Communications and Advocacy update: 28 April

28 April 2022

During the past week, AMA Victoria media and advocacy has included:

A snapshot of recent appearances below.

Necessity for booster shots and prudence in the further easing of restrictions

In an interview with The Guardian AMA Victoria President, Dr Roderick McRae, said the state’s challenges with getting people to have third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine were partly due to “language confusion” over its necessity.

Dr McRae noted that “[t]here’s been information overload in the community. Government insists on using the expression ‘fully vaccinated’ [for two doses] but it’s a complete oxymoron.”

“Within healthcare we are aware the third dose has been absolutely, fundamentally crucial in the management of the Omicron variant as the level of protection wanes over time.”

In the context of further easing of restrictions, Dr McRae in The Age, stated that complacency could put more stress on the already-stretched healthcare system. Dr McRae said that some people in the broader community and fatigued healthcare workers were “moving to two separate universes.”

General Practice/State Government communication

The Age recently featured an article detailing contents of our State Budget Submission, particularly regarding communication between General practice and the State Government.

As The Age notes, we are urging the Victorian government to repair the “chronically poor” communication between GPs and hospitals, by establishing a division of general practice within the state’s Health Department.

“General practitioners say people are getting rejected for surgical procedures for “arbitrary” reasons, medications are being changed without their knowledge, and in some cases, hospitals are failing to notify GPs when their patients have died, and that the poor or delayed communication is putting patients at risk.”

Chronic issues in regional hospitals

Again in The Age,  Dr McRae asserted that he was “absolutely concerned” about the welfare of people needing urgent care in rural hospitals that were struggling to fill rosters and admit seriously ill patients.

“If you’re really brutal about it, every person in a rural area is paying the same state taxes as somebody in Melbourne, but they are not being afforded the same healthcare. It is extremely disappointing.”

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