#256 Communications and Advocacy Update


21 January 2021

Here’s an update on a few of the issues AMA Victoria’s Communications and Advocacy team is working on for our members:

COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-Out 

On Thursday 6 January, members of AMA Victoria’s Section of General Practice met to discuss the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. 

Members strongly expressed the view that the medical community is frustrated by the lack of information provided by government. 

A/Prof Julian Rait, President of AMA Victoria briefed members that the Federal Government’s cautious approach is primarily over concerns regarding deployment, rather than supply, of vaccines; that the Government is trying to ensure its logistical planning and supply chains are in place to appropriately secure distribution and avoid wastage of the vaccine. 

Feedback received from members on the roll-out included:

We will update members on the roll-out of the vaccine through our communication channels and more meetings are planned to discuss this issue in the weeks ahead.

Travel between Victoria and regional Australia for visiting specialists

We have recently written to the Victorian Health Minister on behalf of members seeking assurance from the State Government that cross border travel (without the need to subsequently quarantine upon re-entering Victoria) is permitted for the purposes of providing speciality services.

There are directions from the Chief Health Officer that allow some exemptions on medical grounds. However, with the border situation as fluid as it is, we believe it is prudent to seek written assurance from the State Government that such cross-border travel is unambiguously permitted. 

We are awaiting the Minister’s response. 

Recommendations for improved prevention and management of COVID outbreaks in residential aged care facilities 

After a series of meetings with our expert advisory group (comprising general practitioners, geriatricians, emergency care physicians, and palliative care specialists), we are finalising a lengthy report on recommendations for improved prevention and management of COVID outbreaks in residential aged care facilities. 

Key recommendations include:

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