store. Access is granted to patients and visitors who require necessary medicines or associated products, with a limited number in store at each time to enable social distancing measures. Before entry, visitors are verbally screened to ensure good health. We have also moved to cashless payments and contactless delivery receipts.
A similar model is being applied across our hospital and aged care pharmacies with only essential suppliers or visitors granted access to enter the pharmacy area after they complete a good health declaration.
In accordance with Australian Government’s COVID-19 regulations we have introduced new limits on dispensing and sales of prescription, along with certain over-the-counter medicines, and are communicating with our patients to ensure they receive the medications required.
We continue to adhere to strict processes in our compounding division and have re-engineered processes to stop cross-contact between production and distribution teams to minimise risk to staff and production. All non-essential visitors are not permitted on-site and stringent hygiene processes in place to manage essential transport and supply.
Asia cancer centres
Our Singapore centres continue to adhere to local government regulations, including self-quarantine measures, entry and exit screening, and navigating through recent travel restrictions into Singapore. We continue to treat patients across ASEAN countries via our shared care arrangements with local providers, telehealth and helping patients complete a health declaration form to allow entry into Singapore where required.
In Hong Kong and China we continue to operate with strict hygiene practice and screening measures for all patients and visitors in our centres.
In line with our responsibility of care we are establishing comprehensive care continuity plans across Asia, Australia and New Zealand to ensure our operations respond in a methodical and measured way as further action is required. This includes moving to a remote working model for relevant roles within our Australian-based offices since Tuesday 17 March and continuing to carefully assess our operational processes as the situation evolves.
Furthermore, in accordance with recent state health directives, we have implemented a daily staff wellness acknowledgement across our network, ensuring staff are ‘fit to work’ prior to commencing their shift.
As always, we are dedicated to the ongoing safety of our patients, our staff and our communities. We remain calm and vigilant during this time as we actively respond to the ongoing situation and deliver the best possible care for our patients.