The AMA’s Federal Council has released a statement on the National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 response.
Federal Council has said National Cabinet’s strategy must not rely solely on vaccinations and is calling on National Cabinet to approach the easing of public health measures outlined in the National Plan progressively and with caution, with pause and assess periods to ensure strong control of new infection numbers are maintained.
AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid, said the updated Doherty modelling underlines the need to be cautious when easing restrictions. He highlighted that the Doherty modelling does not show the impact on hospitals, which are already under extraordinary pressure.
The AMA Federal Council has called on National Cabinet to:
Beyond the achievement of targeted vaccination rates, commit to the maintenance of sufficiently robust public health restrictions to keep the number of people going to hospital and dying at a minimum, and support the achievement of the ‘Optimal TTIQ” projections outlined in the Doherty Report.
Approach the easing of public health measures in the national plan with caution. They must be eased progressively, with ‘pause and assess’ periods to ensure that strong control of new infection numbers is maintained.
Work to deliver equitable access to vaccines and acknowledge that vaccination targets must be achieved across all relevant age groups and demographics, including vulnerable groups such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and rural and remote communities.
Require those jurisdictions that are dealing with significant outbreaks of COVID-19 to bring these under control by either keeping high impact public health measures in place for longer, and/or easing these measures at a slower pace than other parts of the country.
Recognise that those jurisdictions, where there is currently no community spread of COVID-19 and few or no restrictions in place, may need to reinstate some restrictions as borders open and the virus starts the circulate in the community.