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  • Frontline COVID advice

    Yesterday’s 2 local cases reclassified as ‘false positives’; Pause on interstate hotspot arrivals; Webinar on RACF vaccination; Interstate and NZ updates; Updated Public Health Directions; 

    Current COVID-19 situation in Queensland

    Case data

    • 0 new overseas acquired cases
    • 0 new locally acquired cases
    • 37 active cases
    • 1,970 total cases
    • To date, there have been 7 deaths 
    • 12,760 samples tested in the past 24 hours.

    Vaccination data

    • 21,105 vaccine doses administered in the past 24 hours
    • 1,247,482 total doses administered by Queensland Health.
    National data

    UPDATE – Situation in Queensland

    The two truck drivers, who were thought to have COVID-19 yesterday, are no longer considered cases after further testing. Both cases were initially reported by New South Wales as part of the routine national surveillance program.

    NEW – Pause on interstate hotspot arrivals into Queensland

    The Queensland Government this morning announced an immediate pause on interstate hotspot arrivals into Queensland’s hotel quarantine.

    From 12pm (midday) AEST 25 August until 12pm (midday) AEST 8 September, Queensland residents and those intending to relocate to Queensland who have been in a hotspot in the last 14 days or since the identified start date (whichever is shorter), will not be allowed to enter Queensland, without an exemption.

    Queensland’s hotel quarantine system is at capacity with 5,114 people in 22 quarantine hotels (3,257 from interstate and 1,857 from overseas) reported yesterday.

    Following the pause detailed abvove, new arrivals and Queensland residents will have to reapply for a border pass and book into a quarantine hotel. More information will be made available in the ‘next few days’.

    NEW- COVID-19 webinar for residential aged care workers in Queensland 

    All residential aged care workers in Queensland are invited to a special live webinar this Friday 27 August from 2.00pm  - 3.00pm AEST.

    This webinar is for Queensland residential aged care workers to get information about COVID19 vaccines and vaccine safety, find out how to access a priority COVID-19 vaccination and to understand more about mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and how it will be applied from 17 September 2021. 

    The main purpose of the webinar is to answer questions residential aged care workers might have on COVID-19 vaccination and on the QLD public health order on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in residential aged care, which was released on 17 August.

    The host will be Commonwealth Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd AM and panellists include: 

    • Dr James Smith, Deputy Chief Health Officer 
    • David Harmer, Senior Director, Social Policy and Legislation Branch, QLD Health 
    • Lisa Peterson, Assistant Secretary, Commonwealth Department of Health
    • Kate Veach, Assistant Secretary, Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union (QNMU)
    • Paul Mitchell, Acting Professional Officer, Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union (QNMU)
    • Lauren Palmer, National Research & Policy Officer, Health Services Union (HSU)

    Panellists will cover topics such as: 

    • why it is so important to get vaccinated against COVID-19 
    • how workers can access priority Pfizer vaccinations ahead of the 17 September deadline 
    • how workers will be supported to be vaccinated by their workplace and government
    • some of reasons workers might feel hesitant about getting vaccinated and how they can feel more assured
    • how mandatory COVID-19 vaccination will apply in the state of Queensland.

    Participants can submit questions to VacTaskForceAgedCare_Comms@Health.gov.au any time

    When:  Friday 27 August 2021

    Time:   The webinar will start promptly at 2.00pm  - 3.00pm AEST 

    Join from the event link: https://health-au.webex.com/health-au/j.php?MTID=m4ef94c610ba0cead9c98c7f0f6eb1462 

    Join by phone: (02) 9338 2221 Australia Toll

    All residential aged care facilities are asked to circulate information on the webinar to all workers (including all full time and casual workers, contractors, volunteers engaged by facilities and students on placement) and to encourage attendance – particularly by those who are yet to receive their vaccination.

    UPDATED – Situation in NSW

    In the past 24 hours to 8pm last night in New South Wales:    

    • 2 new overseas acquired cases
    • 919 new locally-acquired cases 
    • To date, there have been 76 deaths associated with the current outbreak and a total of 132 deaths in NSW from confirmed cases
    • 20,266 total cases including 14,673 cases in the current cluster
    • 149,252 tests in the past 24 hours 
    • 45,073 vaccine doses administered by NSW Health 
    • 2,252,785 total doses administered by NSW Health. 

    Of the 919 new locally-acquired cases:

    • 178 are linked to a known case or cluster – 153 are household contacts and 25 are close contacts
    • the source of infection for 741 is under investigation
    • 106 cases were in isolation throughout their infectious period and 18 were in isolation for part of their infectious period
    • 37 cases were infectious in the community
    • the isolation status of 758 cases remains under investigation.

    There are currently 645 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 113 people in intensive care, 40 of whom require ventilation. Of those in ICUs, 98 are unvaccinated and only one is fully vaccinated.

    The state also recorded two new deaths, a woman in her 30s in Sydney's west which was announced yesterday and a man in his 80s from Sydney's north. The woman’s death is being investigated by the coroner. The man was fully vaccinated but had serious underlying health conditions, acquired his infection at Greenwood Aged Care in Normanhurst and is the third death linked to this cluster.

    UPDATED – Situation in VIC

    In the past 24 hours to midnight in Victoria:

    • 0 new overseas acquired cases
    • 45 new locally-acquired cases
    • 538 active cases
    • 36 people in hospital including nine in ICU (seven require ventilation)
    • 53,321 test results received
    • 31,629 vaccine doses administered
    • 2,219,890 total doses administered. 

    Of the 45 new locally-acquired cases:

    • 36 are linked to known outbreaks 
    • 17 have been in isolation throughout their entire infectious period 
    • the source of infection for 9 is under investigation

    Of the current 538 cases in Victoria, 114 are aged under nine, 101 are between 10-19 and 89 are in their 20s.

    From 7am this morning Victorians aged 16-39 became eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

    NEW – Situation in the Australian Capital Territory

    The ACT has recorded nine new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of cases in the territory’s outbreak to 176.

    Only three of the new cases were in quarantine for their entire infectious period.

    Eight of the new cases are linked to other known cases or exposure sites.

    Seven people with the virus are in hospital, with one in ICU (critical condition).

    UPDATED – Situation in New Zealand

    • 62 new local cases of COVID-19 overnight, bringing the total number of cases in the Auckland cluster to 210
    • The majority of case links are from households and workplaces.
    • Six sub-clusters have been identified, with 105 cases now associated with a Samoan church.
    • 12 people are in hospital (none in ICU).

    UPDATED- Public Health Directions

    From 1.30pm Tuesday 24 August 2021, the Seasonal Workers International Quarantine Plans and Checklist Direction revokes and replaces the Seasonal Workers Health Management Plans and International Quarantine Plans Direction (No. 2).  

    From 1.00pm Tuesday 24 August 2021, the Restrictions on Businesses Direction (No.26) revokes and replaces the Restrictions on Businesses Direction (No.25).

    The updated Direction:

    • expands the Check In Qld app requirements to taxis, rideshares and limousines under schedule 1C. 
    • updates references to the Seasonal Workers International Quarantine Plans and Checklist Direction

    For the Check In Qld app change, the Direction includes a transitional period from the date of publication until 1am Monday, 30 August 2021.

    See more about the direction in the currently impacted Local Government Areas.

    Please remember:

    • If you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhoea, vomiting or nausea, loss of smell and/or taste) please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
    • To regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone.
    • To maintain physical distancing especially at work.
    • Recent reports indicate the relative effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine against symptomatic infection is up to 90% after two doses spaced 12 weeks apart.
    • There are emerging reports that suggest those who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine are less likely to transmit the virus to others.
    • Global evidence indicates adults under the age of 60 years have a potentially higher risk of TTS/VITT following AstraZeneca vaccination than those aged 60 years and over.
    • UK data suggest that the risk of VITT/TTS is much lower with a second dose.
    • For people aged 60 years and over, the expert medical advice is that the benefit of receiving the vaccination outweighs the risk of the rare but serious side-effect VITT/TTS.
    • The decision to vaccinate is about more than individual health risk or benefit, but the long-term protection of our society and the ability for our borders to open again.

    Key links - Queensland

    Key links - interstate or national

    Further information

    For further information for clinicians, please visit our novel coronavirus (COVID-19) website

    Your feedback and questions are welcome and we’ll work with the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre (SHECC) or Vaccine Command Centre (VCC) to provide definitive answers and advice.

    Kind regards,

    Dr Alex Markwell, Chair, Queensland Clinical Senate
    Prof. Liz Kenny AO, Chair, Queensland Clinical Networks Executive


  • Frontline COVID advice - 24 August

    Two cases under investigation in Queensland, Border Restrictions Direction, Updates from NSW, VIC, ACT and NZ

    Current COVID-19 situation in Queensland

    Case data

    • 4 new overseas acquired cases:
      • 1 detected in hotel quarantine
      • 3 detected aboard a maritime vessel. 
    • 2 cases remain under investigation
    • 41 active cases (22 are in hospital, 2 in ICU not ventilated, 15 are HITH)
    • 1,972 total cases
    • To date, there have been 7 deaths 
    • 8,378 samples tested in the past 24 hours.

    Vaccination data

    • 15,623 vaccine doses administered in the past 24 hours
    • 1,226,165 total doses administered by Queensland Health.
    National data

    UPDATE – Situation in Queensland

    The two cases under investigation:

    • Both are truck drivers who were tested in New South Wales as part of the routine national surveillance program.
    • As follow up tests returned a negative result, Queensland is working with New South Wales to investigate further.
    • The drivers and their families will remain in home quarantine for 14 days unless it is determined there is no risk. 
    • Their movements have been limited but venues will be added to the Queensland Health contact tracing website shortly. 
    • While the risk of further spread is considered very low, Queenslanders are reminded to get tested if they experience any symptoms and to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. In the interim, you can register your interested in getting vaccinated online
    There are still 748 people in home quarantine.

    UPDATE – Border Restrictions Direction

    From midday on Tuesday 24 August 2021, updates were made to the Border Restrictions Direction (No. 38):

    • border zone residents and Queensland residents, who have been in the border zone in the last 14 days and are permitted to enter Queensland, wear a mask at all times in Queensland. 
    • permits a border zone resident who is unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition to enter Queensland only for medical/health care or a vaccination. A border zone resident who is unable to wear a mask will not be permitted to enter Queensland to obtain food or supplies or to perform essential work. 
    • requires a border zone resident that needs to stay overnight or longer in Queensland to complete an essential purpose, to observe stay at home requirements while they are in Queensland. 
    • includes a clarifying example under the definition of emergency volunteering that entering Queensland to donate blood at a scheduled appointment at a collection centre is emergency volunteering.  

    See more information about the direction, including additional requirements for residential aged care facilities in the currently impacted Local Government Areas. 

    More information about Queensland’s Public Health Directions, including questions and answers can be found on the Queensland Health website.

    UPDATED – Situation in NSW

    In the past 24 hours to 8pm last night in New South Wales:    

    • 2 new overseas acquired cases
    • 753 new locally-acquired cases 
    • To date, there have been 74 deaths associated with the current outbreak and a total of 130 deaths in NSW from confirmed cases
    • 19,356 total cases including 13,765 cases in the current cluster
    • 138,472 tests in the past 24 hours 
    • 48,761 vaccine doses administered by NSW Health 
    • 2,207,712 total doses administered by NSW Health. 

    Of the 753 new locally-acquired cases:

    • 134 are linked to a known case or cluster – 108 are household contacts and 26 are close contacts
    • the source of infection for 619 is under investigation
    • 73 cases were in isolation throughout their infectious period and 22 were in isolation for part of their infectious period
    • 49 cases were infectious in the community
    • the isolation status of 609 cases remains under investigation.

    There are currently 608 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 107 people in intensive care, 34 of whom require ventilation. Of those in ICU, 95 are not vaccinated, and 12 have had their first dose of a vaccine.

    People in NSW who have had their first dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca have been encouraged by their CHO Dr Kerry Chant to expedite the timing of their second dose to 4-6 weeks.

    UPDATED – Situation in VIC

    In the past 24 hours to midnight in Victoria:

    • 1 new overseas acquired case
    • 50 new locally-acquired cases
    • 522 active cases
    • 34 people in hospital including nine in ICU (seven require ventilation)
    • 48,424 test results received
    • 29,810 vaccine doses administered
    • 2,187,656 total doses administered. 

    Of the 50 new locally-acquired cases:

    • 40 are linked to known outbreaks 
    • 11 have been in isolation throughout their entire infectious period 
    • the source of infection for 10 is under investigation

    Of the 34 people in hospital. 23 are aged under 40 – one is an infant.

    With regards to the Royal Melbourne Hospital, there is a total of 14 cases associated with the hospital and 450 staff are furloughing at this time.

    Premier Daniel Andrews today announced that from 7 am tomorrow morning (25 August) around 830,000 first dose appointments will be made available. He also announced:

    • anyone aged 16-39 will be eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine
    • anyone aged 18-39 will be eligible to receive Pfizer or COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
    • those aged 60 and over will continue to receive AstraZeneca.

    NEW – Situation in the Australian Capital Territory

    Today’s update from the ACT (which reports differently):

    • 30 new COVID-19 cases overnight, bringing the total number of active cases in the territory to 167
    • 2,411 negative test results 
    • 61.7% of residents in the ACT have received their first dose of a vaccine
    • 38.1% have received their second dose.

    Of the 30 new cases:

    • 25 are linked to known cases or exposure sites
    • the source of infection for 5 cases remains under investigation
    • 13 were in quarantine during their entire infectious period
    • 11 were infectious in the community
    • The isolation status for 6 cases is under investigation. 
    Four people are in hospital, one in ICU.

    UPDATED – Situation in New Zealand

    • 41 new local cases of COVID-19 overnight, bringing the total number of cases in this cluster to 148
    • Of the new cases:
      • 38 are in Auckland (137 in total)
      • 3 are in Wellington (11 in total)
      • 8 people are in hospital (none in intensive care).

    Please remember:

    • If you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhoea, vomiting or nausea, loss of smell and/or taste) please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
    • To regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone.
    • To maintain physical distancing especially at work.
    • Recent reports indicate the relative effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine against symptomatic infection is up to 90% after two doses spaced 12 weeks apart.
    • There are emerging reports that suggest those who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine are less likely to transmit the virus to others.
    • Global evidence indicates adults under the age of 60 years have a potentially higher risk of TTS/VITT following AstraZeneca vaccination than those aged 60 years and over.
    • UK data suggest that the risk of VITT/TTS is much lower with a second dose.
    • For people aged 60 years and over, the expert medical advice is that the benefit of receiving the vaccination outweighs the risk of the rare but serious side-effect VITT/TTS.
    • The decision to vaccinate is about more than individual health risk or benefit, but the long-term protection of our society and the ability for our borders to open again.

    Key links - Queensland


    Key links - interstate or national


    Further information

    For further information for clinicians, please visit our novel coronavirus (COVID-19) website

    Your feedback and questions are welcome and we’ll work with the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre (SHECC) or Vaccine Command Centre (VCC) to provide definitive answers and advice.

    Kind regards,

    Dr Alex Markwell, Chair, Queensland Clinical Senate
    Prof. Liz Kenny AO, Chair, Queensland Clinical Networks Executive
  • Frontline COVID advice -23 August

    One new local case in Queensland, CHO Directions, Mandatory vaccination for aged care workers, 818 new cases in NSW, Updates from VIC, ACT, and NZ

    Current COVID-19 situation in Queensland

    Case data

    • 1 new locally-aquired case (in home quarantine, linked to Indooroopilly cluster bringing the cluster total to 146)
    • 1 new overseas acquired case, detected in hotel quarantine
    • 38 active cases
    • 1,966 total cases
    • To date, there have been 7 deaths 
    • 8,437 samples tested in the past 24 hours.

    Vaccination data

    • 8,569 vaccine doses administered in the past 24 hours
    • 1,210,522 total doses administered by Queensland Health.
    National data

    UPDATED – CHO Directions Border Restrictions Direction (No.37) and Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction

    From 1:00am Saturday, 21 August 2021, updates were made to the following Directions:

    Border Restrictions Direction (No.37):

    • Allows border zone residents to continue to enter Queensland for a scheduled vaccination after 1am Saturday 21 August.
    • Introduces the requirement for a person leaving hotel quarantine in Queensland to undertake a COVID-19 test 2 or 3 days after leaving hotel quarantine (day 16/17 testing since the start of their quarantine) and to restrict their movements until they receive a negative result from that test. This new requirement will be mandatory from 7 September to allow for implementation.
    • Introduces the requirement for a person who has completed hotel quarantine in another State or Territory that is a COVID-19 hotspot who transits directly to Queensland to undertake a COVID-19 test on day 16/17.  
    • Clarifies that a border zone resident or Queensland resident travelling to the border zone may also have a right of entry to Queensland under part 3 of the Direction as the border zone is also a hotspot. 
    • Provides that new residents entering Queensland from a hotspot must enter by air into the Brisbane or Gold Coast airports only (this requirement will commence at 1.00am on Tuesday 24 August).
    • Provides that Queensland residents who are certain emergency health services or emergency services workers, national defence, state security or police workers, disaster management workers or people performing emergency volunteering will not be required to follow the stay at home requirements in part 6A when they return to Queensland after performing emergency work in the border zone. 

    Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction (No.11):

    • Introduces the requirement for a person leaving hotel quarantine to undertake a COVID-19 test 2 or 3 days after leaving hotel quarantine (day 16/17 testing) and to restrict their movements until they receive a negative result from that test. This new requirement will be mandatory from 7 September 2021.
    More information about Queensland’s Public Health Directions, including questions and answers can be found on the Queensland Health website.

    UPDATE - Chief Health Officer Directions - Restrictions for Impacted Areas (No. 14)  and Restrictions on Businesses

    From 4.00pm Friday 20 August 2021, updates were made to the following directions:

    Restrictions for Impacted Areas (No.14)  

    • Removes the Local Government Areas (LGA) of Cairns and Yarrabah from the impacted areas. Those LGAs will be subject to restrictions currently in place for all of Queensland (except South East Queensland (SEQ)).
    • Extend and ease some restrictions for the 11  SEQ impacted areas, as set out below:

    Visitors and gatherings

    • A household may have up to 30 people gather including members of the same household.
    • Gatherings at public places are limited to 30 people.

    Face masks
    Face masks must be carried and worn by anyone who is:

    • in an impacted area in SEQ
    • has been in an impacted area in SEQ since 1am 29 June 2021, unless 14 days have passed or
    • resides in the same household as someone who has been in an impacted area in SEQ since 1.00am 29 June 2021, unless 14 days have passed.

    Face masks requirements include:

    • A mask must be worn indoors at all times. A person in a workplace can now remove their mask if they can physically distance.
    • a retail food service worker or a commercial passenger vehicle operator must wear a mask at all times when they have contact with customers, even if they can physically distance.
    • teachers and staff at schools and childcare centres must wear a mask indoors when interacting with students/children, regardless of whether they can physically distance. They can take a mask off outdoors if they can physically distance.
    • A mask is not required outdoors, unless a person cannot physically distance from people other than members of their household.
    • Spectators attending stadium events at major or small venues must wear a mask at all times, except for when eating or drinking while they are seated or if they have a permitted reason not to.

    Businesses, activities and undertakings

    • Must continue to follow the occupant density of – 1 person per 4 square metres inside, 1 person per 2 square metres outside, or 75% allocated and ticketed seating (which has increased from 50%).
    • Organised community and club sport and indoor and outdoor events are now permitted and must follow the occupant density and mask requirements.
    • 100 people may now attend wedding ceremonies and funerals. A maximum of 20 people can dance at weddings.

    Restrictions on Businesses (No.25)

    • Updates the requirements and definition for ‘Major Sports Stadiums’ to now apply to all ‘Sports Stadiums’.
    • This puts in place consistent requirements for patrons attending any sports stadium, large or small, in Queensland.
    • Where fixed seating is available at a stadium, 100% capacity is allowed with ticketed and allocated seating.
    • Where a stadium does not have fixed seating, it can have 1 person per 2 square metres indoors. Occupant density does not apply in an outdoor area with no fixed seating.
    More information about Queensland’s Public Health Directions, including questions and answers can be found on the Queensland Health website.

    REMINDER – Mandatory vaccination for aged care workers

    A reminder that vaccination is now mandatory for aged care workers in residential aged care facilities. Queensland residential aged care workers must have had at least one dose of a TGA-approved vaccine by 16 September 2021 and, by 31 October 2021, have received, or have evidence of a booking to receive, their second COVID-19 TGA-approved vaccine.

    Health service employees must have received the prescribed number of doses of a COVID-19 TGA-approved vaccine by 31 October 2021 to work in an aged care facility.

    You can read the full Residential Aged Care Direction (No.6) here

    UPDATED – Situation in NSW

    In the past 24 hours to 8pm last night in New South Wales:    

    • 0 new overseas acquired cases
    • 818 new locally-acquired cases
    • To date, there have been 74 deaths associated with the current outbreak and a total of 130 deaths in NSW from confirmed cases
    • 18,611 total cases including 13,022 cases in the current cluster
    • 42,147 vaccine doses administered by NSW Health 
    • 2,158,951 total doses administered by NSW Health. 

    Of the 818 new locally-acquired cases:

    • 120 are linked to a known case or cluster – 94 are household contacts and 26 are close contacts
    • the source of infection for 698 is under investigation
    • 47 cases were in isolation throughout their infectious period and 15 were in isolation for part of their infectious period
    • 42 cases were infectious in the community
    • the isolation status of 714 cases remains under investigation.

