The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander AdvisoryGroup on COVID-19 (the taskforce) met for the third time on Thursday 12 March2020.
The taskforce discussedcomponents of the recently announced $2.4billion health package to protect all Australians fromCOVID-19. Key components include:
- Increasing the capacity of the National Medical Stockpile in deployingpersonal protective equipment (PPE); and
- Primary health care measures including; telehealth services, pathologytesting support and the establishment of respiratory health clinics.
Thetaskforce discussed options for the distribution of the Aboriginal and TorresStrait Islander specific allocations including; support for remote and very remote communities to minimise thelikelihood of exposure to COVID-19, increase their capacity to evacuate earlycases, and enable an effective response if an outbreak occurs.
Members will provide specific advice on potentiallocations for respiratory clinics and ensuring that these are accessible toAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The taskforce provided practical examples of wherecommunication and response mechanisms may need to be flexible and adaptable tocommunity contexts, for example phoning ahead may not be feasible in remotecommunities.
The group continues to develop the ManagementPlan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, to feed intothe Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Novel Coronavirus(COVID-19).
Co-chaired by the Department of Health and theNational Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), thetaskforce includes Public Health Medical Officers and leaders from theAboriginal Community Controlled Sector, Aboriginal Health Services, state andterritory government public health and medical officials, Aboriginalcommunicable disease experts, the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Associationand the National Indigenous Australians Agency.
The taskforce will next meet on Tuesday 17 March2020.
Credit: Source link