Media Releases

AMA (WA) welcomes measures to slow down the spread of COVID-19

Sunday March 22, 2020

The Australian Medical Association (WA) today welcomed the WA Government’s announcement of restricted travel in and out of Western Australia from Tuesday.

AMA (WA) President Dr Andrew Miller said he was also relieved that governments around the country were finally taking the advice of medical authorities and putting the lives of communities first by enforcing social isolation.

 

 

 

“Today NSW, Victoria and SA announced they would proceed to a more comprehensive shut-down of their State’s non-essential services over the next 48 hours,” Dr Miller said.

“The Victorian Government has also taken the right step to close schools early from Tuesday.

“All of these measures we hope will help to slow down the spread of coronavirus.”

“I’m just disappointed it has taken so long.”

Dr Miller said yesterday’s announcement to cancel all non-life threatening elective surgery in WA’s public hospitals was also important to ensure that hospitals and medical staff were available to deal with the pandemic.

“It’s imperative that Australia learns from the strong approach that other countries, such as South Korea, have taken to slow down the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community,” Dr Miller said.

“It could also be argued that the widespread and intensive testing of the community in these countries has provided a clearer picture on which Government can then act.”

Dr Miller said it was also important to consider the impact of the virus on people’s mental health and particularly children, who are already experiencing heightened levels of anxiety generally.

Dr Miller called on the WA Government to develop an alternative model for schools. Options might include staged closures or an ‘essential school attendance only’ model, that reduces the potential for transmission of the virus.

“The AMA (WA) will continue to work with the State Government and all agencies to provide the very best health care to all Western Australians,” he said.

“Paramount to the success of any measures taken by governments, State and Federal, is the need for them be open with the community on their plans for tackling the pandemic.

“They also need to clearly specify what self-isolation means for those that are still going out to the shops or parks, and the family members at home with them.

“I hope that the National Cabinet, which is due to meet later tonight, provides the Australian community with clearer directives going forward.”

Dr Miller will hold a press conference tomorrow morning, Monday, with time to be confirmed.
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