Standards for general practices

Core module

Criterion C2.3 – Accessibility of services

        1. Criterion C2.3 – Accessibility of services

Indicator


C2.3 A Our patients with disabilities or impairment can access our services.

Why this is important

In order to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (amended 2018), you need to ensure that people with disability or impairment can access the practice and its services in ways that maintain their dignity.

Meeting this Criterion

Access is important

All patients, including those with disability or impairment, must be able to easily and safely physically access the practice’s premises and services. You can achieve this by: • providing pathways, hallways, consultation areas and toilets that are wheelchair-friendly

  • having a wheelchair that patients can use while they are at the practice
  • installing appropriate ramps and railings
  • using pictures, signs and other sources of information to help patients who have intellectual disability or vision impairment, or are not fluent in English.

You could improve your practice’s non-physical access for patients with disability or impairment by:

  • using existing and emerging technology to give patients access to telehealth or video conferencing consultations
  • having practitioners make home visits, where appropriate.

Accessible parking

Where possible, patients with disability need to be able to park their vehicles within a reasonable distance of the practice. Parking bays that are specifically marked for the use of patients with disability parking entitlement must be large enough to accommodate the loading and unloading of wheelchairs.

Assistance animals

Some of your patients may have an assistance animal that they want to have with them during a visit to your practice. These are specifically trained disability support animals that enable a person with disability to safely participate in personal and public life activities; these animals are not pets. Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (amended 2018), an animal is an assistance animal if it meets one or more of these criteria:

  • It is accredited under a state or territory law to assist a person with disability to alleviate the effects of the disability.
  • It is accredited by an animal training organisation prescribed in the regulations.
  • It is trained to assist a person with disability to alleviate the effects of the disability and meets standards of hygiene and behaviour that are appropriate for an animal in a public place.

Assistance animals may support patients who:

  • are blind or have low vision
  • are deaf or hard of hearing
  • require physical support for mobility or other functional tasks
  • experience episodic and serious medical crises (eg epilepsy, changes in blood pressure or blood sugar)
  • experience psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, hallucinations, panic attacks or suicidal ideation.12

Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (amended 2018), all assistance animals are guaranteed access to all public places in Australia. For further information, refer to the Australian Human Rights Commission website.

Meeting each Indicator

C2.3 A Our patients with disabilities or impairment can access our services.

You must:

  • have physical infrastructure and processes that enable patients with disabilities or impairment to access your services
  • provide access to disability parking.

You could:

  • use pictures on signs to help patients with intellectual disability or visual impairment
  • provide a transport service to help patients who cannot otherwise get to the practice
  • endeavour to make telehealth accessible to people with disability and impairment
  • have software and technology available to assist patients with disability and impairment
  • offer alternatives to practice visits, such as home visits and/or telehealth consultations, for patients who might not be physically able to attend the practice.

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