    There are currently 586 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 100 people in intensive care, 32 of whom require ventilation. Of those in ICU, 87 are not vaccinated, and the remainder have had their first dose of a vaccine.

    NSW recorded 3 COVID-19 deaths overnight, all three people were aged in their 80s with underlying health conditions. One of these people had received two doses of a vaccine, one had received one dose and the third person had not been vaccinated.

    UPDATED – Situation in VIC

    In the past 24 hours to midnight in Victoria:

    • 0 new overseas acquired cases
    • 71 new locally-acquired cases 
    • 494 active cases (112 are children aged under 10)
    • 29 people in hospital including nine in ICU (five require ventilation)
    • 46,446 test results received
    • 22,191 vaccine doses administered 
    • 2,157,777 total doses administered. 

    Of the locally-acquired cases:

    • 49 are linked to known outbreaks 
    • 16 have been in isolation throughout their entire infectious period 
    • the source of infection for 22 is under investigation

    Of the 29 people in hospital:

    • 21 are aged under 50 – one is an infant
    •  Of those in ICU, one is aged in their 20s, one in their 30s, five in their 40s and two in their 50s
    • None of those in ICU have been vaccinated.

    NEW – Situation in the Australian Capital Territory

    The ACT has recorded 16 new COVID-19 cases overnight, bringing the total number of active cases in the territory to 137.

    Thirteen (13) of the new cases can be linked to known cases or exposure sites. The source of infection for 3 cases is under investigation. Three were infectious in the community.

    Four people are in hospital.

    UPDATED – Situation in New Zealand

    New Zealand recorded 35 new local cases of COVID-19 overnight. Of these, 33 are in Auckland and two are in Wellington.

    This brings the total number of cases in the community outbreak to 107, and the total number of active cases in New Zealand to 154. 

    Please remember:

    • If you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhoea, vomiting or nausea, loss of smell and/or taste) please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
    • To regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone.
    • To maintain physical distancing especially at work.
    • Recent reports indicate the relative effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine against symptomatic infection is up to 90% after two doses spaced 12 weeks apart.
    • There are emerging reports that suggest those who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine are less likely to transmit the virus to others.
    • Global evidence indicates adults under the age of 60 years have a potentially higher risk of TTS/VITT following AstraZeneca vaccination than those aged 60 years and over.
    • UK data suggest that the risk of VITT/TTS is much lower with a second dose.
    • For people aged 60 years and over, the expert medical advice is that the benefit of receiving the vaccination outweighs the risk of the rare but serious side-effect VITT/TTS.
    • The decision to vaccinate is about more than individual health risk or benefit, but the long-term protection of our society and the ability for our borders to open again.

    Key links - Queensland


    Key links - interstate or national


    Further information

    For further information for clinicians, please visit our novel coronavirus (COVID-19) website

    Your feedback and questions are welcome and we’ll work with the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre (SHECC) or Vaccine Command Centre (VCC) to provide definitive answers and advice.

    Kind regards,

    Dr Alex Markwell, Chair, Queensland Clinical Senate
    Prof. Liz Kenny AO, Chair, Queensland Clinical Networks Executive
  • Frontline COVID advice - 20 August

    QLD restrictions easing; Quarantine for international arrivals direction updated; Interstate and NZ updates

    Current COVID-19 situation in Queensland

    Case data

    • 0 new overseas acquired cases
    • 1 new locally acquired case – a historical and fully recovered case, detected in home quarantine via serology testing
    • 68 active cases
    • 1,962 total cases
    • To date, there have been 7 deaths
    • 13,856 samples tested in the past 24 hours

    Vaccination data

    • 20,420 vaccine doses administered in the past 24 hours
    • 1,169,604 total doses administered by Queensland Health.
    National data

    UPDATED – Queensland restrictions easing at 4pm today

    From 4pm today (Friday 20 August 2021) restrictions will ease in the Local Government Areas of Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Logan, Redland, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim.

    Restrictions for Cairns and Yarrabah Local Government Areas will be lifted for these local government areas to match the restrictions for the rest of Queensland.

    In keeping with restrictions lifting in Cairns and Yarrabah, PPE use will return to the ‘low risk’ category in these LGAs. Moderate-risk PPE use will continue in the 11 impacted southeast Queensland LGAs listed above until further notice. 

    UPDATED – Quarantine for international arrivals direction

    From 1am Thursday, 19 August 2021, updates to the Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction No. 10 came into effect to:

    • remove New Zealand as a safe travel zone country, meaning that a person arriving in Queensland from New Zealand must now quarantine for 14 days in a nominated premises.

    As a result of the update, there are currently no safe travel zone countries for Queensland.

    More information about Queensland’s Public Health Directions, including questions and answers can be found on the Queensland Health website

    UPDATED – Situation in NSW

    In the past 24 hours to 8pm last night in New South Wales:

    • 2 new overseas acquired cases
    • 642 new community-acquired cases 
    • To date, there have been 65 deaths associated with the current outbreak and a total of 121 deaths in NSW from confirmed cases
    • 16,164 total cases including 10,582 cases in the current cluster
    • 127,590 samples tested in the past 24 hours 
    • 46,645 vaccine doses administered by NSW Health
    • 2,021,684 total doses administered by NSW Health. 

    Of the 642 new community-acquired cases:

    • 134 cases are linked to a known case or cluster
    • 107 are household contacts and 27 are close contacts
    • the source of infection for 508 cases is under investigation
    • 65 cases were in isolation throughout their infectious period
    • 30 cases were in isolation for part of their infectious period
    • 41 cases were infectious in the community
    • the isolation status for 506 cases remains under investigation

    There are currently 470 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 80 people in intensive care, 27 of whom require ventilation.

    NSW recorded four COVID-19 deaths overnight. They included three NSW reidents in their eighties and one in their seventies. One case was the fourth death relatin to the Wyoming aged care facility cluster and a second person to die having acquired the infection at Nepean Hospital.

    The NSW government this morning announced that the lockdown for Greater Sydney will be extended until the end of September 2021. From Monday night, a curfew will be introduced in these LGAs (9pm to 5am) while wearing masks outdoors will be mandated across the state. Exercise will be limited to one hour in western and south-western Sydney LGAs. Moving forward, the LGAs of Shellharbour and Central Coast will be considered rural and regional, where the current lockdown end-date is scheduled for 28 August.

    UPDATED – Situation in VIC

    In the past 24 hours to midnight in Victoria:

    • 2 new overseas acquired cases
    • 55 new locally acquired cases 
    • 349 active cases
    • 15 cases in hospital including 6 in ICU (1 ventilated)
    • 48,273 test results received 
    • 28,601 vaccine doses administered 
    • 2,079,197 total doses administered. 

    Of the locally-acquired cases:

    • 49 are linked to known outbreaks 
    • 25 have been in isolation throughout their entire infectious period.
    Regional Victoria has recorded its first Covid-19 case of the current outbreak, with health authorities issuing an alert for the Shepparton area this morning.

    NEW – Situation in the Australian Capital Territory

    The ACT recorded 12 new cases overnight with 11 linked to the current outbreak. The source of infection for the 12th case is under investigation.

    UPDATED – Situation in New Zealand

    Eleven new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in New Zealand overnight.

    Of the 11 new cases, eight were from Auckland and three from Wellington. The three cases in Wellington had recently travelled to Auckland and visited a location of interest there.

    The NZ government will announce later this afternoon whether the nationwide level 4 lockdown will be extended. Auckland and Coromandel are already subject to a seven-day lockdown.

    Please remember:

    • If you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhoea, vomiting or nausea, loss of smell and/or taste) please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
    • To regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone.
    • To maintain physical distancing especially at work.
    • Recent reports indicate the relative effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine against symptomatic infection is up to 90% after two doses spaced 12 weeks apart.
    • There are emerging reports that suggest those who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine are less likely to transmit the virus to others.
    • Global evidence indicates adults under the age of 60 years have a potentially higher risk of TTS/VITT following AstraZeneca vaccination than those aged 60 years and over.
    • UK data suggest that the risk of VITT/TTS is much lower with a second dose.
    • For people aged 60 years and over, the expert medical advice is that the benefit of receiving the vaccination outweighs the risk of the rare but serious side-effect VITT/TTS.
    • The decision to vaccinate is about more than individual health risk or benefit, but the long-term protection of our society and the ability for our borders to open again.

    Key links - Queensland

    Key links - interstate or national

    Further information

    For further information for clinicians, please visit our novel coronavirus (COVID-19) website

    Your feedback and questions are welcome and we’ll work with the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre (SHECC) or Vaccine Command Centre (VCC) to provide definitive answers and advice.

    Kind regards,

    Dr Alex Markwell, Chair, Queensland Clinical Senate
    Prof. Liz Kenny AO, Chair, Queensland Clinical Networks Executive



  • Frontline COVID advice - 19 August

    0 new cases in Queensland, Updates from NSW, NT, ACT, VIC and NZ

    Current COVID-19 situation in Queensland

    Case data

    • 0 new overseas acquired cases or locally acquired cases
    • 79 active cases (21 in hospital, 1 in ICU non-ventilated, 58 in HITH)
    • 1,961 total cases
    • To date, there have been 7 deaths
    • 14,336 samples tested in the past 24 hours

    Vaccination data

    • 18,685 vaccine doses administered in the past 24 hours
    • 1,149,160 total doses administered by Queensland Health.
    National data

    UPDATED – Situation in NSW

    In the past 24 hours to 8pm last night in New South Wales:

    • 3 new overseas acquired cases
    • 1 new intersate acquired case
    • 681 new community-acquired cases 
    • To date, there have been 61 deaths associated with the current outbreak and a total of 117 deaths in NSW from confirmed cases
    • 15,528 total cases including 9,950 cases in the current cluster
    • 119,310 samples tested in the past 24 hours 
    • 42,301 vaccine doses administered by NSW Health – a record for NSW
    • 1,975,039 total doses administered by NSW Health. 

    Of the 681 new community-acquired cases:

    • 170 cases are linked to a known case or cluster
    • 149 are household contacts and 21 are close contacts
    • the source of infection for 511 cases is under investigation
    • 135 cases were in isolation throughout their infectious period
    • 28 cases were in isolation for part of their infectious period
    • 59 cases were infectious in the community
    • the isolation status for 459 cases remains under investigation
    There are currently 474 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 82 people in intensive care, 25 of whom require ventilation. Of those in ICU, 71 are not vaccinated.

    NSW recorded 1 COVID-19 death overnight: an unvaccinated male in his 80s from south-east Sydney. He was also receiving treatment for another serious medical condition.

    Due to ongoing concerns about community transmission, stay-at-home orders in place for regional NSW will be extended until at least 12.01am on 28 August, in line with existing orders for the Greater Sydney area.

    UPDATED – Situation in VIC

    In the past 24 hours to midnight in Victoria:

    • 0 new overseas acquired cases
    • 57 new locally-acquired cases
    • 296 active cases including 295 in the current cluster
    • 14 cases in hospital including 3 in ICU (neither ventilated)
    • 49,607 test results received
    • 27,581 vaccine doses administered
    • 2,050,042 total doses administered.

    Of the locally-acquired cases:

    • 54 are linked to known outbreaks
    • 44 have been in isolation throughout their entire infectious period (day 13 testing)
    • the source of infection for 3 is under investigation

    Of the 14 people in hospital:

    • 5 were not eligible to be vaccinated
    • 9 were eligible, but hadn’t received it.

    Of the 529 locally-acquired cases diagnosed between 12 July to 18 August:

    • 80 were eligible to be vaccinated but hadn’t been vaccinated at the time they were infected
    • 45 had received 1 dose of a vaccine
    • 23 were fully vaccinated (just under 5 per cent).

    NEW – Situation in the Northern Territory

    The Northern Territory has recorded no new cases overnight. The Greater Darwin lockdown will lift today as scheduled, however the Katherine region lockdown will be extended for a further 24 hours. A weak positive result was detected in wastewater from Greater Darwin, and a positive wastewater result for Katherine.

    Masks must continue to be worn indoors and outdoors when you cannot observe physical distancing.

    The case that caused the initial lockdown has not been linked to any other case in Australia.

    NEW – Situation in the Australian Capital Territory

    The ACT has recorded 16 new COVID-19 cases overnight, bringing the total number of active cases in the territory to 83.

    Eleven (11) of the new cases can be linked to existing cases in Canberra and the source of infection for 5 cases is under investigation.

    UPDATED – Situation in New Zealand

    New Zealand has reported 11 new community-acquired cases overnight, bringing the outbreak total to 21.

    Of the 21, 12 are linked to known or existing cases and the source of infection for 8 cases is being investigated. One (1) case is likely not linked (an international crew member).

    Two people are in hospital, one is in their 20s, one is in their 40s; both are in a stable condition.

    Whole genome sequencing has shown a close match to a returned traveller from Sydney on a red zone flight on August 7. Their day 1 testing on 8 August reported a positive result on August 9 and they were transferred to a quarantine facility. After becoming unwell they were moved to Middlemore Hospital on August 16. NZ believes there are 1 or 2 missing links between this case and the current outbreak. Efforts are now focusing on identifying the link/s.

    UPDATED- Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction

    From 1am Thursday, 19 August 2021, updates to the Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction No. 10 came into effect to:

    • remove New Zealand as a safe travel zone country, meaning that a person arriving in Queensland from New Zealand must now quarantine for 14 days in a nominated premises.

    As a result of the update, there are currently no safe travel zone countries for Queensland.

    More information about Queensland’s Public Health Directions, including questions and answers can be found on the Queensland Health website.

    Please remember:

    • If you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhoea, vomiting or nausea, loss of smell and/or taste) please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
    • To regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone.
    • To maintain physical distancing especially at work.
    • Recent reports indicate the relative effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine against symptomatic infection is up to 90% after two doses spaced 12 weeks apart.
    • There are emerging reports that suggest those who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine are less likely to transmit the virus to others.
    • Global evidence indicates adults under the age of 60 years have a potentially higher risk of TTS/VITT following AstraZeneca vaccination than those aged 60 years and over.
    • UK data suggest that the risk of VITT/TTS is much lower with a second dose.
    • For people aged 60 years and over, the expert medical advice is that the benefit of receiving the vaccination outweighs the risk of the rare but serious side-effect VITT/TTS.
    The decision to vaccinate is about more than individual health risk or benefit, but the long-term protection of our society and the ability for our borders to open again.

    Key links - Queensland


    Key links - interstate or national


    Further information

    For further information for clinicians, please visit our novel coronavirus (COVID-19) website

    Your feedback and questions are welcome and we’ll work with the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre (SHECC) or Vaccine Command Centre (VCC) to provide definitive answers and advice.

    Kind regards,

    Dr Alex Markwell, Chair, Queensland Clinical Senate
    Prof. Liz Kenny AO, Chair, Queensland Clinical Networks Executive
  • Cornerstone's weekly jobs list

    Job title: VR GP

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Locum I Perm opportunity available

    Location: Granville, NSW

    Salary: $120 - $150 per hour, or 60-70% of billings (Depending on level of experience)

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Locum I Perm opportunity available

    Location: Corowa, NSW

    Salary: $120 - $150 per hour, or 60-70% of billings (Depending on level of experience)

     

    Job title: VR/NON-VR General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Locum I Perm opportunity available
    Location:
    Goulburn, NSW

    Salary: $120 - $150 per hour, or 60-70% of billings (Depending on level of experience)

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Locum I Perm opportunity available

    Location: Yass, NSW

    Salary: $120 - $150 per hour, or 60-70% of billings (Depending on level of experience)

    Additional benefits

     

    Job title: VR or GR General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Locum I Perm opportunity available

    Location: Cairns, QLD

    Salary: 70% of billings or $150 per hour + GST

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Locum I Perm opportunity available

    Location: Cairns, QLD

    Salary: 70-85% of billings

     

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Locum I Perm opportunity available

    Location: Varsity Lakes, QLD

    Salary: 65% of billings (Depending on level of experience)

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Locum I Perm opportunity available

    Location: Australia wide - FIFO

    Salary: $2000 per day

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Locum I Perm opportunity available

    Location: Kyabram, VIC

    Salary: $120 - $150 per hour, or 60-70% of billings (Depending on level of experience)

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Locum I Perm opportunity available

    Location: Tatura, VIC

    Salary: $120 - $150 per hour, or 60-70% of billings (Depending on level of experience)

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Locum I Perm opportunity available

    Location: Echuca, VIC

    Salary: $120 - $150 per hour, or 60-70% of billings (Depending on level of experience)

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Locum I Perm opportunity available

    Location: Shepparton, VIC

    Salary: $120 - $150 per hour, or 60-70% of billings (Depending on level of experience)

  • Breaking news… AZ Vaccine changes

    ATAGI and the Australian government announced today that the AZ vaccine is now only for consumers aged 60 and over - https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-17/atagi-to-change-astrazeneca-age-rules-covid-vaccine/100222464


     COVID-19 vaccine safety reports

    The Australian Government regularly publishes COVID-19 vaccine weekly safety reports
    The latest report was released today - https://www.tga.gov.au/periodic/covid-19-vaccine-weekly-safety-report-17-06-2021.

    The total number of confirmed and probably TTS cases in Australia is approximately 60. Seven of the 12 new cases occurred in individuals aged between 50 and 59.


    Literature

    Evidence is emerging that extending the interval between Pfizer vaccine doses may enhance and extend humoral immunity - https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.05.15.21257017v1. The findings may have implications for allocation of constrained stock, and help to optimize vaccine regimens and policies.

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recently advised against using the AZ vaccine in people with a history of the rare condition capillary leak syndrome (CLS). So far, one case of CLS after AZ vaccination has been recorded in Australia.

     
    Requests for COVID-19 vaccination certificates

    Consumers can use a free app to download digital COVID-19 vaccination certificates after they have received both doses - https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/express-plus-medicare-mobile-app.
    Consumers without Medicare can be directed to: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/australian-immunisation-register.
    This may have been circulated before, but the link to Services Australia is helpful for certificate-related queries: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/getting-help-during-coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-vaccinations/how-get-proof-your-covid-19-vaccinations


    Practical tip
    In a few instances, patients who are younger than the minimum recommended age have (inadvertently) received a COVID-19 vaccine. In these cases, the second dose should NOT be offered/administered. Instead, the consumer should be advised to wait until they reach the minimum age when they can receive full vaccination, i.e. the inadvertent dose is not ‘counted’.

     Queensland COVID-Directions Update

     From 1:00am, Saturday 19 June 2021, the following Direction and Protocols were created or updated to support the introduction of the Queensland Travel Declaration:

     Queensland Travel Declaration Direction

    Introduces the new requirement for anyone entering Queensland from an Australian State or Territory without a declared COVID-19 hotspot or on a quarantine free flight from NZ, to complete the new Queensland Travel Declaration.
    A person arriving from New Zealand on a flight that is not determined to be ‘quarantine free’ or by sea must complete the Queensland International Arrivals Registration.

    The declaration must be completed within the 72-hour period before the person enters Queensland.
    A declaration is valid for 14 days.
      • An exception is provided for Queensland residents or New South Wales border zone residents who have only been in the New South Wales border zone or Queensland in the previous 14 days and are entering Queensland by road – these people are not required to complete a Queensland Travel Declaration.
      • Places responsibility on a person to monitor the Queensland Health website for new interstate exposure venues from the time they complete the Declaration until 14 days have passed since they have entered Queensland.
      • Requires a person to be able to produce a copy of the Declaration upon entry to Queensland, if requested by an emergency officer.
      • Applies a fine of $1334 for anyone who does not comply with the Direction.
    The three protocols have been updated to ensure workers in these professions must comply with the Queensland Travel Declaration Direction.

    More information about Queensland’s Public Health Directions can be found on the Queensland Health website.

  • Cornerstone's weekly jobs list

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: ASAP

    Type of Contract: Locum I Perm I FIFO (Fly in fly out)

    Location: Launceston, TAS

    Salary: $2000 + GST per day

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: ASAP

    Type of Contract: Locum I Perm I FIFO (Fly in fly out)

    Location: Western Australia

    Salary: $2000 + GST per day

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: ASAP

    Type of Contract: Locum I Perm I FIFO (Fly in fly out)

    Location: Victoria

    Salary: $2000 + GST per day

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: ED PHO

    Dates: ASAP - ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Port Lincoln, SA

    Salary: $120 per hour

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: Unrestricted VR GP

    Dates: ASAP

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: West Brisbane

    Salary: $2000 per day

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner VMO

    Dates: December – January 2022

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Doomadgee, QLD

    Salary: $2300 per day + GST

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner VMO

    Dates: ASAP – October 2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Moruya, NSW

    Salary: $2000 per day

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: DMO OBS

    Dates: ASAP

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Carnarvon, NSW

    Salary: $2200 per day

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

  • Media clips 7 June 2021

    Media Clips Monday 7 June

    AMA Queensland

    State's underfunded health system needs an urgent shot in the arm

    Sunshine Coast News, 06/06/21, Jane Stephens

    Queensland’s hospital system is in a world of pain, with misery seemingly in every underfunded nook and crowded cranny…The Australian Medical Association Queensland this month said $3 billion (for 1500 new hospital beds and an army of new staff) was needed to turn the tide on ramping, overcrowding, unacceptable waiting lists and other disasters. The government recently announced it would spend $100 million on 65 new hospital beds and associated staff, which is great if it is the start of a spendathon but embarrassing if that is the extent of its fix.

