COVID-19 Pandemic Communique – 9 April 2020

College Presidents noted the surge capability for the Australian health care system was on track and appropriate plans were in place in all health care facilities.

Minister for Health The Hon. Greg Hunt updated the Colleges on the COVID Pandemic National Plan and situation with reference to the epidemiological curve flattening as a result of societal measures (self-distancing, isolation, quarantine where required). Specifically, the MBS Telehealth legislation had passed to support access to a wider range of items; work had occurred to procure more invasive equipment & to enhance the PPE stockpile.

It was jointly acknowledged that the effort to ramp up capability in critical care services was unique and preparations were required to further upskill personnel along with potentially training other specialists into these areas for redeployment if required. CPMC will work collaboratively with the Department to develop options in relation to managing the education and training of specialists. CPMC through its critical care Colleges will advise on ways to ensure other specialties could be skilled up in anaesthetics/airway management.

The Department of Health Update Dr Singer focussed on the proposals developed by the Jurisdictional Working Group on selection into training for the 2021 clinical year. The risk of losing momentum on proposal in the strategic planning to support a National Medical Workforce Strategy was noted by RACMA.

New Zealand Update College Presidents located in New Zealand provided an update on the situation with regards to new cases, management and impact on the economy and training. In essence, due to the lockdown they reported that the number of people recovering per day is consistently exceeding the number of new cases per day.

Primary Care Update Dr Nespolon (RACGP) spoke about the regular meetings with the Department, the impact telehealth was having, the need for all Australians to continue to seek care and treatment for routine issues and not to avoid the doctor. Dr McPhee (ACRRM) referred to the establishment of a respiratory clinic in regional QLD and the upskilling of many doctors to anticipate a surge.

Mental Health Update Dr Jenkins referred to the development of a focus on welfare.

ACSEP release of CoFIT strategy to support campaign to maintain youth fitness during pandemic.

CPMC to release a Training Redeployment Position Statement outlining guiding principles

All Colleges will continue to meet weekly and submit a short report.

Released by Dr Jenkins Chair, CPMC

CONTACT: Angela Magarry, CPMC CEO, ceo@cpmc.edu.au