Despite having more time than any government to prepare for this pandemic, the McGowan Government are still yet to provide GP practices with the guidance they have been seeking on managing COVID in the community.
“It’s shocking that these front-line health care professionals have been kept in the dark regarding these important directions, which are vital for managing COVID in the community, said shadow for Health Libby Mettam.
“It is extraordinary that the risk matrix and GP guidelines are still unavailable, the AMA and RACGP have been calling this for over a month.
“This are important directions outlining the requirements GPs and health care professionals in general practices need to undertake, such as the PPE that staff wear. The directions are also required to answer Questions such as if a GP wears a mask and is in contact with COVID positive patient does this constitute a close contact?
“This is about releasing the vital directions that general practices require so they can keep operating and effectively manage the COVID risk, it is basic information which should have been learnt from other states and jurisdictions.
“The response from the Minister for Health also states the Government are yet to release their guidelines and protocols ready for antivirals, which is a concern given how essential they are in the fight against COVID for more symptomatic patients.
“We have already had an outbreak in an aged persons home, so it is extraordinary that the protocols of the antivirals have not been released and will not be available until next week.
“This a critical treatment for those with COVID to reduce the severity of the disease.
“Guidance and information for GP’s on accessing and managing these medications is vital GP’s need access and a direct line to enable their use.
“There is an outstanding opportunity for the McGowan Govt to provide a hotline for GPs to assist with their COVID response, and so far, this has fallen on deaf ears.
“Yesterday’s Omicron modelling highlights the fact that there will be milder to moderate disease in the community, and it is essential that our GP’s have this guidance to ensure they are an effective alternative to hospital.
“It is becoming more obvious that the McGowan Governments border delay was more about this government not being prepared in getting the basics ready, despite having 2 years to prepare.”