    Read more

    Ormiston's Chloe Batchelor receives financial scholarship to help her succeed in the field of medicine

    Redland City Bulletin, 04/06/21, Emily Lowe

    After facing a number of setbacks during her studies, a Redlands university student has won an Australian Medical Association Queensland Foundation scholarship.

    Read more

    Confusion ahead of Queensland's weekend of mass COVID-19 vaccinations

    ABC Southern Qld, 04/06/21, Elly Bradfield and David Chen

    Gabrielle Bright was meant to be at the front of the queue at one of Queensland's vaccination hubs this weekend, but the disability support worker had no idea it was happening….Australian Medical Association Queensland president Chris Perry said the AMAQ supported the state government's efforts."The vaccine numbers finally, after four months, look like they're coming up and looks like people are able to get their vaccines in a pretty good period of time," Dr Perry said. He said while there was capacity for the hubs to vaccinate people who walked in, authorities were wary of causing a rush. "They're trying not to turn people away, but they don't want everybody turning up," he said. "It would just be awful." Dr Perry said it was important people also remembered that going to their GP was an option. "We're supporting the hubs, but most people should go to their GP where it's going to be so much easier — the line-ups at hubs could be a bit uncomfortable."

    Read more

    Interview with Dr Maria Boulton

    B105, 02/06/21, By Abby Coleman, Stav Davidson and Matty Acton

    Interview with Dr Maria Boulton, Chair, AMA Queensland Council [of General Practice], about COVID-19 vaccination. Comperes talk about the COVID situation in Victoria, with Abby saying she has many friends who aren't coping with the second lockdown. Dr Boulton says anyone over the age of 40 can get a vaccine, including those in category 1A or 1B. She says the Department of Health recommends that people over 50 get the AstraZeneca, while those unde...

    Listen now

    Interview with AMA Qld President Professor Chris Perry

    4CA, 02/06/21, John Mackenzie

    Interview with AMA Qld President Professor Chris Perry. MacKenzie says the Courier Mail reports the aggressive strain of COVID-19 wreeking havoc in Melbourne has put Qld authorities on high alert. He notes Vic's health authorities extended the lockdown yesterday for another one week. He states Vic Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said the virus variant was of great concern. Perry says it seems like the variant spreading in Vic right now seems to be t...

    Listen now

    AMA

    ABC Radio Adelaide, Afternoons, 04/06/2021, Sonya Feldhoff

    Interview with Dr Chris Moy, vice president of the federal Australian Medical Association. He is asked about the COVID-19 Delta variant recently traced in Australia. Many Australians have expressed concern that it may rapidly spread.

    Listen here

    Coronavirus

    Pharmacy Guild asks for right to give jab

    The Australian, General News, 07/06/2021, Olivia Caisley,

    Pharmacists say the Covid-19 immunisation program could be accelerated by three months if they could administer the vaccines. Modelling prepared for the Pharmacy Guild of Australia suggests without their involvement, the expected time to vaccinate everyone aged 16 or older could take a further 408 days.

    Read more

    $20m deal to manufacture Queensland vaccines

    The Courier Mal, 07/06/2021, Hayden Johnson

    A $20 million grant has been handed to a Brisbane-based institute to develop local vaccines, in the first landmark deal struck under the state’s new $1.8 billion jobs fund. It is hoped the deal will eventually lead to a new Covid vaccine.

    Read more

    Public Health and Medical Practice

    Nurses facing wave of violence in NSW, Victoria and Queensland

    The Australian, 06/06/21, Jess Malcolm,

    The rates of violent assaults against healthcare workers has climbed in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, raising serious concern for the welfare of nurses who are being assaulted by the patients they are trying to help.

  • Covid-19 Primary Care Update 133

    Epidemiology

    • All eyes remain on Victoria, with no community-transmitted cases of COVID-19 in Queensland. Reassuringly, there are also no evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in NSW at this time.
    • The Queensland vaccination dashboard shows record numbers of residents vaccinated this week, but also underlines the magnitude of the task still ahead.

     Vaccinations for aged care and disability care workers

    • Aged care and disability care workers that have not been vaccinated can now register online to receive priority access the Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine at one of Queensland Health’s vaccination locations.

     Additional vaccination clinic capacity

    • Eighteen (18) vaccination centres will deliver Pfizer vaccinations over the weekend, including three new dedicated community facilities at Logan Entertainment Centre, Rocklea Showgrounds and Springfield Tower. Other existing facilities across most parts of the state will be open over the weekend and new community sites will open in coming weeks. 
    • People in Priority Group 1a, 1b and people aged between 40 and 49 are eligible to make a COVID-19 vaccination appointment at a Queensland Health vaccination location. To register, visit the website
    • Appointment availability can take a few weeks, but registration remains the best way to secure a vaccination appointment. Once registered, you will be allocated an appointment in your local area when an appointment becomes available.
    • Walk-in visits are not encouraged. Walk-in spots are very limited and may require a long wait time as priority will be given to people who have already registered their interest. 

    COVID-19 vaccine intervals advice

    We have received a few queries about the intervals between COVID-19 vaccines. The following advice does not replace TGA or official recommendations, but may assist with planning and individual patient and practitioner scenarios.

     Pfizer vaccine

    • The recommended interval between the first and second dose of the Pfizer vaccine is three (3) weeks

    Astra Zeneca vaccine

    • The recommended interval between the first and second dose of the Astra Zeneca vaccine is twelve (12)
    • In practice, some consumers and vaccine service providers may not be able to adhere to the recommended interval:
    • The absolute minimum interval between administering the first and second dose must be four (4) weeks. After four weeks, the AZ vaccine can be administered with patient consent in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the clinician. A practical example might be a consumer requiring to travel abroad for a family emergency.
    • Queensland Health starts recalling consumers approximately 9 (nine) weeks after the first vaccine. It is three weeks earlier than the recommended 12 weeks, which creates a margin for logistical considerations and consumer availability.
    • Please note - there is no ‘right’ margin for general practice and community-based vaccination services, and each organisation is encouraged to determine the arrangement that best fits their available resources and processes. However, common sense suggests an acceptable margin for this setting would be a period of one to three weeks prior to the date of the recommended 12 week interval. In practical terms, patients would be invited to attend for their second dose between weeks 9 and 12 after their first dose.   
    • If the second dose has been delayed past 12 weeks, it should be given at the earliest opportunity. There is therefore no need to ‘start over’ or to repeat the first dose. Evidence suggests that the efficacy of the vaccine is not materially affected for several weeks past the recommended interval; however, this should not encourage complacency.

     Inspirational thought

    ‘Success can lead to complacency, and complacency is the greatest enemy of success’ (Brian Tracy). We have been relatively fortunate in Australia. It would be most unfortunate if we were to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  • Cornerstone's weekly jobs list

    Job title: AMS General Practitioner

    Dates: July 2021 - ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Bendigo, VIC

    Salary: $150 - $190 per hour or 65% of billings. Salary sacrifice offered.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: June 2021 - ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Ingham, Tropical North QLD

    Salary: $150 per hour

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: June 2021 - ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Ipswich, QLD

    Salary: 65-70% of billings

     

     

    Job title: General Practitioner VMO

    Dates: June 2021 – July 2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Tenterfield, NSW

    Salary: $2000 per day

     

    Job title: General Practitioner OBS

    Dates: June 2021 – July 2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Mount Gambier, SA

    Salary: $2200 per day

     

    Job title: General Practitioner VMO

    Dates: June 2021 – ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Charleville, QLD

    Salary: $2120 per day

     

    Job title: General Practitioner VMO

    Dates: June 2021 – July 2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Bingara, NSW

    Salary: $2200 per day

     

    Job title: General Practitioner OBS

    Dates: June 2021 – ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Charleville, QLD

    Salary: $2376 per day

  • Media Clips Thursday 3 June 2021

    AMA Queensland

    4BC talks to AMA Queensland Chair of the Council Dr Maria Boulton about community vaccination

    4BC’s Neil Breen says the Rocklea Showgrounds opened as Brisbane's first of 14 community hubs and it is offering both AstraZeneca and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Dr Boulton highlighted Queenslanders need to take advantage of the fact that the state has no community transmission and GPs need to vaccinate as many people as possible. Dr Boulton says GPs are seeing vaccine hesitancy early in the vaccine rollout. However, since the outbreak in Victoria, the number of people who want to get vaccinated has risen.

    Dr Boulton says she is also excited about University of Queensland researchers developing a needle-free alternative to administering COVID-19 vaccines that produces better and faster immune responses.

    Listen here

    Baby boomer tsunami is about to break so stop fudging our health system

    Mike O'Connor at Toowoomba Chronicle on 1 Jun 2021

    It’s time for Queensland’s Health Minister’s to stop blaming our health crisis on COVID-19. This problem has been building for years and we all know it, writes Mike O’Connor….It was left to the Australian Medical Association’s Queensland president Chris Perry to state the screamingly obvious when he said: “We have to deal with the reality that the population is booming and ageing, and hospital demand is only going to increase.”

    Read more

     

    QLD govt will jointly fund new hospital

    Marty Silk at Augusta-Margaret River Mail 31 May 2021

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the new hospital will be built in partnership with private firm Mater Health in Springfield, a former satellite city of Ipswich. The facility will have 174 beds, with the state government to allocate $177 million towards it in next month's budget, and will be operational by the second half of 2024.

    AMA Queensland states that’s half the 1500 beds needed now.

    Read more

    QLD Premiers pleas to solve hospital bed shortage

    James Hall at The Daily Telegraph 20 May 20121

    The Queensland Premier revealed her plea to federal counterparts to help solve the chronic issue of hospital bed shortages and ambulance ramping after reports a man waited 26 hours in an emergency department for treatment.

    “That $100m will open 65 more beds,” Australian Medical Association Queensland president Chris Perry told Channel 9 on Wednesday. “It’s a drop in the ocean.”

    Dr Perry said the issue began to 30 years ago when the “health economists” suggested day surgery would save money because it meant patients recovering from a hernia operation, for example, could be treated at home and a greater supply of bed places wasn’t needed to be built. He said this solution led to hospitals being built with far too few bed spaces.

    “The hospitals need to be expanded,” he said. “They’re way, way too small.”

    Read more

    Voluntary Assisted Dying

    Rachel Riga ABC Online 30 May 2021

    Draft laws to legalise VAD are currently before Queensland Parliament, with MPs to debate and exercise a conscience vote on the legislation in September. However people dealing with terminal illness are stating they want to go when people remember them as being peaceful and able to say goodbye.

    Australian Medical Association Queensland (AMAQ) vice-president Dr Bav Manoharan said he was concerned VAD might become an option "people choose … because palliative care is underfunded".

    Read more

    Life and death on the agenda

    Duncan Evans at CQ News 28 May 2021

    Though a vote is not expected until September, Central Queensland representatives Brittany Lauga, the Labor member for Keppel, Barry O’Rourke, the Labor member for Rockhampton, and Glenn Butcher, the Labor member for Gladstone, all support VAD.  One Nation member for Mirani, Stephen Andrew would not comment on his position until he had seen the legislation in detail. Munganbana Norman Miller, Convenor of the Voice of First Nations Peoples Against Euthanasia, takes a contrary view. In a media statement released on Tuesday, Munganbana decried the potential effects of VAD legislation on Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

    AMA Queensland President Chris Perry said an additional $275 million in palliative care funding was needed to meet growing demand.

     

    “We expect the VAD legislation to be presented to state parliament this week and debated in September, so there’s no time to waste,” Professor Perry said. “The state government must properly fund palliative care so patients have a true choice when it comes to end of life care.”

    “It’s proposed that VAD be accessible to those with a terminal illness, intolerable suffering and a life expectancy of 12 months. However, specialist palliative care services are only available to those with a prognosis of three months which shows there is a major gap in real options for patients.”

    Read more

    Labor leader meets Wagners to discuss Toowoomba quarantine

    Matthew Killoran at Courier Mail, 27 May 2021

    Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has quietly met with Toowoomba billionaire John Wagner in Canberra this morning to discuss the controversial Wellcamp quarantine proposal.

    It followed demands for details of the proposal, put by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to the Federal Government, to be released publicly. The Australian Medical Association Queensland has previously said that local doctors have raised questions, including what contingency planning would be in place in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, how would local hospital capacity would be shored up and where would a suitably qualified workforce be accommodated.

    Read more

    AMA

    Aged care worker reveals why the sector's left so exposed

    ABC Online, Other, 02/06/2021

    An aged care GP says too many residents and workers have been left exposed because of significant failings in the vaccination rollout program. She says many have still not got the jab and there's been no clear guidelines for getting it going forward. [Interviewee: Dr Omar Khorshid, Australian Medical Association

    Read more

    Collingwood to play Crows at Adelaide Oval on Saturday despite Victorian coronavirus border restrictions

    ABC Online, Other, 02/06/2021

    Collingwood will be allowed to fly into Adelaide to play the Crows on Saturday, South Australia's police commissioner says. [...] Australian Medical Association national vice-president Chris Moy said it would be important to have a "really secure biosecurity bubble".

    Read more

    QLD vaccination teams accused of dumping surplus doses

    ABC Online, Other, 02/06/2021

    The Australian Medical Association says Victoria's Covid outbreak has demonstrated the need for mandatory vaccination of aged care workers. This comes as a Doctor at an aged care centre in Queensland says he witnessed a vaccination team dump surplus doses of the Covid-19 jab, instead of offering them to centre staff.

    Read more

    Victoria records six new local COVID cases as lockdown announcement looms

    ABC Online, Other, 02/06/2021

    The positive cases were detected from 51,033 test results received on Tuesday, while 20,585 vaccination doses were administered at state-run vaccination sites. [...] Australian Medical Association president, Omar Khorshid, said the pace of community transmission in Victoria was very concerning.

    Read more

    COVID

    Quarantine centres must be built, and built now

    The Australian, General News, 03/06/2021, Greg Sheridan, Page 1

    Victoria is Australia's worst governed jurisdiction, as its repeated Covid catastrophes attest. As a global public policy problem of wicked complexity, Covid has defeated the Victorian government at every turn - and will likely do so again, for we are nowhere near clear of Covid.

    Read more

    Public Health and Medical Practice

    Make Healing Happen: It's time to act on growing toll for Stolen Generations

    Croakey, Other, 02/06/2021, Marie McInerney

    By next year every member of the Stolen Generations will be aged over 50 and many still suffer trauma and poor health as a result of their removal as do their families dealing with intergenerational trauma. The Healing Foundation today released a landmark report, Make Healing Happen, calling for a national approach to intergenerational healing to Close the Gap for the ageing Stolen Generations survivors.

    Read more

     

  • Frontline COVID advice 31/05/21

    Update on Victoria, Vic RACF in lockdown, Vaccination session for clinicians, 2nd AZ dose reminder, Quarantine Facility Workers Direction

    Current COVID-19 situation in Queensland

    Case data

    • 0 new cases
    • 14 active cases
    • 1,618 total cases
    • To date, there have been 7 deaths.
    • Daily testing numbers will not be reported from 29-31 May due to system maintenance.

    Vaccination data

    • 0 vaccine doses administered in the past 24 hours (vaccines are not administered on Sundays)
      220,152 total doses administered.

    National data

    UPDATE - Situation in Victoria

    The current situation in Victoria (in the past 24 hours to midnight):

    • 5 new locally acquired cases overnight
    • 6 new locally acquired cases today (will be officially recorded in tomorrow’s case numbers with more details about the cases available then).
    • 0 new overseas acquired cases, detected in hotel quarantine
    • 54 active cases
    • 43,874 test results received
    • 16,752 vaccine doses administered.

    A ‘significant’ number of exposure sites have been added overnight. You can see the full list of exposure venues here.


    Victorian RACF in lockdown after aged care worker tests positive

    Arcare Maidstone private aged care facility in Victoria was locked down yesterday (Sunday) after a worker tested positive to COVID-19.

    Three of today’s cases are linked to this case.

    • The son of the initial Arcare case (as above)
    •  a second worker at Arcare Maidstone, who also worked at  BlueCross ACG sunshine facility (she had not been vaccininated)
    • a resident in her 90s who was asymptomatic and has been transferred to hospital. She has received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

    In a statement Arcare confirmed 53 of the 76 residents at Maidstone consented to receive the vaccine and have received one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The second dose was due to be administered on Tuesday but has been brought forward to today, Monday 31 May.

    All workers at the facility are being offered their first or second vaccine dose tomorrow.

    All residents at BlueCross have been quarantined in their rooms. In a statement, BlueCross said 76 percent of residents had received their first dose of the vaccine.

    NEW - Vaccination session for clinicians

    The Queensland Clinical Senate in partnership with CEQ-Engage will deliver their fifth vaccine education session for healthcare workers on Monday 7 June from 11.00 am – 12.00 pm. In addition to answering your questions, our expert panel will discuss the vaccination rollout and latest evidence.

    Date:             Monday, 7 June 2021
    Time:             11.00am – 12.00 pm
    Location:      Select this link to join the virtual session on Monday.

    Please note: Any user without a Queensland Health email address will not be able to join the event. A recording of the session will be made available. For more information or to ask a question in advance, please email FrontlineCOVIDAdvice@health.qld.gov.au.

    Previous information sessions can be viewed online.

    REMINDER – Get your second dose of AstraZeneca


    Many healthcare workers and others eligible under 1a and 1b will be due for their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca vaccine soon. Please schedule your appointment as soon as possible to protect yourself, your family and the community.

    NEW - Quarantine Facility Workers Direction

    From 12:45pm, 31 May 2021, the  Requirements for Quarantine Facility Workers Direction came into effect with the following changes:

    The following requirements will need to be in place by 15 June 2021:

    • All staff working in quarantine hotels must wear a N95 mask and eye protection in a designated zone
    • All staff working in a quarantine hotel must be vaccinated against COVID-19 with either their first or second dose. If they are unable to be vaccinated, they may continue to work at the hotel but must not enter a designated zone.

    The Operational Protocol for COVID-19 testing of quarantine facility workers has also been updated accordingly.

    More information about Queensland’s Public Health Directions can be found on the Queensland Health website.

    Please remember:

    • If you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
    • To regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone.
    • To maintain physical distancing especially at work.
    • Recent reports indicate the relative effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine against symptomatic infection is up to 90% after two doses spaced 12 weeks apart.
    • There are emerging reports that suggest those who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine are less likely to transmit the virus to others.
    • Global evidence indicates adults under the age of 50 years have a potentially higher risk of TTS/VITT following AstraZeneca vaccination than those aged 50 years and over.
    • UK data suggest that the risk of VITT/TTS is much lower with a second dose.
    • For people aged 50 years and over, the expert medical advice is that the benefit of receiving the vaccination outweighs the risk of the rare but serious side-effect VITT/TTS.

    The decision to vaccinate is about more than individual health risk or benefit, but the long-term protection of our society and the ability for our borders to open again.

    Key links - Queensland


    Key links - interstate or national


    Key links - wellbeing


    For further information for clinicians, please visit our novel coronavirus (COVID-19) website

    Your feedback and questions are welcome and we’ll work with the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre (SHECC) or Vaccine Command Centre (VCC) to provide definitive answers and advice.

    Kind regards,

    Dr Alex Markwell, Chair, Queensland Clinical Senate
    Prof. Liz Kenny AO, Chair, Queensland Clinical Networks Executive
  • Cornerstone's weekly job list

    Job title: General Practitioner w/ ED

    Dates: August – October 2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Mount Isa, QLD

    Salary: $2120 + GST Per Day

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: 31st May 2021 – 3 Weeks

    Type of Contract: Locum I DPA Area

    Location: Maningrida, NT

    Salary: $1533 daily rate

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: GP VMO

    Dates: June – November 2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Carnarvon, WA

    Salary: $2200 per day

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.
    Additional info:
    GP ED – 22nd June – 2nd August 2021
    GP OBS – 14th June – 28th November 2021
    GP ANAE - 14th June – 28th November 2021

     

    Job title: VR General Practitioner

    Dates: 16th June – 8th July 2021

    Type of Contract: Locum I Perm

    Location: Northern Beaches, NSW

    Salary: $150 per hour plus GST or 70% of billings

     

    Job title: Gen & VR GP

    Dates: ASAP

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Wyndham

    Salary: $140 per hour

    Additional Info: COVID testing site.

     

    Job title: GP VMO

    Dates: June 2021 - ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Cleve, SA

    Salary: $2000 per day

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

  • Complimentary tickets to Queensland Medical Women's Society Dinner Meeting Tonight!

    We have tickets available at our table tonight at the Queensland Medical Women's Dinner Meeting at

    at the United Services Club in Brisbane at 7PM.

    The theme is "Celebrating United Nations" and special guest speakers for the night are Dr Jillann Farmer, Brendan Rook and Dr Helena Franco.

    Contact Amanda Sanderson a.sanderson@amaq.com.au or phone 3872 2254 if you'd like to join attend.

