I heard along the grapevine of an Australian beloved health professional offering a Pay What You Can Afford service.
Our team has never heard of such a program, and with the human race in crisis, we did a deep dive to find out what this was and how it could help people. Let’s be straight up- while many people are thinking of how they can afford to pay the rent or groceries and stay safe in a chaotic time; when you hear about a person whose very first priority is people and how to serve best – leaves us with a refreshing “Oh Wow” moment.
Kindness in it’s purest form is a delight. Ponderers, we have featured her before, and now we touch base with her again. Faye Kendall is a beloved Geelong local, Osteopath and business owner; and these are her words.
When I first started my osteopathic career, it never occurred that one day I would need to treat my patients without putting my hands on them.
As osteopaths, we primarily work with people’s neuro-musculoskeletal system (the muscles, bones, nerves, joints, tendons, ligaments and other tissues that help to support and control the movements of your body). I, like many other osteopaths, built my clinic off the back of getting people out of pain with an emphasis on using my ‘‘hands” to help people move better and feel better.
Then, in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia, and everything changed.
My first thought with the new restrictions in place was “How are we going to support our patients through this if they can’t come and see us at the clinic?” Over the next few days, our clinic started reaching out to our patients to check in with them and see if there was anything that we could help them with. The responses we got in return were heartbreaking.
Some of our patients had already been told that they had lost their jobs, and others told to expect the same in the coming weeks. I spoke with immune-compromised patients that were too scared to leave the house and patients who have chronic health issues who are afraid of what might happen if their usual therapy choices were no longer available to them.
How were these people going to look after their family when they had lost their income?
How would they stay healthy if they can’t leave their house? Would their condition deteriorate if they were unable to access their therapists that they relied so heavily upon?
I felt for my patients, and I felt for our community. Even if most of us haven’t yet been exposed to the virus physically, we are already feeling the mental, emotional and financial effects to which none of us has immunity. As a healthcare professional, I knew that we needed to come up with a solution that enabled our community to continue to put their health first no matter what their situation.
With that in mind, the osteopaths at Whole Body Health and Wellness made a swift decision. We decided we needed to offer online consultations to support people in their health. With people in isolation- and with the teleconferencing tools we have at our fingertips like many in the medical profession- it seems an obvious choice.
But, financially, what could be done to support the community? The solution is our offer of ‘Pay What You Can Afford’ payment option so that everyone has access to our services regardless of their situation.
Whilst I believe hands-on techniques are amazingly effective, they are just one of the many tools we have in our osteopathic toolkit.
You see, what I failed to tell my patients early on in my career is that Osteopathy is more than just a set of techniques; it’s an entire comprehensive philosophy of whole-body health.
Without our extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology and general healthcare diagnosis that we obtained during five years of University study the “hands-on” techniques we commonly use with patients would be meaningless. It’s the ability to diagnose, assess and manage conditions that form the majority of our osteopathic consultations and empower our patients to look after their health.
With the help of technology, we are now able to offer our patients the same support, care and guidance that we would in our regular osteopathic treatments.
In addition, implementing our ‘Pay What You Can Afford’ option throughout April 2020, we are aiming to support all of our community regardless of their financial situation.
How does it work? Exactly as it sounds, you book an appointment and you decide what you can afford to pay.
We are a community, and the go-to for those in the health and wellness sector is to do just that – to be of service and to help. So please, get in touch with us! Let us help at this very crucial time in our lives.
Whole Body Health and Wellness – https://wholebodyhealthandwellness.com.au
Call: 03 5200 1044