NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #CoronaVirus News Alert 25 March No 16 : Covers @ScottMorrisonMP press release , COVID-19 infection control training, @AMA President #Telehealth , @HealthInfoNet , @NATSILS , @abcspeakingout  CEO Pat Turner and Dr @NormanSwan Plus Dawn Casey

Prime Minister’s COVID19 decisions press release.

1.COVID-19 infection control training for health care workers.

2. AMA President says expanded access to telehealth is vital to contain Covid-19 and to protect the health of frontline doctors and their patients especially Indigenous and aged at least 50 years old.

3.Contribute to Healthinfonet COVID 19 resources page.

4.NATSILS calls on the Prime Minister for early release from prison and other urgent measures to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from COVID-19 in the justice system.

5.Speaking Out : Hear our CEO Pat Turner and DR Norman Swan discuss COVID19 and our communities.

6. Our Deputy CEO Dawn Casey 20 minute COVID19 Interview Daniel James.

See NACCHO Corona Virus Home Page

Read all 13 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Coronas Virus Alerts HERE

Above image thanks to the team at AHCWA

Prime Minister’s COVID19 decisions press release

Download / Read 5 Pages

Prime Ministers COVID19 Press Release 25 March

1.COVID-19 infection control training for health care workers

This 30-minute online training module is for health care workers in all settings.

It covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19

Department of Health training webpage

This training is for care workers across all health care settings, including:

  • hospitals
  • primary care
  • aged care (both in residential aged care facilities or with visiting carers at home, including cleaners and cooks)
  • disability (both in residential/shared care facilities or part-time carers in people’s homes, including cleaners and cooks)
  • allied health
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services
  • pharmacies
  • dental practices, including dentists, nurses, cleaners and receptionists

This training module covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19 including:

  • COVID-19 – what is it?
  • Signs and symptoms
  • Keeping safe – protecting yourself and others
  • Myth busting

Users must register, but registration is open to anyone.

Training is hosted on an external site, provided by our trusted COVID-19 training partner, Aspen Medical.

Register now

2.AMA President says expanded access to telehealth is vital to contain Covid-19 and to protect the health of frontline doctors and their patients especially Indigenous and aged at least 50 years old

Update 25 March

 ” Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has agreed to expand access to Medicare-funded telehealth, including for mental health, after practitioners complained that restrictions were putting them and their patients at risk.

Mr Hunt said the government was working on a plan to enable all patients to be able to access Medicare-funded online or telephone consultations “for all patients, with or without COVID-19, to see any general practitioner, medical specialist, mental health or allied health professional during the COVID-19 health emergency.”

Read HERE

Telehealth is a key weapon in the war on Covid-19. Telehealth is essential to reducing the community spread of COVID-19 and protecting doctors, staff, and patients from this virus. It is all about making the community safer.

Dr Bartone said that the AMA is working very closely with Health Minister Greg Hunt to deliver better telehealth access to all Australians as a matter of urgency in this crisis.

Example of how most of our ACCHO’s are using Telehealth in this crisis

“The Government is committed to further changes to Medicare to support a comprehensive telehealth model of care, and this includes finalising the detail of further telehealth operations via phone and video by the end of this week,” Dr Bartone said.

“This commitment will see the Government co-design the best practice expansion of telehealth items for all patients, with or without Covid-19, to see any GP or other medical specialist during the Covid-19 health emergency.

“The Government is committed to supporting health professionals to meet the public demand for health care as the spread of Covid-19 continues, especially with telehealth initiatives.

 “It will assure that GPs can more efficiently use their time in helping their patients and their communities. It will reduce demand on valuable PPE.”

Dr Bartone said the AMA is continuing to work closely with the Government in all aspects of responding to COVID-19.

“We are working around the clock to address the concerns of all doctors, all our members, and the general public,” Dr Bartone said.

“It is our priority to ensure that all medical practitioners are properly supported at the front line to give the best possible care to patients in our public hospitals and in the private sector.”

3. Contribute to Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet COVID-19 resources webpage.

HealthInfoNet has started to aggregate COVID19 resources and there is some valuable information on their website for the community

We request our affiliates and members to provide any content or graphics that they find will be useful to others to HealthInfoNet.

These resources will then be uploaded on to HealthInfoNet COVID19 website and will be publicly accessible for others who may find them useful.

HealthInfoNet COVID19 resources page HERE:

COVID-19 Updates and Information

Email your contributions to:

Michelle ELWELL

m.elwell@ecu.edu.au.

4.NATSILS calls on the Prime Minister for early release from prison and other urgent measures to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from COVID-19 in the justice system

Update 25 March 2020

The NSW government is preparing for the early release of some of the state’s 13,000 prisoners in response to the coronavirus pandemic, among a raft of emergency changes to the justice system.

Laws rushed through State Parliament on Tuesday allow the state’s Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin to make orders permitting prisoners to be released early on parole. The commissioner will need to be satisfied it is “reasonably necessary” because of the risk the COVID-19 pandemic poses to public health or to the good order and security of prisons. “

Read here

The National peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) have held a meeting today to call for urgent action from the Prime Minister and State and Territory leaders for the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in prisons and the justice system from COVID-19.

NATSILS met with Minister Wyatt and representatives from the Attorney General’s Department and discussed the Federal Government’s response to COVID-19.

NATSILS members made the following statement:

“We, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILS), are calling for national leadership from the Prime Minister, Attorney General and all levels of State and Territory Government to take immediate action to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in prison, including early release.

Most of our people in prison have chronic health issues and are living with disability; they are most at risk. With the over-representation of our people in prison, our lives are on the line.

People in prison are extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. This is why we are calling for immediate early release, particularly people who are on remand, women who are victims of family violence and sentenced for lesser offences like fines and public order offences, young people and those most at risk of transmitting COVID-19, like elderly and people with health conditions.

At all costs, we must prevent any Aboriginal deaths in custody from COVID-19.

Authorities must be transparent and avoid blanket lockdowns or solitary confinement, especially for young people. Our people must have safe access to their family and visitors, adequate medical care, COVID-19 testing and particularly legal support. More must be done to facilitate this, including access to video facilities. ATSILS are doing all we can to provide our vital services to our people during this time, whilst containing the spread of COVID-19.

Globally, governments are using early release to contain the virus, including Ireland’s proposal to release prisoners with less than 12 months to serve, and elsewhere in the United States and United Kingdom.

We are concerned about the impact of policing, the closure and delay of courts during the COVID-19 pandemic. There must be more focus on alternatives to imprisonment, on diversion, and on providing communities the support that we need to survive this pandemic.

We are also concerned about the civil law impacts for our people, particularly on fines and tenancy, administrative proceedings, and the impact on child protection and law. There are measures such as freezing rental and rate increases that governments can take.

We discussed with Minister Wyatt the impact of COVID-19 in remote communities. Right now, our lives depend on having full access to social safety nets without any strings attached. Bush courts and circuit courts have now stopped, and ATSILS are working on ways to provide services without face to face contact to remote communities.

When courts resume, this will place unprecedented need on our legal services. We require urgent additional resources to adequately respond to this pandemic.

This pandemic will have a huge impact on our communities, our lives, and our services for many months to come. It is vital that the Prime Minister and all levels of Government act now to show leadership for First Nations people.”

5.Speaking Out : Hear our CEO Pat Turner and DR Norman Swan discuss COVID and our Communities.

Hear our CEO Pat Turner

Hear Dr Norman Swan

6. Our Deputy CEO Dawn Casey 20 minute COVID19 Interview Daniel James 

Listen Hear

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