    Event invite



  • Media clips 26/05/21

    Getting Aussies vaccinated should be a top priority, and it’s time for the Premier to lead by example

    26/05/21, Courier Mail
    As many Australians as possible must be protected from Covid-19, and for that to happen our leaders must work to restore public confidence in the available vaccines. That should have been the Premier’s number one priority this week, writes The Editor. Read more

    Patients spend less than one week in palliative care hospital stays

    26/05/21, Courier Mail

    As euthanasia looks set to be legalised in Queensland, shock stats reveal the plight of those in need of palliative care. Read more

    Voluntary assisted dying Qld laws move closer but regions at risk

    26/05/21, Courier Mail

    Terminally ill Queenslanders may soon be able to legally end their lives, but there are doubts how regional citizens will fare. Read more

    Pro-lifers protest against euthanasia bill

    26/05/21, CathNews

    Pro-life advocates waved placards outside Queensland Parliament yesterday as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk prepared to introduce a bill to legalise euthanasia. Read more

    Qld parliament to debate euthanasia laws

    25/05/21, MyGC.com.au

    Queensland parliament will vote on legalising euthanasia for terminally ill patients in September. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk introduced a bill to enable certain patients to choose voluntary assisted dying on Tuesday.

    Qld parliament to debate euthanasia laws

    25/05/21, 7 News

    Queensland parliament will vote on legalising euthanasia for terminally ill patients in September. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk introduced a bill to enable certain patients to choose voluntary assisted dying on Tuesday. Watch

  • Frontline COVID advice 26/05/21

    Melbourne update; CHO direction – Interstate areas of concern, advice for visitors or returning travellers from Melbourne

    Current COVID-19 situation in Queensland


    Case data

    • 0 new locally acquired cases
    • 1 new overseas acquired case, detected in hotel quarantine
    • 16 active cases
    • 1,611 total cases
    • To date, there have been 7 deaths.
    • 8,096 samples tested in the past 24 hours.

    Vaccination data

    • 5,501 vaccine doses administered in the past 24 hours
    • 198,598 total doses administered.

    National data

    UPDATED – Melbourne outbreak

    Victorian authorities have confirmed 11 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, six of those recorded overnight.

    It brings the latest outbreak to 15 cases, all of which are linked and are believed to have stemmed from the hotel quarantine breach in South Australia. Contact tracers are still looking for the "missing link" to the original case. Whole genome sequencing has confirmed this strain seen is this cluster is the “Indian” variant of concern, B.1.617.1.

    The Victorian Department of Health has identified 301 primary close contacts from the outbreak, with negative results being returned for about 80 of those. Test results for the remainder are expected to come through today. This list of Public exposure sites has been updated by the Victorian government and can be found here.

    Authorities have not ruled out taking further action in terms of restrictions, with the next 24 hours expected to be critical to the response.

    Work is underway to set up additional testing sites across the state.

    CHO Direction – Interstate areas of concern

    rom 1am, 26 May 2021, the following Directions were updated:

    The following changes were introduced:

    • Greater Melbourne has been declared an Interstate Area of Concern from 11 May.
    • Prohibit entry to a residential aged care facility, hospital or shared disability accommodation service if a person has been in an Interstate Area of Concern in the last 14 days, or since the identified start date for the Interstate Area of Concern, whichever period is shorter.
    • Allow the following people to enter a residential aged care facility or disability accommodation service, if the person obtains a negative COVID-19 test result in Queensland after returning from an interstate area of concern:
      • an employee, contractor or student of the facility; or
      • a person providing goods or services that are necessary for the effective operation of the facility, whether the goods are provided for consideration or on a voluntary basis; or
      • a person providing health, medical, personal care (such as hairdressing), pathology or pharmaceutical services to a resident of the residential aged care facility, whether the goods or services are provided for consideration or on a voluntary basis;
          • resident; or
          • with the permission of the operator of the facility, a person maintaining continuity of care for a resident that cannot be delivered by electronic or non-contact means; or
          • the person's presence at the premises is for the purposes of end of life visit.
        • Allow any person to enter a hospital if they obtain a negative COVID-19 test result in Queensland after returning from an interstate area of concern.the person’s presence is required for emergency management, law enforcement or the exercise of a power or function of a government agency or entity under a law; or the person is a prospective resident of the facility or a support person of a prospective
    More information about Queensland’s Public Health Directions can be found on the Queensland Health website.

    REMINDER – visitors or returning travellers from Melbourne

    Queensland Health’s advice for travellers from Melbourne to Queensland is as follows:

    • Anyone in Queensland who has been to a declared COVID-19 exposure site in Victoria during the risk period specified is automatically required to quarantine.
    • From 1am Wednesday (26 May), if you are entering Queensland and have been to any of the Victorian exposure sites at the time specified, you will need to quarantine for 14 days in government-arranged accommodation.
    • If you have been to any of these sites and are already in Queensland, you must call 134 COVID (13 42 68) to discuss your circumstances. You must immediately travel by private transport directly to your home or accommodation and quarantine until you receive further instructions from Queensland Health.
    Everyone is encouraged to monitor the exposure venue lists for 14 days after they arrive to ensure no new venues have been added.

    Key links - Queensland


    Key links - interstate or national


    Key links - wellbeing


    Please remember:

    • if you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
    • to regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone
    • to maintain physical distancing especially at work.

    Further information

    For further information for clinicians, please visit our novel coronavirus (COVID-19) website

    Your feedback and questions are welcome and we’ll work with the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre (SHECC) or Vaccine Command Centre (VCC) to provide definitive answers and advice.


  • COVID-19 Primary Care Update 132

    Epidemiology

    • In the last 24 hours, >5,000 COVID-19 vaccines were administered in Queensland
    • Victoria Health confirmed a fifth case of community transmitted COVID-19 today. Exposure sites are regularly updated - https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/contact-tracing#VIC. Anyone who has been to the sites and are already in Queensland must call 134 COVID (13 42 68) to discuss their circumstances, immediately travel by private transport directly to their home or accommodation, and quarantine until further instruction from Queensland Health.
    • TTS remains a rare syndrome. As of 20 May, there has been 21 confirmed and 4 probably cases of Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) in Australia. Of these, 22 have recovered and been discharged from hospital.

     

    COVID-19 AEFI Templates

    • Electronic COVID-19 AEFI Templates are now available for Best Practice and Medical Director software packages. They will help improve the efficiency of reporting as they auto-populate some information. Your local PHN will be sharing additional information shortly. In the Gold Coast, the templates are available here: https://gcphn.org.au/referrals/17269-2/
    • A big thank you to everyone from Queensland Health, the PHNs, and general practice who were involved in designing and testing the AEFI templates.

     

    Community vaccination hubs

    • The Queensland Government announced that 14 additional community-based vaccination hubs will be established across the state to assist our vaccine program.
    • The 14 sites will be in addition to the four existing community-based vaccination locations, e.g. Central Queensland University City Campus (Mackay), Bundaberg TAFE, Hervey Bay TAFE, Maryborough City Hall.

     

    COVID-19 vaccine-related developments

    • Members of the general public aged 40-49 can now register to receive a COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination online.
    • The Joint Statement from ATAGI and THANZ on Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TSS) and the use of the AZ COVID-19 vaccine is attached. The key points on the first page provides a great summary, and includes a list of groups that can receive the AZ vaccine, and guidance about the identification and management of TSS.
    • This video by Dr Hajokowicz (RBWH Director of Infectious Diseases) provides a great summary of TTS and is well worth a look - https://m.facebook.com/QLDHealth/videos/511241953574543/.
    • A one page summary of TTS and AZ vaccine ‘talking points’ are available online at 
    • The TGA approved changes to the Pfizer vaccine storage conditions: an increase in the approved storage period of the unopened thawed vial at 2-8°C (i.e. in a normal refrigerator after taking out of deep-freeze conditions) at the point of use from five days up to one month (31 days).

    Literature

     

    Educational events

     

    Indications for Comirnaty (Pfizer) in patients aged 50 and older

    • We have received a few queries about patients aged 50 and older that should be considered for the Pfizer, rather than the AZ vaccine. In response, the following list may be helpful. It is provided as a practical guide, with the caveat that it may not be complete and does not substitute for official guidance.
      • A past history of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST)
      • A past history of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT)
      • A past history of idiopathic splanchnic (mesenteric, portal and splenic) venous thrombosis
      • Anti-phospholipid syndrome with thrombosis
      • People with contraindications to COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca, i.e.
        • Anaphylaxis to a previous dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca, or to an ingredient of the vaccine
        • Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia occurring after the first dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
        • Other serious adverse events attributed to the first dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
    • Currently, Queensland Hospitals are reporting that the most common reason for referrals for people >50 for Pfizer vaccines are a prior history of DVT or Factor V Leiden. The latest ATAGI position statement clarifies that these patients can receive the AZ vaccine.
  • Daily media Monday 24 May 2021

    AMA Queensland

    Push for more Qld palliative care funding

    Oberon Review on 24 May 2021 1:22 PM.

    Most terminally ill patients who choose to "take poison" and die only do so because palliative care is so inadequate, Queensland doctors say.

    The Australian Medical Association Queensland and Palliative Care Queensland are calling for a major boost in state funding for end of life care as a voluntary assisted dying bill is tabled in parliament this week….AMAQ president Chris Perry doubts any patient would choose voluntary euthanasia if they had access to proper palliative care.

    Read more

    Gold Coast GP Dr Sonu Haikerwal says locals who put hand out for Jobkeeper should roll up sleeve and have the COVID-19 vaccination

    Emily Toxward at Herald Sun on 23 May 2021 2:00 AM.

    DOCTOR Sonu Haikerwal is heartbroken, exhausted and discouraged.
    “I’ve lost several close family members to COVID-19 in India, and yet here I am on the Gold Coast battling a sense of entitlement and privilege from those who think they don’t need to be vaccinated,” she said….

    AMA Queensland president Prof Chris Perry said the AstraZeneca vaccine was safe for people over 50, with the benefits vastly outweighing any risks.

    “Blood clot risks remain very rare but talk with your GP about your individual health needs if you have concerns.

    “COVID is coming when our borders open. It’s just a matter of when and the only way to protect yourself and your family is to be vaccinated.”

    Read more

    'Not unique to Queensland': Annastacia Palaszczuk pleas for help to solve hospital bed shortage

    James Hall at The Courier Mail on 24 May 2021 12:59 AM.

    The Queensland Premier revealed her plea to federal counterparts to help solve the chronic issue of hospital bed shortages and ambulance ramping after reports a man waited 26 hours in an emergency department for treatment….“That $100m will open 65 more beds,” Australian Medical Association Queensland president Chris Perry told Channel 9 on Wednesday. “It’s a drop in the ocean.”

    Dr Perry said the issue began to 30 years ago when the “health economists” suggested day surgery would save money because it meant patients recovering from a hernia operation, for example, could be treated at home and a greater supply of bed places wasn’t needed to be built.

    He said this solution led to hospitals being built with far too few bed spaces.

    “The hospitals need to be expanded,” he said. “They’re way, way too small.”

    Read more

    Voluntary euthanasia and the death of our old normal

    Jamie Walker at The Australian on 22 May 2021 12:04 AM.

    Like it or not, there’s no stopping the rollout of voluntary euthanasia. The draft bill unveiled this week by Annastacia Palaszczuk in Queensland brings to 17 million people — fully two thirds of the Australian population — who are covered or are in the process of being covered by the right to die…. The Australian Medical Association’s position is that where VAD becomes lawful — something it opposes on principle — it is in everyone’s interest for doctors to be involved. Still, there’s no doubt that the changes in Queensland and WA draw medicos deeper into the ethical quagmire of assisted dying. The president of AMA Queensland, ear, nose and throat surgeon Chris Perry, a practising Catholic, says he has gradually come around to the idea, though he would be deeply reluctant to suggest VAD to a patient….Perry says the protections in the draft bill for doctors who object to participating in VAD are welcome, but warns the challenges for the profession should not be underestimated. “I run a cancer clinic in Brisbane where we see people with the most horrible growths over the face, in their brain, over their airway,” he explains….“We have to talk to them about their treatment options and those conversations can be quite intense … But I would prefer to be able to raise it rather than have it as the elephant in the room, getting in the way of a decent, honest conversation with the patient.”

    'Get the damn vaccine': Doctors urge Premier to step up for COVID jab

    In Queensland on 21 May 2021 2:30 PM.

    The Australian Medical Association has urged prominent Queenslanders to step up and get this “damned vaccine” after the Premier said she would delay her COVID-19 jab.

    Read more

    AMA

    Waiting for Pfizer and a clearer message  

    Age, General News, 24/05/2021, Caitlin Fitzsimmons, Page 4

    Public health experts have called on the federal government to bolster efforts to drive uptake of the COVID-19 vaccines by reporting uptake by age group. [...] The call comes as Australian Medical Association Victorian president Julian Rait urges state and territory governments to roll out their own multi-media vaccination campaigns - in the absence of a federal one - focusing on those who have vaccine hesitancy or are indifferent to getting the COVID-19 jab.

    Pfizer haul: 2m doses 'a week by October'

    Sunday Age, General News, 23/05/2021, James Massola and Michael Koziol

    The federal government is promising 2 million Pfizer doses each week from the start of October, a development that means every Australian who wants to be vaccinated could be by the end of the year, the Australian Medical Association says. The new details about Pfizer supply should reassure over-50s concerned about the AstraZeneca jab they are now being offered, although Health Minister Greg Hunt reiterated "people should not wait".

    Read more

    Coronavirus

    Unsure about the vaccine? Check your privilege

    The Australian, General News, 24/05/2021, Jennifer Oriel, Page 11

    Vaccine hesitancy is a First World privilege. It is more common in developed nations where mistrust in government, or low incidence combined with the safety net of publicly funded healthcare, have led people to risk contracting Covid rather than receiving the vaccine.

     

    Public Health and Medical Practice

    Leaders back conscience vote on euthanasia

    Canberra Times, General News, 24/05/2021, Page 2

    Opposition Leader David Crisafulli has reaffirmed his support for a conscience vote on assisted dying. The state could become the fourth to legalise euthanasia, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk saying the proposed laws to be introduced to Parliament this week are aimed exclusively at people suffering or dying.

    Insurers 'sitting on pot of gold'

    Weekend Australian, General News, 22/05/2021, Natasha Robinson, Page 1

    Private hospitals say health insurers must promise to reduce premium hikes or pay cash back to consumers after an expected bounce-back in elective surgery following COVID-19 failed to materialise, leaving the funds with a $1.8bn cash pile of member contributions. The health funds put the $1.8bn aside to pay for an expected increase in operations following the end of lockdowns but claims have been fewer this year than prior to the pandemic and private hospitals say they have no intention of increasing their activity.

  • Cornerstone's weekly jobs list

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: May 2021 - July 2021

    Type of Contract: Locum I DPA Area

    Location: Northern Territory

    Rate: $1400 + GST per day

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: VR General Practitioner

    Dates: ASAP Start

    Type of Contract: Perm I DPA Handover

    Location: Ormeau, QLD

    Rate: 70% of mixed billings with $150 per hour 3-month initial guarantee

     

    Job title: VR General Practitioner / Visiting Medical Officer

    Dates: 24th May -2021 – 27th June 2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Paraburdoo, WA

    Rate: 70% of billings + $3450 per week on call rates, OR $2000 per day inclusive of on-call

    Additional benefits: Return flights, car-hire, and house provided suitable for families (with pool)

     

    Job title: General Practitioner Obstetrics

    Dates: June 2021 - Ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Carnarvon, WA

    Rate: $2200 per day + GST (ABN)

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: VR General Practitioner

    Dates: ASAP Start

    Type of Contract: Locum I DPA Handover

    Location: Newcastle, NSW

    Rate: 70% of billings, $150 + GST initial guarantee

     

    Job title: General Practitioner VMO

    Dates: June 2021 - Ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Cleve, SA

    Rate: $2000 per day

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: VR General Practitioner

    Dates: May 2021 – June 2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Sunshine Cost, Bli Bli, Kuluin, QLD

    Rate: $1200 + GST per day

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: VR General Practitioner

    Dates: August 2021 – September 2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Barcaldine, QLD

    Rate: $2000 per day

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

  • Daily media clips 21/05/21

    Australian Medical Association Queensland

    AMA issued media release 20/05/2021

    GP’s best placed to manage vaccine hesitancy

     AMA Queensland is urging everyone to go to A GP for a COVID vaccination, as doctors fully understand a patient’s medical history and are best placed to deal possible side effects.

    Read more

     Australian Medical Association

    NSW expands over-40s jab program
    Canberra Times, General News, 21/05/2021, Angelo Risso, Page 8
    People in NSW aged between 40 and 49 can now make a booking to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at 25 sites around the state. [...] Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid is also backing calls for the federal government to set a date to open international borders, saying a timeline would motivate Australians to get vaccinated.

    Vaccines pile up as GPs wait for doses
    Sydney Morning Herald, General News, 21/05/2021, Lucy Carroll, Page 1
    Thousands of AstraZeneca doses are sitting unused in federal government-run clinic refrigerators across Sydney and regional NSW with a lack of demand meaning some vaccination sites operate at less than a quarter of capacity. At one Commonwealth respiratory clinic in south-west Sydney, roughly 3000 AstraZeneca doses have piled up as the practice struggles to fill 50 appointments a day, as fears of a very rare blood clot syndrome, confusion and complacency keep people away.

    Don't delay jab warning to over 50s
    The Australian, General News, 21/05/2021, Natasha Robinson and Adeshola Ore, Page 4
    Medical groups and leading doctors have warned people older than 50 not to delay in getting a COVID-19 vaccine in the hope that they can receive an alternative shot to AstraZeneca. [...] Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid said while extra Pfizer and Moderna supplies would arrive later in the year, it was crucial Australians aged over 50 got vaccinated with an AstraZeneca jab as soon as possible.






  • Daily Media Clips Thursday 20 May

    Australian Medical Association Queensland

    'Worried' 40pc baulk at getting Covid jab

    The Australian, Other, 19/05/2021, Michael McKenna

    More than 40 per cent of Queenslanders surveyed by the state's health department say they are reluctant to get a COVID-19 vaccine, with most citing health risks as the main reason for their concern. [...] Australian Medical Association Queensland president Chris Perry emphasised the AstraZeneca vaccine was "very safe for people over 50" and said general practitioners were "willing and able" to talk with patients about any concerns regarding vaccines.

    Read more

     

    Interview with Dr Maria Boulton, Chair, AMA Queensland Council of General Practitioners.

    Interview with Dr Maria Boulton, Chair, AMA Queensland Council of General Practice. Emerson says for those over 50, it is now their time to get the COVID-19 vaccine under Phase 2A. He notes GPs are now officially able to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine. Boulton says some clinics have already been administering the vaccine early. She notes sometimes it's about how many vaccines clinics have, which is why some GPs decided to hold off on administering the vaccine early.

     

    The Today Show interview with Dr Chris Perry

    Interview with Dr Chris Perry, President, AMA Qld. Perry says the Qld Government's $100m funding to solve the hospital crisis in the state is not enough as 1500 beds are needed. He notes the problem started 30 years ago when hospitals cut down beds in order to save money. Perry states this has impacted the Royal Brisbane and Princess Alexandra Hospitals. He notes the aged care sector is also oversubscribed. Perry states elderly people are the most impacted by the ambulance ramping issue as they wait in pain before admitted into hospital. He notes doctors and ambulance staff are being blamed for this issue which is actually due to underfunding. Perry says both the Federal Government and the state governments need to step up.

     

    Australian Medical Association

     

    Calls for better COVID communication campaign

    ABC Online, Other, 20/05/2021

    As places like Singapore and Taiwan battle new COVID-19 outbreaks, doctors warn Australians are "sitting ducks" until many more people here are vaccinated. The Australian Medical Association is calling for a more effective communications strategy to convince eligible Australians to get their shots.

     

    Read more

     

    Doctors call for better COVID-19 vaccination promotion, warning Australians are 'sitting ducks' until they're vaccinated

    ABC Online, Other, 20/05/2021, Jade Macmillan

    Doctors are calling for a more effective communications strategy to convince people to get COVID-19 vaccines, warning Australians are "sitting ducks" until a much larger portion of the population is protected. [...] Vice-president of the Australian Medical Association, Chris Moy, said he was worried too many Australians felt safe from the virus to the point where they were not motivated to get their vaccine when they became eligible.

     

    Read more

    Staff morale at Perth Children's Hospital crashes after death of Aishwarya Aswath, clinician claims

    ABC Online, Other, 19/05/2021, Evelyn Manfield

    Morale at Perth Children's Hospital (PCH) has sunk so low in the wake of Aishwarya Aswath's death, experienced doctors and nurses are considering quitting their jobs after being made to feel like scapegoats, a senior emergency department clinician says. [...] Australian Medical Association WA president Andrew Miller yesterday accused Department of Health executives and the Government of trying to throw the junior staff on duty that night "under the bus" He said the ED staff that day should not have been working without a triage nurse.

     

    Read more

     

    'COVID is coming to our shores. It is just a matter of when'

    nine.com.au, Other, 19/05/2021, Raffaella Ciccarelli

    Vaccine hesitancy is placing Australia at risk of another outbreak as coronavirus cases surge across the globe, the President of the Australian Medical Association says. Dr Omar Khorshid's comments come after a survey byThe Sydney Morning Herald andThe Age found almost one third of Aussie adults say they will refuse the COVID jab.

    Read more

    ABC, 7:30, 19/05/2021, Leigh Sales

    Hundreds of young doctors are supporting the legal action over claims of unpaid overtime and extreme working hours that put the public at risk. According to the data that the program obtained from the AMA, half of the junior doctors in Vic have reported making mistakes in their job due to being tired or overwork.

     

    Play now

     

     

     

     

  • Media clips, 19/05/21

    AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

    Almost one-third of adult Australians say they’re unlikely to get COVID vaccination: survey

    Age, 19/05/21, David Crowe

    Almost one-third of adult Australians say they are unlikely to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in a new sign of concern over the nation’s troubled plan to shield most people from the coronavirus by the end of this year. Read more

    The Today Show, 19/05/21

    "COVID is coming to our shores, it is just a matter of when and our only way to survive it when it comes is to be vaccinated."

    Almost one-third of Aussies adults say they will refuse the COVID-19 jab in the latest setback for Australia's vaccine rollout. #9Today Watch

    Scott Morrison fends off calls to reopen border as medical association urges ‘plan for 2022’

    The Guardian, Other, 18/05/2021, Sarah Martin, Melissa Davey, and Elias Visontay

    The prime minister, Scott Morrison, is fending off mounting pressure to reopen Australia’s borders sooner than next year, as the peak medical association joins calls for a "plan for 2022" that would see the country reopen to the rest of the world. [...] Amid growing pressure over Australia’s “fortress” position, the Australian Medical Association joined calls for the government to commit to a clear timetable for reopening borders, saying at some point closures “will not be possible to justify”. Read more

    Goal on jabs more than year away

    The Australian, Edition Changes - All-round Metro, 19/05/2021, Natasha Robinson and Michael Mckenna, Page 5

    Australia will not reach a target of having five out of six adults fully vaccinated until November next year unless the current rate of vaccination is dramatically sped up. Analysis of the pace of the nation's current vaccine rollout by the Blueprint Institute think tank has found that Australia would have to increase its rate of vaccination almost to the same level as the US and the UK to have five in six adults fully vaccinated by the end of December. Read more

    Vaccine Training for Assistants

    The Australian Journal of Pharmacy, 17/05/21

    The Australasian College of Pharmacy has launched a new free course intended to prepare frontline pharmacy assistants to support the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. Read more

    Latest snapshot of the coronavirus impact

    7NEWS.com.au

    Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed 999 residential disability care ... about proposals for two quarantine camps, but it has rejected Queensland's plan. Read more

    QUEENSLAND

    Frustrated patients lashing out at Queensland GPs and staff

    The Courier Mail, Other, 19/05/2021, Jackie Sinnerton

    Family doctors and their staff face regular death threats from angry patients vowing to burn down their homes and hunt down their children as a GP shortage reaches crisis point. [...] Dr Kat McLean, General Practice Gold Coast Chair, and Queensland Australian Medical Association GP Council said GP practices are struggling to employ doctors and some patients don't deal well when they have to wait for an appointment. Read more

    Mental trauma now grounds for euthanasia

    The Australian, General News, 19/05/2021, Jamie Walker, Page 7

    Draft right-to-die legislation in Queensland has widened the scope of euthanasia law, making "mental suffering" a ground for eligibility and providing earlier access to voluntary assisted dying for the terminally ill. Doctors will be allowed to raise with a dying patient the option of ending their life, while those with a disability or mental illness can apply for VAD under a draft bill framed by the Queensland Law Reform Commission. Read more

    Right to die closer

    Courier Mail, General News, 19/05/2021, Hayden Johnson, Page 1

    Landmark voluntary assisted-dying legislation will be introduced to parliament next week, with Annastacia Palaszczuk declaring the time is right for Queensland to debate and vote on end-of-life reforms. An emotional Ms Palaszczuk revealed the state's long-awaited path to voluntary assisted dying would begin next week after the Law Reform Commission detailed how laws could work in Queensland. Read more

    Queensland Government to introduce voluntary assisted dying legislation into parliament next week

    ABC News, 18/05/21, Kate McKenna

    There would be a waiting period of at least nine days between the first and final request, the QLRC report said. Ms D'Ath said doctors also would not be ... Read more

    Trainee nurse, 18, who received the AstraZeneca vaccine is hospitalised with THREE severe blood clots after doctors dismissed her symptoms and sent her home THREE times until she could barely breathe

    Daily Mail, 18/05/21, Bryant Hevesi

    The 18-year-old went to the emergency department at the Royal Brisbane Women's ... Only now do doctors notice three blood clots on her lung. Read more

    Hundreds of residents left in despair as regional GP crisis hits Warwick

    Townsville Bulletin, 18/05/21, Jessica Paul  

    HIGH TURNOVER: Condamine Medical Centre Doctor Lynton Hudson said Warwick's biggest issue was not attracting young doctors, but keeping ... Read more

    Queensland Premier blames state’s decentralised nature for slow jab rollout

    Brisbane Times, 18/05/21, Felicity Caldwell

    Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has blamed her state’s vast, decentralised geography for the slow pace of vaccination against COVID-19. Read more

    TGA yet to link AstraZeneca jab to reported case of trainee nurse with blood clots

    9News, 18/05/21

    When questioned about the case by reporters today, Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said she was aware of cases of thrombosis being ... Read more

    Qld Police used as a 'pseudo ambulance service' due to unprecedented demand

    myGC.com.au, 18/05/21, Monique St Clair

    Health Minister Yvette D'Ath acknowledged that Queensland's public hospitals have been experiencing unprecedented demand. “Queensland's ... Read more

    Rockhampton Base Hospital ramping increase prompts visit by Shadow Health Minister

    Courier Mail, 17/05/21, Timothy Cox

    Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said that public hospitals throughout Queensland were experiencing unprecedented demand, and that the government ... Read more

    New data reveals one-quarter of Australia's available COVID-19 vaccines going unused

    The Australian, 18/05/21, Ellen Ransley

    In Queensland, just 64 per cent of available doses have been used ... Health Minister Greg Hunt said 1526 support workers had received a jab. Read more

    Shadow Health Minister uncovers worrying hospital ramping stats

    Courier Mail, 18/05/21, Jacobbe McBride

    “Central Queensland was also snubbed from $100 million of Labor's hospital funding last week. “The state government has clearly forgotten about the ... Read more

    Scott Morrison defends decision to reject Qld quarantine proposal

    NEWS.com.au, 18/05/21, Jade Gailberger

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the Queensland government has not done its homework on a proposal for a quarantine facility at Toowoomba. Read more

    AMA QUEENSLAND

    GPs report rise in patient demand

    AusDoc, 18/05/21, Carmel Sparke. Spokesperson: Dr Maria Boulton

    Brisbane-based Dr Maria Boulton says her practice is busier than ever, despite three new GPs on staff. Read more

  • Frontline COVID Advice 18/05/21

    CHO Directions, WHO Covid-19 epidemiological update, Video updates for health practitioners, Over 50s vaccine rollout update, Vaccination locations webpage, Webinar: long-term effects of COVID-19

    Current COVID-19 situation in Queensland


    Case data

    • 0 new locally acquired cases
    • 2 new overseas acquired cases, detected in hotel quarantine
    • 14 active cases
    • 1,591 total cases
    • To date, there have been 7 deaths.
    • 5,905 samples tested in the past 24 hours.

    Vaccination data

    • 2,763 vaccine doses administered in the past 24 hours
    • 173,093 total doses administered.
    National data

    NEW CHO Direction – Designated COVID-19 Hospital Network Direction

    From 7:45am, 18 May 2021, the Designated COVID-19 Hospitals Network Direction came into effect.

    The direction revokes the Testing and Vaccination (Contact by Health Workers with Cases) Direction (No.2) and the Self-Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 Direction (No. 4).

    Application

    The direction applies to all hospitals in Queensland, people diagnosed with COVID-19, international arrivals in hotel quarantine who require medical care at a hospital during their period of quarantine, staff working at a designated hospital with diagnosed cases or international arrivals, and the Queensland Ambulance Service.

     Direction to all hospitals in Queensland

    • Six hospitals are designated as COVID-19 hospitals: Cairns Hospital, Gold Coast University Hospital, Qld Children’s Hospital, Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Prince Charles Hospital and the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. (Schedule 2).
    • All hospitals in Queensland, including private hospitals, are directed that a positive case of COVID-19 (a diagnosed person) must be transferred to a designated COVID-19 hospital.  A non-designated hospital may only knowingly treat a diagnosed person for emergency or urgent care, or other care if permitted by an exemption granted by the Chief Health Officer or delegate.  An example where an exemption may be appropriate is if an international maritime crew arrival requires non-urgent care and is geographically distant from one of the designated hospitals.

    Direction to designated COVID-19 hospital Chief Executives

    • The Chief Executives of a designated COVID-19 hospital must treat diagnosed persons and quarantined international arrivals in a COVID-19 ward.
    • The hospital may allow occasional or intermittent care to be provided outside the COVID-19 ward if necessary – for example, specialist consults, medical imaging, nuclear medicine or obstetrics.
    •  A COVID-19 ward must comply with certain standards, including air flow and monitoring and recording who enters the ward.
    • An emergency department or ICU ward with a diagnosed person is not a COVID-19 ward.
    • The Chief Executive must ensure staff who work in COVID-19 wards or provide occasional or intermittent care are vaccinated, tested, are fit tested for and wear PPE and follow the COVID-19 infection control and safety standards.
    • The Chief Executive  must report to the Chief Executive of the Department all instances of non-vaccinated staff providing care to a diagnosed person (for example, in the unlikely event that emergency care is provided by non-vaccinated staff).
    • Non COVID-19 patients may also be treated in a COVID-19 ward, if the CHO has approved this for that designated hospital.
    • Students are not permitted to work in or enter a COVID-19 ward.

    Direction to health service employees, contractors and QAS

    The following staff at a designated COVID-19 hospital must be vaccinated for COVID-19:

    • COVID-19 ward staff
    • Occasional or intermittent care staff
    • All ICU staff who are working in the unit at the same time as a diagnosed person is being treated in the unit. Unvaccinated staff must be redeployed until the diagnosed person has left the unit.
    • Emergency department staff who treat a diagnosed person (unless there is only unvaccinated staff available)
    • QAS or aeromedical staff who transport diagnosed persons.

    The following staff must undertake routine surveillance testing:

    • COVID-19 ward staff
    • Occasional or intermittent care staff
    • ICU staff who care for a diagnosed person, unless otherwise specified in a protocol approved by the CHO
    • Emergency department staff, if directed to do so after a contact tracing assessment by the local public health unit
    • QAS or aeromedical staff who transport diagnosed persons.

    The following staff must wear a P2/N95 mask:

    • Staff who work in or enter a COVID-19 ward
    • All ICU staff when a diagnosed person is present in ICU, unless a different protocol has been approved by the Chief Health Officer for that specific ICU
    • Occasional or intermittent care staff, when in the COVID-19 ward or when caring for a diagnosed person outside the ward
    • Emergency department staff, when caring a for patient they know is diagnosed with COVID-19
    • QAS or aeromedical staff who transport diagnosed persons.

    Direction to people diagnosed with COVID-19

    • This direction replaces the Self-Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 Direction (No. 4).
    • A diagnosed person must isolate in a COVID-19 ward under strict conditions until medically cleared.
    • If the person is also an international arrival, they must complete 14 days of quarantine, even if medically cleared.
    • A diagnosed person is not permitted visitors, unless under an exemption by the CHO or delegate.
    Direction to quarantined international arrivals
    This direction complements the Quarantine for International Arrivals and Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing for Air Crew directions. People quarantined under those directions are permitted to leave quarantine to go to a hospital for medical care, such as non-COVID related care. This direction sets out how hospitals must manage these people.

    More information about Queensland’s Public Health Directions can be found on the Queensland Health website.

    Updated CHO Direction: Interstate Exposure Venues Direction (No.2)

    From 11:00am, 18 May 2021, the Interstate Exposure Venues Direction (No.2) came into effect with the following changes:

    • provide that people who enter QLD before an identified date are allowed to quarantine at home and must quarantine until 14 days have passed since they were at the interstate exposure venue.
    • provide that people who enter QLD after an identified date will be directed into hotel quarantine and must quarantine for 14 days from their date of arrival in Queensland.
    • provide that people who are already in Queensland when an interstate exposure venue is published must quarantine at a nominated premises, such as their home, until 14 days have passed since they were at the interstate exposure venue.
    • clarify that if 14 days have passed since a person has been at an interstate exposure venue, they do not need to quarantine when they enter Queensland.
    • clarify in the definition of ‘interstate exposure venue’ that they are published on the Queensland Health website.
    More information about Queensland’s Public Health Directions can be found on the Queensland Health website.

    WHO epidemiological update on COVID-19

    Global overview (weekly update 11 May 2021):  The number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths globally slightly decreased this week, with over 5.5 million cases and over 90 000 deaths. Case and death incidences, however, remain at the highest levels since the beginning of the pandemic. New weekly cases decreased in the regions of Europe and Eastern Mediterranean, while the South-East Asia Region continued an upward trajectory for nine weeks and reported a further six per cent increase last week.

    Special focus: In this edition, special focus updates are provided on four SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern [B.1.1.7 (VOC202012/01); B.1.351 (501Y.V2); P.1; B.1.617] and six variants of interest, including the geographic distribution, and phenotypic impacts on transmissibility, vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. This includes the Indian variant B.1.617  and sub-lineages which have been confirmed to be Variants of Concern (VOC).

    Video update on COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca vaccine and vaccine rollout

    The Australian Department of Health has released a video summary for health professionals on new information and recommendations about the AstraZeneca vaccine, and the changes to Australia's COVID-19 vaccine rollout. You can watch the 4 minute video here.

    Meantime, the Department has also released a COVID-19 response update for GPs. You can watch the webinar here.

    Over 50s can receive first vaccine dose at GP

    From yesterday, 17 May 2021, people 50 years and over can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at a participating general practice.

    This follows the commencement of Phase 2a earlier this month when people aged 50 years and over could receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at Commonwealth Vaccination and state and territory vaccination clinics (see below).

    People can check eligibility and book a vaccination appointment at https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility.

    For more information, visit: www.qld.gov.au/covid19vaccine

    Vaccination locations webpage

    Queensland Health has launched a new vaccination locations webpage.  People who are currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine can book an appointment at a vaccination location in Queensland.

    The new website contains links to the following:

    More vaccination locations will be opening soon and be added to this webpage.

    Queensland Health is liaising with employers about options available to critical and high-risk workers to receive their vaccination. If you are eligible for vaccination in Phase 1a, 1b or 2a, please speak with your manager in the first instance to confirm if there are specific access processes. Alternatively, anyone currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine can use the website above to book an appointment.

    Webinar: long term effects of COVID-19

    National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce Senior Evidence Officer and Primary Care Panel Methods Chair, Dr Samantha Chakraborty is joining presenters from the UK’s Royal College of General Practitioners and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to provide an update on Long COVID symptoms – what is known so far and guidance for the future.

    Date: Thursday 27 May 2021
    Time: 7:00–8:30pm AEST
    Location: online

    The interactive webinar will be facilitated by Dr Norman Swan, and will draw on experiences from the UK and Australia as well as provide an opportunity for questions and answers with the expert panel.

    For more information, go to the registration page.

    Taskforce treatment guidelines updated

    Updates to the Australian guidelines for the clinical care of people with COVID-19 by the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce include changes to the evidence summary sections for convalescent plasma and tocilizumab.

    Key links - Queensland


    Key links - interstate or national


    Please remember:

    • if you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
    • to regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone
    • to maintain physical distancing especially at work.
    Please forward these emails to ALL staff within your team and encourage them to subscribe by following this link. Please also continue to send through any general questions you are unable to source answers for locally and we will endeavour to answer them as quickly as possible. For HHS-specific or urgent advice please contact your line manager.


    Further information

    For further information for clinicians, please visit our novel coronavirus (COVID-19) website

    Your feedback and questions are welcome and we’ll work with the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre (SHECC) or Vaccine Command Centre (VCC) to provide definitive answers and advice.
  • Media clips 18/05/21

    AUSTRALIA

    Jab to unlock travel freedom

    The Australian, General News, 18/05/2021, Rosie Lewis, Page 1

    Scott Morrison is pushing the states to lift domestic COVID-19 restrictions on fully vaccinated Australians as part of a road map to entrench more freedom of movement within Australia and eventually lead to the reopening of international borders. [...] Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid also said the country could reopen by the end of the year. Read more

    President of the Australian Medical Association Dr Omar Khorshid warns 'COVID is coming' to Australia

    Daily Telegraph Australia, Other, 17/05/2021, Matt Young

    One of Australia's top medical experts is backing calls to open international travel borders while issuing a warning that no matter what happens, "COVID is coming". [...] On Monday, the President of the Australian Medical Association suggested a timeline on reopening will also help Australia's bungled vaccine rollout. Read more

    TGA weighs over-the-counter contraceptive pill plan

    WA Today, Other, 17/05/2021, Emma Koehn

    The nation's medicines regulator is looking at a plan to give Australians more freedom to access contraceptive pills via their pharmacists without a doctor's prescription. [...] The Australian Medical Association, however, has previously argued pharmacists do not have the training to assess risks and patient safety for the drugs. Read more

    Carcinogenic tattoo ink laws to go before Parliament

    Adelaide Now, Other, 17/05/2021, Hayden Johnson

    A plan to amend the Poisons Act relating to the use of tattoo ink, requiring suppliers to certify that pigment does not contain substances that could be harmful to health, is expected to go before Queensland Parliament next week. [...] The amendment, set to be introduced as part of the government's Debt Reduction and Savings Bill, has been welcomed by the Australian Medical Association and health stakeholders. Read more

    'Oldies' hedge their dose bets

    The Australian, General News, 18/05/2021, Natasha Robinson and Joseph Lam, Page 5

    The federal government's hope of vaccinating the bulk of the population by the end of the year is being threatened by large numbers of people aged between 50 and 70 years old who are hedging their bets on vaccines, electing to delay vaccination with AstraZeneca in the hope they can receive a Pfizer or Moderna shot later. As vaccination for everyone aged 50 or above opened up at general practices, doctors are reporting a significant proportion of older people who are so concerned by blood clots associated with AstraZeneca that they are holding off in the hope of receiving a different vaccine. Read more

    QUEENSLAND

    Third of Qld COVID-19 doses go unused

    Gold Coast Bulletin, Other, 17/05/2021, Madura McCormack

    Queensland, according to the latest Commonwealth vaccine data, is ranked second last behind only the Northern Territory for vaccine utilisation. In Queensland, 64 per cent of doses available in the state-run program were used in the last week, compared to 75 per cent nationally. Read more

    Budget aged care response welcome, but it's a first step

    Courier Mail, General News, 18/05/2021, Sean Rooney and Patricia Sparrow, Page 33

    The aged-care sector has been granted a historic opportunity for major reform with the $17.7bn in funding over four years announced by the federal government as part of its comprehensive response to the 148 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. As we know, the royal commission over two years uncovered some terrible failings of care and found that the causes were due to the failures of successive governments with respect to funding, regulation, and policy for aged care. Read more

     

    AMA QUEENSLAND

    4BC, Drive, 17/05/2021, Scott Emerson

    Interview with Dr Maria Boulton, Chair of AMA Queensland, Council of General Practice. Emerson says for those over 50, it is now their time to get the COVID-19 vaccine under Phase 2a. He notes GPs are now officially able to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine. Listen from 14.29

    Queensland challenges Prime Minister to free up 600 public hospital beds

    Mirage News, 17/05/21

    Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said the Morrison government's chronic underinvestment in aged and disability care was keeping 575 Queenslanders in ... Read more

  • COVID-19 Primary Care Update 131

    Epidemiology

    • There are now more than 163 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with approximately 3,4 million deaths
    • In Queensland, it has been 46 days without evidence of community transmission of COVID-19; 89,000 people have been accommodated in hotel quarantine (since 28 March 2020), 2,5 million samples have been processed (since 22 Jan 2020) and 13HEALTH have received approximately 1.2 million calls in relation to COVID-19 (since 21 Jan 2020); and more than 10% of residents have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine.

     

    Serology testing for COVID-19 immunity

    • The latest CDNA guidelines do not recommend routine testing for immunity against COVID-19.
    • Public Health Units are notified of all positive COVID-19 serology results 24 hours a day. If they are unable to contact the requesting clinician to ascertain the patient history, the public health response is to isolate the person as a potentially active COVID-19 case, pending a negative COVID-19 swab result.
    • The Public Health Units request that clinicians consider the judicious use of serology testing; they also request that serology tests, if deemed necessary, are discussed with the local PHU.

     

    Pfizer vaccine clinics

    • Initially, six (6) Pfizer hubs were established in Queensland HHSs. Subsequently, additional Pfizer hubs have been established, or are being planned:
      • 5 May: Mater Hospital, South Brisbane
      • 12 May: Bailie Henderson Hospital, Toowoomba; and Ipswich Hospital
      • This week: Thursday Island; Rockhampton; Bundaberg; Mackay; Mount Isa; Roma
      • This month: Three GP Respiratory Clinics

     

    AEFI

    • The TGA safety data (as of midnight 9 May 2021) is consistent with the known side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines as reported internationally
    • As of 13 May, AusVaxSafety have received approximately 440,000 responses to their national survey (69% response rate).
    • 48,7% reported no adverse event, and 1.3% of respondents had visited a doctor or ED
    • In Queensland, of the 54,000 respondents (73% response rate), 46.6% had no adverse event, and 1.1% visited a doctor or ED

     

    Inspirational thought

    • Yesterday marks 93 years since the first RFDS flight in Queensland. A single engine De Haviland aircraft took off from Cloncurry and flew to Julia creek, some 85 kilometers away. Now, the Queensland Section of the RFDS flies more than 7.6 million kilometers a year. That is equivalent to flying to the moon and back 21 times!

