We are pre-screening people via telehealth before they use the transport service and to meet with the GPs and nurses.Jamie Newman
With coronavirus restrictions easing, the Orange Aboriginal Medical Service is "treading softly" with the reintroduction of its transport service.
OAMS chief executive officer Jamie Newman said the transport won't be fully operational yet but offering the service again was about ensuring a level of connectivity with clients.
"We are pre-screening people via telehealth before they use the transport service to meet with the GPs and nurses," he said.
"The service is only available on a needs basis and availability.
"We are aware of the current situation and we're doing the best we can to maintain connection with our clients via telehealth."
Mr Newman said the service has recently started back up but with caution.
"Before COVID-19, we had two transport officers who would drive between 10 to 15 people a day," he said.
"We want to operate on a full time basis but we are hoping a second wave of coronavirus doesn't happen.
"We are following the guidelines and recommendations from NSW Health and the Western NSW LHD."
Mr Newman also said telehealth has enabled OAMS to tackle the pandemic, while adhered to the evolving restrictions in place.
"We maintained connection with existing clients and have picked up new clients during COVID," he said.
"We want to be able to keep in contact with the community and I think we're navigating through these times well.
"We are mindful of the pandemic restrictions and we don't want to push the number of people into the service because without no staff we have no service."
OAMS also has other healthcare services on offer for people to access.
"There is currently a waiting list for people to access dental care," Mr Newman said.
"At the moment, the dental team is prioritising our client load with an optimum 10 clients being treated a day."
Mr Newman added people are utilising the service at the walu-win centre on a one-on-one basis.
"In Wiradjuri, walu-win means 'get healthy' and we have had a good response from our clients accessing the health and wellbeing service on a referral basis from our clinical team," he said.
"We aren't introducing group sessions at the moment, but we have big plans for the centre and we're looking forward to bringing it to the community.
"We have to be different and innovative in the way we deliver healthcare."
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