- AMA calls for mandatory vaccination of health care workers
- First COVID death among mob
- Orange AMS providing mobile COVID testing
- Clarification on COVID-19 vaccine information for 12-15 year-olds
- Co-founder of Awabakal remembered
- COVID-19 support for communities
- GPs urged to review accreditation arrangements
- Seeking members for TGA committees
- New process for job advertising
- Save the Date
AMA calls for mandatory vaccination of health care workers
The AMA is calling for mandatory vaccinations for the workforce of the entire health care system including support staff like cleaners, receptionists and contractors as soon as practical. The AMA says public health orders to mandate vaccinations should begin in hospitals, then the wider health system.
With worrying numbers of COVID-19-infected frontline workers furloughed and unable to work, as well as several clusters being linked to hospitals, AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said mandatory vaccines for healthcare workers are needed to sustain the health system into the future as we learn to live with COVID-19.
“We need to bring these workers and the environment they work in, out of crisis mode and the first step towards that is to protect them through vaccination. This is about health care worker safety and the safety of patients, and not about vaccines by force,” Dr Khorshid said.
You can read the media release by the AMA here.
First COVID death among mob
“We would like to extend our sincere condolences to the family and to the community of the Dubbo man who passed away yesterday. We are very saddened by this news and it was something that we tried to avoid and did our best to date. But this just goes to show how deadly and invasive the Delta variant of the virus is and why it is absolutely essential for all of our people from age 12 up to have the vaccinations which are now readily available. I encourage everybody to go and get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
NACCHO CEO Pat Turner AM
Orange AMS providing mobile COVID testing
With Indigenous people continuing to represent two thirds of confirmed COVID cases across the Western NSW Local Health District, Orange Aboriginal Medical Service (OAMS) has been providing mobile testing.
OAMS practice manager Christie Cain said that between Tuesday, August 24, – when the rapid-testing clinic was first mobilised – and Monday morning, 225 people had been swabbed for COVID in Orange so far. According to Mrs Cain, the clinic which had been rolled out in partnership with the Western NSW Local Health District, was to assist those in Orange having difficulties getting to testing clinics.
“We’re prioritising, at the moment, patients of close contacts [and] vulnerable communities that aren’t able to get to a clinic,” Mrs Cain said.
“That’s anyone, even if they’re not asymptomatic, they’ll call through to a switch, and then they are booked in, and then allocated to a team who will then go out.”
You can read the article in The Central Western Daily here.
Clarification on COVID-19 vaccine information for 12-15 year-olds
In yesterday’s issue of the NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: 12-15 year olds now eligible for vaccine, we shared the following three media releases:
- a joint media release by The Hon. Scott Morrison MP Prime Minister, The Hon. Greg Hunt MP Minister for Health and Aged Care, and The Hon. Alan Tudge MP Minister for Education and Youth: Children aged 12 to 15 years now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine
- a media release by RACGP: RACGP backs plan to vaccinate 12- to 15-year-olds
- a media release by RACP: Paediatricians support vaccinations for young people: “Protecting children from COVID-19 is the best thing to do”
NACCHO would like to clarify that this information, while accurate, refers to the overall Australian population and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 12 and over have been eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine since 2 August 2021. You can read the statement from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation here.
Up-to-date information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples about COVID-19 vaccines can be found here.
We apologies if this caused any confusion to our readers.
Co-founder of Awabakal remembered
We warn our readers that this story mentions people and contain images of people who have passed on.
Co-founder of the Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-operative, William Edward Smith died from pancreatic cancer in Newcastle on Sunday. He was aged 83.
Living on Awabakal land and as an elder, Bill Smith helped others puts down roots. In the mid-1970s, he was involved in establishing the Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-operative, assisting with everything from housing to health.
“It’s made a lot of difference, especially on the medical, on the health side of our people,” said Bill’s older son Edward Smith.
“He was such a beautiful man. He was such a trailblazer for his generation, and he embraced everyone around him with such warmth,” said Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes.
Saretta Fielding, Bill Smith’s niece and an acclaimed artist, said her uncle “led the way”.
“He built bridges over many years,” Mrs Fielding said, “to create better opportunities for Aboriginal people, but also in being inclusive and welcoming to the broader community, to work together towards reconciliation and to really understand each other.”
You can read the story in the Newcastle Herald here.
COVID-19 support for communities
The COVID-19 Aboriginal Community Response Program has opened today. Quick response grants of up to $10,000 are available for Aboriginal community organisations and groups to meet the immediate health and wellbeing needs of Aboriginal people across the state as part of Aboriginal Affairs NSW’s COVID-19 response strategy.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Don Harwin said the grants would help to provide Aboriginal communities with targeted COVID-19 information and assistance from trusted services.
Read the media release by the NSW Government Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Don Harwin here.
GPs urged to review accreditation arrangements
GPs are being urged to have their say on a new review of general practice accreditation arrangements.
The independent review, commissioned by the Department of Health, has been designed to reveal the barriers and incentives for general practices participating in accreditation, and highlight areas for improvement. It will also explore existing accreditation models, issues for accrediting agencies providing services to general practices, alternate accreditation models, and potential overlaps between general practice and educational accreditation.
RACGP Expert Committee – Standards for General Practices Chair Dr Louise Acland is encouraging anyone who has an interest or experience with accreditation to provide feedback, including GPs, practice owners, practice managers and nursing staff.
Find out more in NewsGP on the RACGP website.
Seeking members for TGA committees
Would you like to contribute to the regulation of therapeutic goods in Australia? Have you considered becoming a member of one of the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s committees?
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is seeking applications from medical and scientific experts to fill a number of upcoming vacancies across TGA’s Statutory Advisory Committees and the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee. You must have expertise in relevant medical or scientific fields or experience with consumer health issues.
As a committee member you will contribute significantly towards the TGA’s regulatory functions by providing independent expert advice on matters across a broad spectrum of issues relating to medicines, devices, vaccines and other products and substances.
If you have the appropriate expertise and are interested in contributing to the regulation of therapeutic goods in Australia, we would like to hear from you.
Applications close this week, contact NACCHO on firstname.lastname@example.org if you won’t be able to apply in this time or if you have any questions.
New process for job advertising
NACCHO have introduced a new system for the advertising of job adverts via the NACCHO website and you can find the sector job listings here.
Click here to go to the NACCHO website where you can complete a form with job vacancy details – it will then be approved for posting and go live on the NACCHO website.
Let’s CHAT Dementia – Webinar Series
Dementia is a rapidly growing health issue for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Let’s CHAT (Community Health Approaches To) Dementia is a NHMRC-funded co-design project based in 12 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across Australia which aims to optimise detection and management of cognitive impairment in primary care.
In collaboration with Dementia Training Australia, the Let’s CHAT Dementia team and partners bring you a six-part series of webinars aimed at primary health care teams including General Practitioners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners and health workers, nurses, allied health professionals and others who work in primary care with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Webinar One: Best Practice Cognitive Impairment and Dementia Care
2 September 2021 – Online
7:00pm (AEST), 6:30pm (ACDT), 5:00pm (AWST)
This event is funded by the Australian Government and free to attend.
A Certificate of Attendance will be provided to attendees at the end of the event.
- Dr Mary Belfrage, Clinical Lead NACCHO-RACGP Partnership Project, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
- Professor Constance Dimity Pond, Professor of General Practice, University of Newcastle
Find out more about the webinars and how to register here.