  • Daily media clips 14, 15, 16 May

    AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

    'Nothing' in budget for public hospitals

    Sydney Morning Herald, 16/05/21, Rachel Clun.

    Medical experts say Australia's public hospitals got nothing in the federal budget, despite state health ministers urging increased funding for the overrun system. [...] Australian Medical Association president Dr Omar Khorshid agreed there was "nothing" in the budget for public hospitals. Read more

    Government under pressure to reveal plan to reopen borders as doctors weigh in

    The New Daily, Other, 16/05/2021, Cait Kelly

    There is growing pressure on the Australian government to be transparent with its plan for reopening the nation’s international borders as the vaccine rollout progresses. [...] President of the Australian Medical Association Omar Khorshid said the AMA agreed with Dr Coatsworth, and called on the federal government to reveal its plan for opening the border. Read more

    ABC, ABC News, 14/05/2021, Matt Wordsworth

    The Ipswich region is growing so fast, to the point that even booking an appointment to see a local GP is being more difficult with some patients being turned away. The Australian Medical Association says it's an issue being felt across the country. Listen

    Big headline figure for aged care, now let's see the results

    Sydney Morning Herald, Editorials, 17/05/2021, Page 20

    The budget headline caught a lot of attention: an extra $17.7 billion over five years for aged care. As the royal commission into the sector had made clear, the system needed every one of those extra dollars and in future years will need much more. Read more

    AMA QUEENSLAND

    4CA AM, John Mackenzie, 14/05/2021, John MacKenzie

    Interview with Dr Francois Pretorius, Member of AMA Queensland. MacKenzie reports according to The Courier Mail, Australians with one COVID-19 jab are likely be able to mix and match brands when they get their second doses or booster shots. He notes the development comes after the Government announced a deal to purchase 25 million doses of Moderna's mRNA COVID-19 vaccine including 15 million doses that would protect against mutant variants of the virus. Listen

    GP clinics can't cope with demand at Springfield Lakes amid Ipswich population boom

    ABC News, 14/05/21, Rach McGhee. Spokesperson: Dr Maria Boulton

    Booking an appointment at a local GP clinic is increasingly difficult for many people in Ipswich, west of Brisbane, amid surging demand for services and a shortage of doctors. Read more

    Nine-month waiting list for psychologists in Queensland as doctors forced to 'pull favours'

    ABC News, 14/05/21, Sarah Cumming. Spokesperson: Dr Maria Boulton

    Queensland doctors have revealed some patients are being forced to wait up to nine months to secure an appointment with a psychologist or ... Read more

    Queensland rejects claim vaccine numbers were lowered

    Brisbane Times, 14/05/21, Stuart Layt.

    QUEENSLAND

    After Maddox Porter had his hand severely damaged by lawnmower blades, his family have rallied to raise funds for the doctors who helped save his hand

    Courier Mail, 14/05/21, Ali Kuchel. Mentions Dr Michael Wagel

    A nine-year-old boy who was taught to be grateful, has been inspirational in helping raise vital funds for children in similar situations. Read more

    COVID-19 vaccinations being rolled out in Queensland prisons, government confirms

    ABC News, 14/05/21, Rory Callinan

    COVID-19 vaccinations are already being rolled out to prisoners in Queensland jails, the Corrective Services Department has confirmed. Read more

    Qld Govt halves number of AstraZeneca vaccines ordered

    Courier Mail, 14/05/21, Madura McCormack, Jessica Marszalek and Rachael Rosel

    The Queensland government is ordering thousands fewer COVID-19 vaccine doses than it was a month ago, blaming a redirection to GPs and a cold-chain breach that compromised almost 7000 doses. Read more

    Queenslanders tell of distress with state health system as opposition hits back at government

    ABC News, 14/05/21, Kate McKenna

    ... state government after Education Minister Grace Grace yesterday claimed in Queensland Parliament they were concocting or embellishing stories. Read more

    Warning signs before doctor took his life

    Queensland Times, 15/05/21

    It's been four years since Dr Andrew Bryant, an esteemed gastroenterologist and dad of four, took his own life in his Brisbane office.

    Since his death in March 2017, Andrew's wife Susan has been on a mission to break down the taboo around mental health and suicide. Read more

    Queensland government defends vaccine rollout

    Nine news, 14/05/21, Tim Arvier

    Health Minister Yvette D'Ath insists a reduction in the number of vaccines received by the state government is due to doses being diverted to GPs. Watch

    'People are dying in ambulances': Health ministers say nation gripped by health crisis

    The Sydney Morning Herald, 16/05/21, Paul Sakkal

    Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said the current funding model had the “perverse” impact of disincentivising primary health programs that ... Read more

    Queensland government defends cutting AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine order

    7NEWS.com.au, 14/05/21, Marty Silk

    Health Minister Yvette D'Ath says the drop occurred because AstraZeneca doses, unsuitable for younger health workers, were returned to the federal ... Read more

  • Daily media briefing - Friday 14 May

    Australian Medical Association Queensland

    GP Clinics can’t cope with demand at Springfield Lakes amid Ipswich population boom

     ABC News Online, 13/05/21. Spokesperson - Dr Maria Boulton AMA Queensland’s council of GPs

    Booking an appointment at an Ipswich GP clinic is becoming increasingly difficult amid a shortage of doctors and  a surge in demand for services.

    Read more

     

    Local doctors say State Government is ignoring regional areas

    7 News Townsville, 13/05/21. Spokesperson Dr Chris Perry AMA Queensland President.

    Read more

     

    Australia secures Moderna vaccines

     4CA, 14/05/2021. Spokesperson – Dr Francois Pretorius, AMA member and rural generalist.

     The Australian Government has secured 25 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to further diversify our supply. The goal of diversifying our supply is to provide more flexibility in the national rollout and help fight emerging COVID-19 variants. So far the Moderna vaccine has shown an overall vaccine efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 of 94.1 percent, and 100 percent efficacy against severe COVID-19. It has also shown strong protection of 90 percent efficacy against COVID-19 for at least six months after the second dose. Presently, Australians who have had one COVID-19 vaccine will be able to have a different brand for their second dose.

    Listen here


    Mental health need increases amid long waitlists for professional help, sharp rise in emergency presentations

    ABC News Online, 13/05/21. Spokesperson - Dr Maria Boulton AMA Queensland’s council of GPs

    Psychiatrists are urging the Queensland government to fund more mental health positions as they grapple with having just two-thirds of required staff amid a "mental health crisis" that has seen a 90 per cent increase in emergency department presentations.

     

    Read more

     Australian Medical Association

    Total overhaul of indoor air quality needed post-pandemic, experts warn

    Sydney Morning Herald, 13/05/2021

    Combating Covid and future pandemics will require a complete overhaul of indoor air quality standards according to an international group of researchers.

    Read more

    Victims of Queensland’s ‘broken’ health system share their stories

    The Advertiser, 13/05/2021

    A woman who says she has been waiting a staggering 520 days for both hips to be replaced is in so much pain she can only get to her bathroom to shower once a fortnight. Patricia Clayton, a 57-year-old restricted to a wheelchair, shared her plight at Queensland parliament on Thursday to highlight the shortfalls in the state’s “broken healthcare system”.

    Read more

     

  • Cornerstone's weekly jobs list

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: June 2021 - Ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Perth, WA

    Rate: $1400 + GST per day

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: GPA or GPO

    Dates: May 2021 - Ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Kununurra, WA

    Rates: $2300 per day

     

    Job title: GP VMO

    Dates: June 2021 - Ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Cleve, SA

    Rate: $2000 per day

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: GP w/ ED

    Dates: June 2021 - Ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Fitzroy Crossing, WA

    Rate: $2520 per day

     

    Job title: General Practitioner w/ ED

    Dates: May 2021 – June 2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Halls Creek, WA

    Rate: $2100 per day

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: ASAP - Ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Townsville, QLD

    Rate: $150 per hour, or 70% of billings

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: May – June 2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Wollongong, NSW

    Rate: $150 per hour, or 70% of billings

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

     

    Job title: GPO or GPA

    Dates: May 2021 - Ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Derby, WA

    Rate: $2300 per day

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: June – July 2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Burnie Tasmania

    Rate: $140 per hour

    Additional benefits: Return flights, accommodation, and car-hire provided.

  • Daily media briefings – Thursday 13 May 2021

    Australian Medical Association Queensland

    Local doctors say the state government is ignoring regional areas

    7NEWS, 12/05/21

    Queensland doctors say the State Government is ignoring regional areas with its latest hospital funding announcement.

    The AMA believes the sixty-five new hospital beds to be rolled out in the south-east corner won't help the state-wide ambulance ramping crisis.

    Read more

     

    Is Queensland about to lag behind? As Victoria and NSW ramp up their AstraZeneca rollout through large vaccination hubs, our state government is refusing to do the same.

    @9News Queensland. 11/05/2021

    https://twitter.com/9newsqueensland/status/1392030048824270850?s=21

    Read more

    Ambulance delays take more lives

    9 News Queensland, 11/05/2021

    Read more

    South East Queensland Hospitals in Crisis mode

    7News Brisbane, 11/05/2021

    Read more

    $100m cash splash for ‘under pressure’ Queensland health system

    Brisbane Times, 11/05/2021

    Read more

    Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath reveals $100 million investment in public hospitals

    The Australian, 11/05/2021

    Read more

    Queensland spends $100m on hospital bed capacity

    Riverine Herald, 11/05/2021

    Read more

    Qld diverts $100m to boost hospital beds

    Western Advocate, 11/05/2021

    Read more

    Australian Medical Association

    AMA ‘very pleased’ to see the government investing in aged care

    News.com.au 12/05/2021

    AMAPresident Dr Omar Khorshid says the Australian Medical Association is "very pleased" to see the federal government investing in aged care in the 2021 budget. Over the next five years the aged care sector will undergo a major overhaul in a bid to reform the system with a $17 billion spending increase.

    Read more

    Emergency physician says federal budget "a missed opportunity"

    ABC Online, Other, 12/05/2021

    The federal budget paints a picture of an Australia closed off from the rest of the world, even after a full vaccination program is in place. [...] Doctor Stephen Parnis is an emergency physician and former vice-president of the Australian Medical Association, and he spoke to ABC NewsRadio's Rachel Hayter.

    Read more

    No extra money to expand the nation's first mental health care centre in CBD

    Adelaide Now, Other, 12/05/2021, 

    South Australian mental health advocates have given a mixed report card on federal budget measures to help the system. [...] Australian Medical Association state Vice President and psychiatrist Dr Michelle Atchison said increased funding, especially that targeted good quality follow up would help those affected by suicide and suicidal distress.

    Read more

    Spotlight on local medical pathways in region

    Wangaratta Chronicle, Other, 12/05/2021, Simone Kerwin

    A new website now offers a direct line of sight to medical students and trainees about where they can study, work and follow specialty pathways in this region. [...] At the website's virtual launch last week at the Australian Medical Association Victoria medical careers expo, regional specialists talked about local pathways in surgery, intensive care, psychiatry, paediatrics, general practice, rural generalism, adult internal medicine and anaesthetics, as well as the benefits available to trainees working in rural and regional towns.

    Read more

    Coronavirus

    Long border closure is questioned by experts

    Sydney Morning Herald, General News, 13/05/2021

    People should consider a different approach to risk from the coronavirus as millions of people sign up for vaccines, leading scientists said in the wake of a contentious budget assumption that could keep international borders closed until the middle of next year. The warning will fuel a political debate over the vaccine rollout and border controls as Prime Minister Scott Morrison defends the bigspending federal budget against Labor accusations that he is not doing enough to speed up vaccinations and expand the capacity of the quarantine regime. Biden backs plan to waive Covid-19 vaccine patents Read more

    Hunt: Qld vax delay not down to a supply issue

    Courier Mail, General News, 13/05/2021

    The federal government has offered to pay for half the costs of setting up mass vaccination hubs in Queensland, but the state government won’t even consider it until “later” in 2021. .

    Read more

     

    Vaccines from SA possible in a year

    The Australian, General News, 13/05/2021, Emily Cosenza, 

    Much-needed Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to better protect Australians from COVID-19 could be developed in South Australia. A locally advanced manufacturing facility in Thebarton, in Adelaide's inner west, has the capacity to mass produce the mRNA vaccines within 12 months.

    Read more

     

    Public Health and Medical Practice

    Skilled mental health workers needed after funding boost

    Sydney Morning Herald, General News, 13/05/2021, Rachel Clun, 

    Australia's top mental health experts say much more needs to be done to meet the needs of millions of Australians living with complex mental illness, and boosting the mental health workforce is key. The federal government announced a $2.3 billion investment in mental health in Tuesday's budget, including funding for aftercare services for those who have attempted suicide and money for almost 60 mental health centres for young people, children and adults.

    Read more

     

    Closing the perinatal healthcare gap priority for Indigenous women as global researchers call for change

    ABC Online, Other, 13/05/2021

    Indigenous health researchers across the globe are pushing for perinatal care to be better incorporated into the health system, with a focus on Indigenous-led, community-based solutions. They say knowledge like that of Ngarluma Elder Violet Samson is invaluable for closing the perinatal healthcare gap.

    Read more

  • Daily media clips 12 May

    FEDERAL

    Federal budget 2021: Industry groups react

    NEWS.com.au, Other, 11/05/2021, Jade Gailberger and Finn McHugh

    The federal budget has landed, with money for millions of Aussies on offer. [...] Australian Medical Association president Dr Omar Khorshid said the budget acknowledged the value of investing in healthcare. Read more

    Vaccines for all by year's end: Frydenberg

    Bunbury Mail, Other, 11/05/2021, Paul Osborne

    The Morrison government is banking on a massive upswing in vaccinations in its economic forecasts. [...] Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid said the prediction was "not ridiculous". Read more

    Budget 2021: Hefty price to win back aged-care ‘trust’

    The Australian, 12/05/21, Stephen Lunn

    Australia’s aged-care system will be transformed after the Morrison government announced a $17.7bn spending increase over the next five years, agreed to find a new funding model and committed to “restoring trust” in the sector. Read more

    Federal Budget 2021: Private health insurance loophole under review

    The Courier Mail, 12/05/21, Sue Dunlevy

    There are changes afoot for GPs who may not bulk bill yet — and private health is about to get cheaper for many Aussies. Read more

    Aged care: federal budget promises $17.7bn to overhaul Australia’s scandal-plagued system

    The Guardian, Other, 11/05/2021, Sarah Martin

    A $17.7bn package to reform the scandal-plagued aged care system aims to clear the home care waiting list within two years, mandate minimum care time in residential aged care homes, and boost the aged care workforce. Accepting all but six of the 148 recommendations of the royal commission into aged care quality and safety either in full or in principle, the health minister, Greg Hunt, said the “once in a generation” overhaul of the sector had been approached from a needs-based perspective to address the inadequacies uncovered by the inquiry. Read more

    Does the aged care package deliver on Royal Commission recommendations?

    Croakey, Other, 12/05/2021, Charles Maskell-Knight

    The first thing to say about the Budget is that it included a lot of new money for aged care. $17.7 billion is not inconsequential – even if it is over five years.

    Read more

    QUEENSLAND

    Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath reveals $100 million investment in public hospitals

    The Australian, Other, 11/05/2021, James Hall

    Queensland public hospitals at "crisis point" will be given an extra $100 million from the Palaszczuk government to solve ambulance ramping and an undersupply of beds. [...] Clogged emergency departments and too few beds is leading to an exodus of burnt-out staff, according to Australian Medical Association Queensland member and Australian College for Emergency Medicine spokesperson Kim Hansen who said the current situation is the worst emergency doctors had ever experienced. Read more

    $100m injection for Queensland hospitals not enough to fix ailing system, AMAQ warns

    11/05/21, ABC News

    The Queensland government's $100 million boost in public hospital funding is only a "small step" towards the 1,500 more beds needed to ease clogged emergency departments, doctors have warned. Read more

    Telehealth, aged care, more jobs: Toowoomba doctor reveals budget wishlist

    Chronicle, 11/05/21, Meg Gannon

    Off the back of the Federal Government's plan to bolster bulk-billing medical services in Southwest Queensland, rural doctors are expected to receive ... Read more

    Qld throws $100M at struggling hospital system, Gold Coast misses out

    myGC.com.au, 11/05/21, Rebecca Dakin

    Health Minister Yvette D'Ath confirmed on Tuesday the cash injection will go towards tackling the unprecedented demand at Queensland's public ... Read more

    Qld spends $100m on hospital bed capacity

    The Canberra Times, 11/05/21, Marty Silk

    Health Minister Yvette D'Ath says redirected funding will add 65 new hospital beds. The Queensland government will redirect $100 million in emergency ... Read more

    $100m funding boost for beds at Queensland’s busiest hospitals slammed by Australian Medical Association

    Toowoomba Chronicle, 11/05/21, Hayden Johnson

    The Australian Medical Association has hit out at the State Government’s $100 million plan to deliver 65 news beds to cope with “unprecedented demand”, saying 1500 are needed. Read more

    Townsville University Hospital trialling AI tool in ieMR for sepsis early warning

    Pulse+IT, 11/05/21, Kate McDonald

    Townsville Hospital and Health Service is running a trial of a new artificial intelligence tool and natural language processing to scan Queensland’s Cerner integrated electronic medical record (ieMR) for early warning signs of sepsis in patients. Read more

  • Frontline COVID Advice - 12/05/21

    Positive case in Victoria, Directions updates, Access to Pfizer reminder, Federal budget measures

    Current COVID-19 situation in Queensland

    Case data

    • 0 new locally acquired cases
    • 3 new overseas acquired cases, detected in hotel quarantine
    • 18 active cases
    • 1,583 total cases
    • To date, there have been 7 deaths.
    • 7,066 samples tested in the past 24 hours.

    Vaccination data

    • 2,423 vaccine doses administered in the past 24 hours
    • 157,321 total doses administered

    National data

    VIC community transmission

    Victoria has released a list of exposure sites after a male in his 30s tested positive to COVID-19. The man arrived in Victoria on 4 May after returning from overseas and completing hotel quarantine in South Australia. He developed symptoms on 8 May and returned a positive result on 10 May. 

    As a result:

    • Anyone already in Queensland who has been to an exposure site, or anyone who will enter Queensland from Victoria prior to 1am Thursday 13 May, must call 13 4 COVID and immediately travel by private transport home or to accommodation and quarantine for 14 days since they attended the affected venue/s.
    • Anyone arriving in Queensland after 1am Thursday 13 May who has been to an exposure site during the risk period identified is required to undertake mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days. This is in accordance with the Interstate Exposure Venues Direction.
    •  Anyone in Queensland who has been in Victoria or Adelaide since 6 May is asked to get tested if they develop any symptoms – however mild – and isolate until you get a negative result and symptoms resolve.
    •  Anyone in Queensland who has been in Victoria or South Australia during the affected time period is asked to continue to monitor the list of interstate exposure venues for 14 days after arrival to ensure no new venues have been added. 

    Queenslanders are also asked to reconsider travel to Victoria.

    Chief Health Officer Directions updates

    From 7 May 2021, updates were made to the following Public Health Directions to provide a two-week extension on new transport requirements:

    The new time for commencement of the new requirements for transport providers transporting quarantined persons is 9am Friday 21 May. This allows transport providers additional time to undertake infection control training, obtain endorsement from the Department of Transport and Main Roads and have a COVID-Safe Transport Plan in place.

    The Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction (No.9) has also been updated to clarify that international arrivals will be requested to be tested on day 5 of their quarantine period in addition to being tested as soon as possible after arrival and on day 12 or 13. 

    Lastly, masks are no longer required to be worn by quarantined persons on balconies of government-arranged accommodation. This change has been made to the Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction (No.9) and the Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing for Air Crew Direction (No.2).

    Further information about these Directions, please visit the Queensland Health website.

    Update - COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Requirements (Contact by Health Workers with Cases) Direction (No. 2)

    The above Direction - which only applies to all employees and contractors of a Queensland Hospital and Health Service or the Queensland Ambulance Service – has been updated as follows: 

    • Hospital and Health Service Chief Executives and the Queensland Ambulance Service Commissioner must ensure relevant employees comply with mask wearing requirements and: 
      • are fit tested for a PFR or P2/N95 respirator
      • perform fit checking (PDF) before each shift
      • wear a PFR or P2/N95 respirator at all times.
    • Relevant employees working at a quarantine facility must wear a PFR or P2/N95 respirator in designated zones and perform fit checking (PDF) before each shift.

    For more information visit the Queensland Health website

    Reminder: access to Pfizer vaccines

    Current Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recommendations on COVID-19 vaccinations is as follows:

    • Comirnaty (Pfizer) is preferred over AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in people under the age of 50 years. The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can still be given to adults under 50 years if Comirnaty is not readily available, if the benefit of vaccination is likely to outweigh risk, and where informed consent has been obtained. 
    • In people aged 50 years and over, the benefits of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risks associated with vaccination. This is due to the ongoing potential for COVID-19 outbreaks, the widespread susceptibility of the Australian population, and the strong relationship of severe COVID-19 and mortality with increasing age.

    Pfizer should also be provided to:

    • those aged 16 years and over and under 50 years old (and eligible for vaccination under the Australian Government’s vaccination rollout phases)
    • those aged over 50 who have already had their first dose of Comirnaty
    • residential aged-care facility residents
    • disability-care residents with complex needs
    • those living in a remote or very remote community
    • quarantine, border or frontline healthcare worker, aged over 50, and not already vaccinated (if the relevant state or territory determines the worker should be fully vaccinated as soon as possible)
    • patients with a history of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, splanchnic vein thrombosis or heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis.

