"Australia’s peak medical body is calling for Anthony Albanese to revive
national cabinet’s focus on the Covid-19 pandemic, warning that this winter
will be “the worst it has ever been” for the country’s overburdened health
Facing a deadly flu season along with the ongoing spread of Covid, the
Australian Medical Association says that the country’s hospital system is
already struggling to cope with surging demand as a result of workforce
The AMA’s president, Dr Omar Khorshid, said next Friday’s meeting of state and
territory leaders – the first since Albanese was sworn in as prime minister –
needed to come up with a new Covid strategy to try to ease the burden over
winter, after the issue had largely been ignored during the election campaign.
“That needs to change. I want to get back to a situation where we have a
considered, coordinated and preferably nationally consistent response to the
pandemic,” Khorshid told Guardian Australia.
“The pandemic is not over and our health system is struggling, partly due to
the ongoing effect of the pandemic.
“It is the worst it has ever been … and it will be worse [than last winter]
because we will have flu and Covid in every state and territory,” he said.
“You have also got the cumulative effect of ongoing burnout and stress at the
frontend for those workers who’ve been doing the heavy lifting [in] hospitals
and in primary care.
“And we haven’t actually fixed any of the problems, so there’s no extra
capacity, there’s no extra staff. Nothing had been done to help the system to
cope with this foreseeable increase in demand.”
Khorshid said national cabinet needed to discuss how to lift the rate of
third-dose vaccinations, consider mask-wearing guidelines, refocus on workforce
strategies and consider a national drive to vaccinate against the flu, which is
being described as a looming disaster for the health sector."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics