Social Work & Podiatry Among Allied Health Services Now Classified As ‘Essential’

When Singapore entered the ‘Circuit Breaker’ phase, it was perplexing that psychological services were deemed as non-essential.

Many Singaporeans acknowledge issues to do with cutting off counselling and therapy, which is potentially detrimental for existing patients.

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On Tuesday (28 Apr), the Ministry Of Health (MOH) re-classified some allied health services under essential, according to The Straits Times (ST).

This means that practitioners of rehabilitation & therapy services can now operate from Wednesday (29 Apr) onwards. The same goes for those from other allied health services:

  • Dietetics
  • Counselling
  • Social work
  • Psychology
  • Podiatry.

Psychological services continue amidst ‘Circuit Breaker’

According to a Facebook post by Singapore Psychological Society (SGS) posted earlier today (28 Apr), registered psychologists can now open their clinics during the pandemic.

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This will ensure mental health patients can receive their treatment albeit recent Covid-19 developments.

Though they have to limit their opening hours to a maximum of 4 hours a day and 5 days a week, clinics can at least accommodate patients with more serious conditions.

Psychological services are important during a crisis

Going through a period of self-isolation and dealing with a pandemic is no easy feat. It is no doubt that we are more mentally vulnerable during this period.

As such, it is absolutely good news that the government is making counselling and therapy services available for anyone who requires psychological assistance during this trying time.

This excellent move sends out a message to acknowledge the importance of mental health care, simultaneously protecting those who are psychological service users.

Adequate precautions in place

Nevertheless, it is important for allied health practitioners to adhere closely to guidelines in order to minimise interaction.

As stated in SGS’s statement, telecommuting is preferred over face-to-face consultation, which should only be arranged when necessary.

Apart from limiting hours, the clinics are to ensure those who visit observe adequate social distancing.

Good move to help those in need

It’s great to see that MOH has reconsidered their decision, in a move that is surely welcomed by those who need it.

Hopefully now that these clinics may reopen, albeit with certain restrictions in place, they can get the help they need during this critical time.

Featured image adapted from NPC.