    Currently there are no other medical reasons for a patient to require access to Pfizer Comirnaty. A formal referral pathway to Queensland Health vaccination clinics is under development and will be circulated when available, however some areas such as Metro South and Metro North already have pathways in place. For more information, please liaise with your local Primary Health Network.

    Australian Government 2021-22 Budget announced

    As announced last night, the Australian Government will provide $1.9 billion over five years from 2020 21 to distribute and administer COVID 19 vaccines to residents of Australia. Funding includes: 

    • $777.8 million over two years from 2020 21 for the COVID 19 Vaccination Program, including for surge workforce, general practitioners and community pharmacies to administer vaccines
    • $510.8 million over two years from 2020 21 for the National Partnership on the COVID 19 Response for the states and territories to administer vaccines
    • $358.8 million over five years from 2020 21 to support the implementation, monitoring and reporting of the vaccine rollout
    • $233.8 million over two years from 2020 21 for COVID 19 vaccine distribution, vaccine consumables, logistics and storage
    • $6.7 million over two years from 2020 21 for the national communications campaign for the COVID 19 Vaccination Program. 

    The Government has also entered into advance purchase agreements for an additional 30 million doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine and has provisioned to purchase additional vaccine doses, including mRNA vaccines. The financial implications of the agreements are not for publication (nfp) due to commercial in-confidence sensitivities. 

    This measure builds on the 2020 21 MYEFO measure titled COVID 19 Response Package — vaccination and treatment. 

    Key links - Queensland


    Key links - interstate or national


    Please remember:

    • if you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
    • to regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone
    • to maintain physical distancing especially at work.
    Please forward these emails to ALL staff within your team and encourage them to subscribe by following this link. Please also continue to send through any general questions you are unable to source answers for locally and we will endeavour to answer them as quickly as possible. For HHS-specific or urgent advice please contact your line manager.


    Further information

    For further information for clinicians, please visit our novel coronavirus (COVID-19) website

    Your feedback and questions are welcome and we’ll work with the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre (SHECC) or Vaccine Command Centre (VCC) to provide definitive answers and advice.
  • Daily media briefings – 11 May 2021

    AUSTRALIA

    Border and quarantine fixes are urgently needed

    The Australian, Editorials, 11/05/2021, Page 10

    Australia's success in suppressing COVID-19 has been a triumph for public safety but it also has helped to foster a culture of risk aversion that is proving difficult to shake. Evidence of over-caution can be found across all levels of government, and from the public. Read more

    Easier to 'come and go' with jab

    Daily Telegraph, General News, 11/05/2021, Clare Armstrong, Page 2

    The ability to come and go from Australia more easily and not be subjected to as many restrictions is an "incentive" to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Health Minister Greg Hunt said. Mr Hunt said the federal government was developing a road map for reopening Australia that would be a "progressive" easing of measures. Read more

    Australia notches up record number of COVID-19 jabs administered in week

    ABC Online, Other, 10/05/2021, Tahlia Roy

    Australia's vaccination program has struggled to meet its targets from the get-go, but Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced a record week of shots in arms. A record 402,000 vaccine doses were delivered last week. Read more

    Fixing wreck of aged care could be Morrison's legacy

    The Australian, General News, 11/05/2021, Stephen Lunn, Page 4

    Fixing aged care could be Scott Morrison's prime ministerial legacy, but simply throwing more money at an out-of-date system won't deliver the reforms needed, aged-care advocates say. After The Australian revealed Tuesday's federal budget is set to deliver a new $18bn aged-care reform package over the next four years, advocates say a systemwide overhaul is needed to cut out waste and ensure better-quality care to the growing cohort of older Australians. Read more

    QUEENSLAND

    Gold Coast population surge puts unprecedented pressure on medical clinics

    ABC News, 10/05/21, Sarah Cummings

    Gold Coast doctors say they're battling a new COVID crisis caused by the population boom in Queensland. ... Dr Unni said her staff were trying to prioritise the most needy patients, including children and people with chronic diseases ... Read more

    Queensland COVID-19 vaccine rollout lags as other states open mass jab hubs new data shows

    The Courier Mail, 11/05/21, Madura McCormack

    Queensland’s COVID jab drive is failing to keep pace with Victoria and NSW as the other states implement mass vaccination hubs. Read more

    Sweeping change at doctor’s surgery sparks call for review

    The Courier Mail, 10/05/21, Jackie Sinnerton

    The rise of super GP clinics that are owned by large corporations and host multiple services has triggered calls for a sweeping review and potential regulation. Read more

    Rural bulk billing rebates will increase up to 40 per cent across regional, remote and rural towns

    Daily Mercury, 10/05/21, Heidi Petith

    Rural doctors applaud the ‘game-changing’ increases making healthcare across Mackay Whitsunday Isaac more affordable. HOW IT AFFECTS YOUR SUBURB>> Read more

    Changes will make GP bulk billing in the bush more widespread

    Queensland Country Life, 10/05/21,  Jamieson Murphy

    Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton said more than 12,000 rural and remote GPs would be eligible for the higher bulk billing incentive. "Australians in ... Read more

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Daily media briefings –8,9,10 May 2021

    Australian Medical Association

    Testing our defences

    Sydney Morning Herald, General News, 08/05/2021, Deborah Snow, Page 23

    The Australian Medical Association has also used the furore over the India flights suspension to mount a fresh push against vulnerabilities in the hotel quarantine system.

    “We really want to see our national cabinet exploring what is the post-hotel quarantine future,” AMA president Dr Omar Khorshid told journalists on Tuesday. Read more

    COVID-19

    New advice on COVID spread puts air quality in the spotlight

    The Age, Other, 09/05/2021, Aisha Dow and Michael Koziol

    Changing World Health Organisation advice on the airborne transmission risk of COVID-19 has sparked calls for Australian officials to update national guidelines on air quality. [...] A controversial recommendation from the government's Infection Control Expert Group still allows surgical masks and protective eyewear to be used in the routine care of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, despite criticism from infection diseases experts and the Australian Medical Association who say surgical masks cannot protect against airborne spread. Read more

    Five Australians suffer blood clots after AstraZeneca jab in one week

    News.com.au, 08/05/21, Darren Cartwright

    Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young revealed the 66-year-old Townsville man’s condition had been directly linked to being vaccinated against COVID-19 at a midday press conference on Thursday.

    “The TGA, I understand, will announce later today a case of thrombosis following an AstraZeneca vaccination in a 66-year-old gentleman in Townsville,” she said.

    “He has been admitted to the ICU.

    “TGA has confirmed that his illness is a direct result of the AstraZeneca vaccine.” Read more

    COVID live: Queensland, NSW and Victoria open to receiving more flights from India, PM says

    ABC News, 07/05/21, Updated 08/05/21, Michael Doyle and Kelsie Iorio

    Mr Morrison made the announcement after the latest national Cabinet meeting. Read more

    ‘It has worked’: Dutton defends Australia’s hotel quarantine system

    Sydney Morning Herald, 07/05/21, Lydia Lynch

    'It has worked': Dutton defends Australia's hotel quarantine system ... Defence Minister Peter Dutton has defended the use of hotels to quarantine ... Victoria and Queensland have stagnated as negotiations between state and federal ... Read more

    Qld hospital not treating virus cases

    The West Australian, 07/05/21, AAP

    Queensland's second-largest hospital hasn't treated a coronavirus patient for more than a month after an outbreak was traced to its infectious diseases ward.

    Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane has been locked down twice in recent months due to two separate COVID-19 outbreaks in the city. Read more

    Hotel quarantine now mandatory for some Sydney travellers to Qld

    MyGC.com.au, 07/05/21, Shanee Dobeson

    Anyone arriving in Queensland who has been to a COVID-19 exposure site in Sydney is being forced into hotel quarantine for two weeks.

    The new measure, announced by the State’s top doctor on Thursday, kicked in at 1.00am on Friday and is now mandatory.

    It comes as the sunshine state attempts to limit the risk of the virus potentially leaking from NSW into Queensland.

    ‘I’ll never take anything for granted’: Brisbane doctor’s battle with long COVID

    The Courier Mail, 07/05/21, Jane Armitstead

    At 26 years of age, Brisbane doctor Jack Cooper thought he would be able to beat COVID quickly when he was diagnosed last year. But he’s still battling chest pains and headaches. Read more

    COVID Qld: Vaccine benefits far outweigh clotting risks

    The Courier Mail, 07/05/21, Madura McCormack

    Doctors fear the latest cases of rare blood clots could increase vaccine hesitancy in the community — despite the benefits far outweighing the risks. Read more

    Public Health and Medical Practice

    No time to wait: royal commission's aged-care reforms must be implemented immediately

    The Australian, Business News, 10/05/2021, Cam Ansell, Page 18

    While the recommendations provided in the aged care royal commission's final report are complex, the fundamental principle is simple. It recognises that older Australians should receive care and support when they need it, not when the federal government decides it can afford it. Read more (behind paywall)

    Labor says the budget pitch to women is too little, too late

    Canberra Times, General News, 10/05/2021, Karen Barlow, Page 4

    Federal Labor has criticised the Morrison government budget measures on childcare, health, economic security, and domestic violence to support women as "managing a political problem" and coming too little, too late. There is more to be revealed on Tuesday's budget night, but as part of a stand-alone 50-page Budget Statement on Women there is a $354 million package to improve health outcomes for women and girls, a reported $680 million revamp of domestic violence prevention measures and $1.7 billion package to make childcare more affordable particularly for parents of multiple children.

      Read More

    ACRRM welcomes Rural Bulk Billing Incentive

    Media release, ACRRM, 08/05/21

    The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) welcomes today’s announcement by the Federal Government that it will boost bulk billing incentives to improve healthcare provision in rural and remote communities.

    Canavan, Stoker make bold claims at Brisbane pro-life rally

    Brisbane Times, 08/05/21, Toby Crockford

    Queensland LNP senator Matt Canavan has announced at a pro-life rally in ... In March this year, Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said the number of ... Read more

    $7m hospital expansion eases the burden on Bowen patients

    The Courier Mail, 07/05/21, Kirra Grimes

    Regional Health Assistant Minister Julieanne Gilbert said there would be up ... The Mackay MP said the Queensland Government had also allocated ... Read more

    The juggle is real for orthopaedic surgeon mums

    Courier Mail, 08/05/21, Jackie Sinnerton

    A cultural shift is happening in Queensland hospitals with more women ... Orthopaedics has long been considered best suited for big burly doctors ... Read more

    Ambulance ramping Qld: Woman dies after diabetic coma from hospital food

    Courier Mail, 09/05/21, Hayden Johnson

    State Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said public health workers were doing an “exceptional job every single day” across Queensland. “Amid ... Read more

    AMA Queensland

    Noel Hayman awarded honorary doctorate

    News, The University of Sydney, 06/05/21

    Professor Hayman has been admitted to the degree of Doctor of Medicine (honoris ... medical students to graduate from the University of Queensland, in 1990. ... A founding member of the Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association, ... Read more

     

     

  • QUT School of Exercise and Nutrition Science survey - GPs please

    We are currently undertaking an Honours project at Queensland University of Technology in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, and part of the research involves administering a survey to medical and health practitioners. The survey will include questions on participants’ practices relating to vitamin B12 and women of reproductive age and will be able to be completed anonymously online.  

    We’re looking to recruit people to complete the survey who meet the following criteria: 

    • Currently working as either a general medical practitioner (G.P.), dietitian, nutritionist or naturopath in Australia. 
    • See patients in a one-on-one situation. 
    • Some patients seen are women of reproductive age (aged 18-44 years) 

    Participants will be able to enter into a prize draw to win one of two $250 Coles and Myer Group vouchers. 

    Further details of the study and how people can participate can be found by clicking the following link:  https://survey.qut.edu.au/f/195729/1fc6/ 

    Please note that this study has been approved by the QUT Human Research Ethics Committee (approval number 1800001055). 

  • New publications from Queensland Clinical Guidelines

    Please find attached a memorandum from Professor Rebecca Kimble advising the following new publications on the Queensland Clinical Guidelines website

    NeoMedQ

    • Sucrose
    • Hepatitis B vaccine
    • Hepatitis B immunoglobulin
    • Phytomenadione

    Statewide Nomograms to accompany neonatal jaundice clinical guideline

    • Nomogram: Baby greater than 38
    • Nomogram: Baby 35 to 37+6 weeks
    • Nomogram: Baby less than 35 weeks and more than 1999 grams 
    • Nomogram: Baby less than 35 weeks and 1500-1999 grams
    • Nomogram: Baby less than 35 weeks and 1000-1499 grams
    • Nomogram: Baby less than 35 weeks and less than 1000 grams
  • Daily media briefings – Friday 7 May 2021

    Australian Medical Association

    'Failure of basic humanity': Readers respond to jail, fines for those returning from India

    WA Today, Other, 06/05/2021, Orietta Guerrera

    As this week progressed the chorus against the threat to fine and even jail anyone trying to enter Australia from COVID-ravaged India grew louder. [...] The Australian Medical Association wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt asking them to immediately overturn the "mean-spirited" order.

    Read more

     

    GP practices offered second chance to join COVID-19 vaccine rollout

    Australian Doctor, Other, 06/05/2021, Geir O'Rourke

    GP practices yet to sign up for the coronavirus vaccine rollout could soon be offered another chance. [...] AMA vice president Dr Chris Moy said the increase in dose supply was a "good start", particularly for those practices being sent 50 doses a week.

    Read more

     

    ABC, 7:30, 06/05/2021, Leigh Sales

    Interview with Dr Omar Khorshid, President of the AMA. Sales says Sydney residents are being urged to be careful after the discovery of COVID-19 community transmission, which prompted restrictions. [...] Khorshid says the reality is the NSW has an undefined risk.

    Watch at 7.41

     

    Coronavirus

    Biden backs plan to waive Covid-19 vaccine patents

    The Australian

    US President Joe Biden's administration on Thursday announced support for a global waiver on patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines, offering hope to poor nations that have struggled to access the lifesaving doses. India, where the death toll hit a new daily record amid fears the peak is still to come, has been leading the fight within the World Trade Organisation to allow more drug-makers to manufacture the vaccines — a move that pharma giants oppose.

    Read more

    Worldwide plastic bag shortage stalls vaccine production

    Sydney Morning Herald, General News, 07/05/2021, Liam Mannix, Page 4

    A shortage of specialised, high-volume plastic bags has emerged as a bottleneck limiting the world's ability to make enough COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccine manufacturers, including CSL here in Australia, use them to line the vessels in which they grow the vaccine's components.

    Read more

    Vaccine link to five new clotting cases

    Brisbane Times

    Five cases of a rare but serious blood-clotting disorder have been confirmed in people who recently received the AstraZeneca vaccine, and Australia's medical regulator is investigating three more potential cases. The five cases take the country to a total of 11 patients who developed the blood clotting with a low platelet count more than four days after receiving their first shot.

    Read more

    ‘Monumental moment’: Australia applauds US push for patent-free COVID vaccines

    Sydney Morning Herald

    Australia has welcomed the Biden administration’s decision to support the waiving of intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines – a move that will make it easy for developing countries to manufacture their own vaccines – while refusing to commit to follow suit.

    Read more

     

    COVID Qld: Vaccine benefits far outweigh clotting risks

    Courier Mail, General News, 07/05/2021, Madura McCormack

    Doctors fear the latest cases of rare blood clots could increase vaccine hesitancy in the community, despite the benefits of getting the jab still outweighing the risks.

    Read more

     

    Public Health and Medical Practice

    $5 million dollar funding shortfall revealed at Victor Harbor Hospital

    Victor Harbor Times, Other, 06/05/2021, Jack Manning

    An urgent request for $5 million in hospital funding is on its way to Health Minister Greg Hunt ahead of next week's Federal Budget announcement. Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie is requesting a $5 million funding allocation to complete promised upgrades to the Emergency Department (ED) and Renal Dialysis Unit at the Victor Harbor Hospital (Southern Fleurieu Health Service).

    Read more

     

    Travellers to Queensland who've been to Sydney COVID-19 exposure sites to face hotel quarantine

    ABC News

    Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said "people shouldn't be travelling from New South Wales if they have been to those venues". "We will have ...

    Read more

     

    Coronavirus crisis: Queensland man develops blood clots after AZ vaccine

    The West Australian

    Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said as of 1am on Friday, anyone in Queensland who has been to any of the 19 exposure sites in the NSW capital will be ...

    Read more

     

    Queensland to consider Sydney hotspot declaration

    9News

    Queensland Health Authorities are reportedly considering declaring parts of Sydney a hotspot following the latest case.

    Watch now

     

    Katter's Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter calls on the Palaszczuk Labor ...

    The North West Star

    So tragic are the state of affairs on the island, community advocates are presently petitioning the Queensland Health Minister for an expansion of their ...

    Read more

  • COVID-19 Primary Care Update 130

    Latest information from @Carl De Wet

    NSW COVID-19 community transmission; implications for Queensland

    • From 1 am, Friday 7 May 2021, anyone arriving in Queensland who has been at any of the affected venues during the risk period must go into hotel quarantine. Police and health workers will be meeting flights coming into Queensland. 
    • Anyone in Queensland who has been in New South Wales since 27 April is asked to get tested if they develop any symptoms – however mild – and isolate until they get a negative result.
    • Anyone already in Queensland who has been to any of the exposure sites (https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/contact-tracing) in New South Wales during the risk period identified is asked to quarantine at their home or other accommodation for 14 days, and get a COVID-19 test as soon as possible. 

     

    Vaccine Induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT)

    • The Therapeutic Goods Administration provides regular updates about the experience and safety with COVID-19 vaccines in Australia - https://www.tga.gov.au/periodic/covid-19-vaccine-weekly-safety-report-06-05-2021:
      • Five recent reports of blood clots and low blood platelets have been assessed as VITT, likely to be linked to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. They increase the total Australian reports assessed as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) following the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to 11. To 2 May 2021, approximately 1.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine had been administered. 
      • Given the AZ vaccine is largely only administered to over 50s, we will only see VITT reported in this age group. He also said earlier results globally showed the rare side effect was more common in people under 50, but not unknown in over 50.
      • All cases had an underlying health condition but these varied in nature (note: underlying clotting conditions are not considered a risk).
      • Of the 5 cases, 4 have already been discharged from hospital and of these; two are back at work.
      • Rates of VITT in Australia are similar to Canada, UK and Continental Europe.
      • SUMMARY: VITT remains very rare. TGA and ATAGI advice is that benefits of the AZ vaccine for over 50s exceeds the risk of not having the vaccine.
    • The National Blood Authority (NBA) The NBA has temporarily added VITT as a condition to Version 3 of the Criteria for the Clinical Use of Immunoglobulin in Australia (Criteria), to enable supply of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) under the national blood arrangements for cases of genuine need. Access is now available through BloodSTAR- https://www.criteria.blood.gov.au/MedicalCondition/View/2669.

     

    Public Health Directions

    • From 7 May 2021, updates were made to the following Public Health Directions to provide a two-week extension on new transport requirements:
    • The new time for commencement of the new requirements for transport providers transporting quarantined persons is 9am Friday 21 May. This allows transport providers additional time to undertake infection control training, obtain endorsement from the Department of Transport and Main Roads and have a COVID-Safe Transport Plan in place.
    • The Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction (No.9) has also been updated to clarify that international arrivals will be requested to be tested on day 5 of their quarantine period in addition to being tested as soon as possible after arrival and on day 12 or 13.
    • Lastly, masks are no longer required to be worn by quarantined persons on balconies of government-arranged accommodation. This change has been made to the Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction (No.9) and the Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing for Air Crew Direction (No.2).
    • Further information about these Directions, please visit the Queensland Health website.

     

    New and updated resources (with thanks to the RBWH Vaccination Service)

    • Updates (due to TTS)

     

    Inspirational thought

    ‘More effort is wasted doing things that don’t matter, than is wasted doing things inefficiently’ (James Clear, https://jamesclear.com/3-2-1/may-6-2021?rh_ref=56fbe018)

     

    Best wishes, and happy Mother’s Day in advance for Sunday.

    Carl

     

  • Cornerstone's weekly jobs list

    Job title: VR General practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Locum I Perm

    Location: Brisbane, Townsville, Shepperton, Portland

    Salary: $2000 + GST Per day

    Additional benefits: Return flight, accommodation and car hire provided.

     

    Job title: Indigenous General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Perm

    Location: North Brisbane, QLD

    Salary: $260K per annum + Super on top 9.5%

    Additional benefits: 4 weeks paid leave, 2 weeks sick leave, and 10 days paid leave.

     

    Job title: VR General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Perm I Locum

    Location: Adelaide North

    Salary: Up to 70% of bulk billings. Mixed billings on weekends with initial guarantee of $150 per hour.  

    Additional benefits: Excellent earning potential. Full nursing support.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner / VMO

    Dates: May 2021- ongoing

    Type of Contract:  Locum

    Location: Yarrabah, QLD

    Salary: $1786 + GST per day

    Additional: Multiple dates available.

     

    Job title: Senior Medical Officer

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract:  Locum

    Location: Christmas Island

    Salary: $221 per hour + Super + Bonuses

    Additional benefits: Accommodation and car hire provided.

     

    Job title: GPO VNO

    Dates: June 2021 - ongoing

    Type of Contract:  Locum I FIFO

    Location: Sea Lake, VIC

    Salary: $1600 + GST per day

    Additional benefits: Travel, accommodation and fuel reimbursement provided.
  • Fellowed GPs must update their Ahpra registration

    The Australian Government made amendments to legislation in 2020 that changes how GPs access Medicare. GPs no longer access higher Medicare rebates by registering their Fellowship status with Services Australia. Your Medicare access will now be linked to your registration status with Ahpra and the Medical Board.  

    All Fellows who do not hold specialist registration with Ahpra at 16 June 2021 will lose access to Medicare benefits. To avoid this, you must apply to Ahpra to update your registration by 21 May 2021 to ensure your application is processed by Ahpra and Services Australia.  

    From 16 June 2021, being a Fellow and holding general registration with Ahpra is not enough to maintain your Medicare access. Access to the general practice items in the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) will be based on your specialist registration status with the Ahpra.  

    If you are not sure if you have previously registered as a specialist it is easy to check. 

    1. Go to the Ahpra website by clicking here
    2. Type in your name or registration number and click ‘Search’
    3. Scroll until you find your details and click ‘View Details’ 
    4. Scroll down the page to ‘Registration Type’ 
    5. If you are a registered as a specialist you will see Type:  Specialist registration and Specialty: General Practice 

    The process to register as a specialist with Ahpra has been streamlined to support affected GPs. Ahpra has emailed GPs who need to register as a specialist and Services Australia are following up phone calls. DO NOT IGNORE these contacts. Timely action is required to ensure GPs do not have their access to MBS items disrupted.  

    All you have to do to register is complete the application form. The RACGP will provide evidence of fellowship directly to Ahpra. 

    It is important to note access to Medicare rebates cannot be backdated. If you apply for specialist registration before 21 May 2021 you will not lose access.  

    If you submit your application after 21 May 2021 and are not registered as a specialist on the 16 June 2021, your patients will not be able to claim a Medicare rebate. 

    If you have any questions, you can contact Ahpra between 9:00am – 5:00pm weekdays on 1300 419 495 or submit a web enquiry form.

    Web enquiry forms with the category “Register of Practitioners – Specialist” will be given priority by Ahpra. 

    More information is available from Ahpra here. 

  • Vote today in the AMA Queensland elections

    Voting is open for AMA Queensland Board or Council positions and will close on 19 May.

    Members would have received an email yesterday with their individual voting link so check your account including the junk folder.

    We also encourage all candidates to use this platform, the Queensland Doctors’ Community (QDC, to appeal to members.

    Use this quick start guide here to help you.

    If you require assistance, please contact our team on (07) 3872 2222 or email community@amaq.com.au.

     

  • GPs to receive more COVID vaccines and can start over 50s earlier

    We welcome today’s announcement of the increase to COVID-19 vaccine allocations to general practices. This increase means about 4,000 practices currently receiving between 50 and 100 doses per week will be eligible to receive an extra 100 doses each week which will help improve access for patients.

     

    While we know that many GPs can deliver far greater numbers of vaccines, it is a step in the right direction to vaccinating our community more quickly. More than half of all COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered by GPs, who are now the backbone of Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

    It is also important to note that GPs who currently provide a COVID-19 vaccination service can contact their Primary Health Network (PHN) to receive permission to start vaccinating people over 50 before 17 May. Simply e-mail your PHN representative with the request. They will reply with a letter of acknowledgement and update the state-wide spreadsheet, which is then shared with the Commonwealth. The practice is then added to the online resource so consumers are able to search for and book appointments.

    We will continue to advocate for all GPs to be able to administer COVID-19 vaccines, just like any other vaccine in our community, and that supply continues to increase.

    We thank you for your commitment in caring for our community and collaboration in safeguarding Queenslanders against COVID-19.

    Yours sincerely

    Prof Chris Perry, President, AMA Queensland

    Dr Brett Dale, Chief Executive Officer, AMA Queensland

  • AMA Queensland AGM now online only

    AMA Queensland's Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday 21 May at 6.30pm. The meeting will be held via videoconference only.
  • Frontline COVID advice

    Green zone breach passenger tests positive, vaccine rollout update, CHO Directions update, National Cabinet vaccination program update, clinician wellbeing podcast

    Current COVID-19 situation in Queensland

    Case data
    In the past 24 hours in Queensland:

    • 0 new locally acquired cases
    • 3 new overseas acquired cases, 2 detected in hotel quarantine, 1 detected in Brisbane Airport’s International Terminal (more information below)
    • 29 active cases
    • 1,559 total cases
    • To date, there have been 7 deaths.
    • 6,337 samples tested in the past 24 hours.

    Vaccination data

    • 2,362 vaccine doses administered in the past 24 hours
    • 144,228 total doses administered

    National data

    Green zone breach passenger tests positive for COVID-19

    A passenger involved in a green zone breach at Brisbane International Airport yesterday has tested positive to COVID-19 with the international terminal declared a ‘venue of concern’.
    Serology testing is underway to determine if the case is historical. The man’s travel partner has tested negative to COVID-19.

    The man arrived on a flight from Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, yesterday morning. He and his travel partner were mistakenly directed to the airport’s green departure zone, instead of the red zone for travellers from higher-risk countries and spent around two hours among passengers of three New Zealand-bound flights.

    Anyone who was in the terminal between 9.45am and midday on Thursday, 29 April 2021, should monitor their symptoms and get tested immediately if they feel unwell.

    The three flights affected are Air New Zealand NZ202 from Brisbane to Christchurch, Air New Zealand NZ146 from Brisbane to Auckland, and Qantas QF135 from Brisbane to Christchurch. The NZ Ministry of Health have been informed of the latest results and are taking their own protection measures. Read more.

    UPDATE – COVID-19 vaccination rollout


    Following the “recalibration” of Australia’s COVID-19 vacination rollout, Queensland Health continues to work with the Australian Government to establish more Pfizer vaccination locations across the state. Here are the key points to remember:

    • Regardless of your age, people who have already had their first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine without any serious adverse effects can be given their second dose.
    • Anyone over 50 years of age who has had their first dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can be given their second dose.
    • Anyone under 50 years of age can have the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine if they choose to, but must be fully informed about thrombosis in combination with thrombocytopenia as an extremely rare but serious side effect before vaccination and this must be documented in the record.
    • Both vaccines are still considered safe and highly effective.
    • Soon, Hospital and Health Services will have access to both vaccines.
    • Work continues to have Queensland’s state-run vaccination locations added to the Australian Government’s online eligibility checker and appointment finder. Queensland’s existing booking system (QCVMS) is also being expanded to enable non-Queensland Health staff in 1b and household members of 1a to book an appointment. Until this occurs, some people may not be able to make an appointment in the right place or for the appropriate vaccine for them.
    • If you are unsure or have questions, visit our website, visit your local QHEPS/intranet page, visit your local vaccination location or ask your line manager.

    Please be patient. Everyone is doing their best to get a vaccine into your arm as soon as possible.

    CHO Directions update

    From Wednesday 28 April 2021, changes to the following Directions came into effect:

    A summary of these changes can be found below.

    Interstate Exposure Venues Direction (NEW)

    • People are required to quarantine for 14 days in government arranged accommodation upon arrival to Queensland if they have been to an interstate exposure venue during the exposure period.
    • An interstate exposure venue is a place identified by an Australian state or territory or New Zealand where a person who has been present during an exposure period is required to quarantine, isolate, or be tested for COVID-19 and isolate until they get a negative test result.
      • It includes both ‘close’ and ‘casual’ contact venues.
    • A person who is already in Queensland and becomes aware they have visited an interstate exposure venue must contact Queensland Health (13HEALTH) and travel directly to their home or another suitable residence to isolate until they receive further instructions from Queensland Health.

    Management of Close Contacts Direction (No.2)

    • Removes the requirements for people who have been to interstate exposure sites as this is covered by the new Interstate Exposure Sites Direction.
    • Includes specific advice for close contacts who are air crew in line with the CDNA Guidelines. Please note this includes the ability for international air crew, including Queensland based international air crew and ADF, to leave quarantine before 14 days has passed if they are asymptomatic and travel on a crew only flight. 

    Aged Care Direction (No.28)
    Hospital Visitors Direction (No.19)
    Disability Accommodation Services Direction (No.17)

    • Provide that a person, including staff and visitors, cannot enter one of these facilities if they have been to an interstate exposure venue.
    • An exemption may be granted for end-of-life visits for a person that has been to an exposure site.

      Further information about these Directions, please visit the Queensland Health website.

    COVID-19 Vaccination Program, National Cabinet Update

    A presentation with an update on Australia's COVID-19 vaccination program (22 April 2021) is now available to view or download. Details on the key changes for the recalibrated vaccine rollout are included.

    Clinician wellbeing in the midst of a pandemic – podcast

    Liz Crowe spent 25 years as a social worker, predominantly in paediatric intensive care and critical care. During that time she developed a passion for clinician wellbeing and started researching how she could support her colleagues. Her passion recently became her profession and Liz now draws on her clinical experience and research in her new role as a Staff Wellbeing Consultant, Counsellor and Coach at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

    In her interview with the Queensland Clinical Senate, Liz shares some of her experiences, along with tips to help fill our tanks, feel less stressed and more engaged, particularly in the midst of a global pandemic. Listen now at Whooshkaa or Apple.

    Key links - Queensland


    Key links - interstate or national


    Key links - wellbeing


    Please remember:

    • if you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
    • to regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone
    • to maintain physical distancing especially at work.
    Please forward these emails to ALL staff within your team and encourage them to subscribe by following this link. Please also continue to send through any general questions you are unable to source answers for locally and we will endeavour to answer them as quickly as possible. For HHS-specific or urgent advice please contact your line manager.


    Further information

    For further information for clinicians, please visit our novel coronavirus (COVID-19) website

    Your feedback and questions are welcome and we’ll work with the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre (SHECC) or Vaccine Command Centre (VCC) to provide definitive answers and advice.
  • Cornerstone's weekly job list

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: NSW, VIC, QLD, NT, WA, SA

    Salary: $180 per hour + GST

    Additional benefits: If travelling – accommodation will be provided.
    Notes: Consulting with Coles Supermarket staff about the Flu Vaccine and potentially
    the COVID Vaccine. Doctor is responsible for consultation and entering of medical notes
    into the patient management system. As well as providing clinical supervision to
    the nurse immuniser.  

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Cairns, QLD

    Salary: $2000 per day + GST

    Additional benefits: Return travel to and from Cairns, with Accommodation and Car-Hire provided.

     

    Job title: VR or GR General Practitioner – Surgical Liposuction

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Perth City, WA

    Salary: : $200,000 + Super

    Additional benefits: Option to franchise ownership buy-in option at 12 months.
    Notes: No cosmetic experience needed – Full training provided.

     

    Job title: GR on PEP, or a VR

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent I Locum

    Location: Brisbane, QLD

    Salary: $2000 per day potential. 65-70% of billings with initial guarantee.

    Additional benefits: Full time nursing support provided.

     

    Job title: VR General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Brisbane CBD, QLD

    Salary: $120 an hour, 65% of Private Billings

    Additional benefits: Full nursing support provided.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent I FIFO

    Location: Broken Hill, NSW

    Salary: $1300 - $1400 daily rate

    Additional benefits: Accommodation and Car-Hire provided.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract:  Locum

    Location:  Sydney, NSW

    Salary: $150 per hour + GST

     

    Job title: VR General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract:  Locum

    Location: Packenham, VIC

    Salary: 70% bulk billings or $150 3 month guarantee

    Additional benefits:  Full time nursing support

     

    Job title:  General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract:  Permanent

    Location: Launceston, TAS

    Salary: 65-70% bulk billings

    Additional benefits:  $5000 relocation assistance

  • Frontline COVID advice - 27/04/21

    Vaccine clarification, Watch today’s vaccine info session, THANZ statement, Patient information on vaccination, Updated vaccine statements, WA restrictions ease, CHO Directions updated

    Current COVID-19 situation in Queensland

    Case data
    In the past 24 hours in Queensland:

    • 0 new locally acquired cases
    • 2 new overseas acquired cases, detected in hotel quarantine (recently returned from PNG)
    • 15 active cases (14 are in hospital)
    • 1,541 total cases
    • To date, there have been 7 deaths.
    • 2,922 samples tested in the past 24 hours.

    Vaccination data

    • 706 vaccine doses administered 26 April 2021
    • 137,087 total doses administered
    National data

    Vaccine clarification

    On Friday, we stated that 1a and 1b frontline workers would be eligible for Pfizer. To clarify, the Prime Minister has stated that access to the Pfizer vaccine will be limited to:

    • People aged under 50 years eligible in phases 1a and 1b (pending commencement of subsequent phases);
    • Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) residents (through completion of the Commonwealth’s existing in-reach program);
    • Disability care residents with complex needs who require in-reach vaccination services;
    • People in remote and very remote communities where it makes sense to use a single vaccine for all or most of the community; and
    • In very limited circumstances, quarantine, border and frontline health care workers who are 50 years of age or over and not already vaccinated, where the relevant state or territory determines the worker should be fully vaccinated and protected as soon as possible.
    You can read the Prime Minister’s full statement here.

    Watch the COVID-19 Vaccine Information Session for Healthcare Workers


    The Queensland Clinical Senate in partnership with CEQ-Engage delivered its fourth vaccine education session for healthcare workers today (Tuesday, 27 April 2021). You can watch today’s session here.

    Host Dr Alex Markwell, Queensland Clinical Senate Chair, was joined by:

    • Dr Krispin Hajkowicz, Director, Infectious Diseases Unit, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital,
    • Dr Robert Bird, Director Haematology, Cancer Services Division, Princess Alexandra Hospital,
    • Prof Keith McNeil, A/DDG Prevention Division and Chief Medical Officer
    • Dr Bav Manoharan, Clinical Lead, COVID-19 Vaccination Taskforce
    • Mr Scott Brown, A/Manager COVID-19 Vaccination Taskforce 
    • Prof Lisa Nissen, COVID-19 Vaccination Taskforce

    The session covered an update on the National Cabinet outcomes, updates from the TGA and ATAGI, adverse events following immunisation, and more.

    Summary of the session for ease of listening (note: timestamps are approximate):

    • 00:03:09 – update on/outcomes from National Cabinet
    • 00:06:26 – risk-benefit use of AstraZeneca vaccine
    • 00:11:22 – update on Queensland’s rollout
    • 00:16:00 – Adverse Events Following Immunisation
    • 00:20:01 – presentation from Dr Robert Bird
    • 00:35:37 – presentation from Dr Krispin Hajkowicz
    • 00:48:47 – message from Prof. Keith McNeil, Chief Clinical Information Officer and A/Deputy Director-General, Prevention Division
    • 00:51:48 – Q&A segment begins:
    You can also watch our previous information sessions online.

    THANZ statement

    The Thrombosis and Haemostasis Society of Australia and New Zealand statement on suspected vaccine induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia (VIPIT)/Vaccine induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopaenia (VITT) is available here. This statement provides information about this condition which we believe is the process leading to thrombocytopaenia and thromobosis post-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination, as well as an algorithm for investigation and treatment. Updates, as required, are made available weekly.

    Information to help patients make informed decisions


    The Department of Health has published information to help patients make informed decisions: ‘Weighing up the potential benefits against risk of harm from COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca’.

    To help providers and patients make informed decisions, ATAGI has looked at two scenarios – Australia’s first wave in early 2020, and Victoria’s second wave later in 2020 – to illustrate how the benefits versus risk of vaccination with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine would weigh up if Australia had another outbreak of COVID-19 similar to what has happened in the past (adapting the method used by Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, University of Cambridge). You can see the outcomes and the full patient information here.

    Updated vaccine statements

    ATAGI has reinforced its recommendations on the use of the COVID-19 vaccine.
    https://health.gov.au/news/atagi-reinforce-recommendations-on-use-of-covid-19-vaccines-following-review-of-vaccine-safety-data-and-benefits

    The Chief Medical Officer has also issued a statement on the ATAGI advice
    https://health.gov.au/news/response-latest-atagi-advice

    The TGA have published the outcomes of investigations into three potential TTS cases
    https://www.tga.gov.au/alert/astrazeneca-chadox1-s-covid-19-vaccine-3

    In response to the ATAGI statement the Department of Health has updated these pages:
    Advice for vaccine providers
    About the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
    COVID-19 vaccine information for disability service providers
    Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples about COVID-19 vaccines

    Western Australia restrictions ease: what this means in QLD


    With restrictions easing overnight in Western Australia (WA), Queensland has revised its restrictions for people returning from WA.

    From midday today (27 April 2021), anyone who has been quarantined because of travel to WA can leave if they:

    • have returned at least one negative COVID-19 test
    • have not attended any of the venues listed as being linked to the three WA cases
    • provide contact details for the further 14 days since they initially entered quarantine and
    • agree to immediately test and isolate if they develop any symptoms in the further 14 days since they entered quarantine.
    People who have been in the Perth or Peel regions on or since 17 April are not allowed to attend aged care or disability residential facilities, hospitals or prisons unless they obtained an exemption for an end-of-life visit or it had been 14 days since they left WA. 

    CHO Directions - Management of Close Contacts Direction


    From 8:45pm, Monday 26 April 2021, the Management of Close Contacts Direction came into effect:

    The Management of Close Contacts Direction applies to people in Queensland and who have travelled from interstate and provides:

    • quarantine requirements for people who are informed they are close contacts and casual contacts, including reasons to leave quarantine, how to travel to and from their quarantine premises for permitted reasons and when a quarantine period ends, 
    • people who have been to an interstate exposure site must quarantine as if they are a close contact under the Direction and contact Queensland Health for further instructions. This includes casual contact venues.

    From midday today, Queensland Health will be undeclaring the Western Australian hotspots of Perth and Peel regions. People who have arrived in Queensland from interstate must continue to monitor contact tracing alerts and comply with the Management of Close Contacts Direction if they have been to an interstate exposure site or are close or casual contacts.

    Further information about these Directions, please visit the Queensland Health website.

    CHO Directions – Places of Concern and Maritime Protocol


    From 6PM, Saturday 24 April 2021, the following Directions and Protocols have been updated:

    The updated Places of Concern Direction (No.2):

    • provides that the person is not considered to have been in a place of concern if they solely transited through a place of concern including Perth airport
    • provides that a person may leave Queensland to return to Western Australia by air, if they have received a negative test result
    • clarifies that a person isolating in a residence requires an exemption to enter a facility for an end of life visit. 

    The Maritime Protocol v7 re-instates all Borders and COVID-19 Hotspots requirements.

    Further information about these Directions, can be found on the Queensland Health website.

    CHO Directions – Border Restrictions


    From 12:01am, Saturday 24 April 2021, the following Directions came into effect:

    The Borders Direction will:

    • Only allow returning Queensland residents and other categories of people to enter Queensland including specialist workers, police and emergency services, disaster management and defence. 
    • Anyone permitted to enter Queensland from a hotspot will be required to enter hotel quarantine.
    • Any non-Queensland residents who are not permitted to enter Queensland under the Direction will need to apply for an exemption to enter Queensland
    • Require anyone entering Queensland from a hotspot to complete the Border Declaration Pass

    A number of other Directions are impacted by these changes including the Aged Care Direction, Hospital Visitors Direction and Disability Accommodation Services Direction. People who have been in a COVID-19 hotspot will be prohibited from entering these facilities.

    Further information about these Directions, please visit the Queensland Health website. Please note, additional supporting material such as Q&A’s will be published through the course of the day.

    Key links - Queensland


    Key links - interstate or national


    Key links - wellbeing


    Please remember:

    • if you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
    • to regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone
    • to maintain physical distancing especially at work.

    Further information

    For further information for clinicians, please visit our novel coronavirus (COVID-19) website

    Your feedback and questions are welcome and we’ll work with the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre (SHECC) or Vaccine Command Centre (VCC) to provide definitive answers and advice.
  • COVID-19 Primary Care Update 128 - 27/04/21

    Epidemiology

    • There are currently nine active COVID-19 cases in Queensland, but no evidence of community-transmission

     

    Updated Directions

     

    From 12:01am, Saturday 24 April 2021, the following Directions came into effect:

     

    The Places of Concern Direction will:

    • Require individuals who have been in Perth or Peel on or since 17 April 2021 to have a COVID-19 test and quarantine at their home or arranged accommodation until they receive a negative test
    • Once a person receives a negative test result, only permit people to leave their residence for essential food, medical care, to escape a risk of harm, to exercise, to undertake a COVID-19 test, or for an end-of-life visit if the facility permits this.  People will not be permitted to leave to attend work, school or childcare.
    • The stay at home requirements will cease once WA lifts its lockdown restrictions.

     

    The Borders Direction will:

    • Only allow returning Queensland residents and other categories of people to enter Queensland including specialist workers, police and emergency services, disaster management and defence.
    • Anyone permitted to enter Queensland from a hotspot will be required to enter hotel quarantine.
    • Any non-Queensland residents who are not permitted to enter Queensland under the Direction will need to apply for an exemption to enter Queensland
    • Require anyone entering Queensland from a hotspot to complete the Border Declaration Pass

     

    The COVID-19 Hotspots Direction will:

    • declare 34 Western Australia (WA) Local Government Areas and 2 unincorporated areas as declared COVID 19 hotspots

     

    A number of other Directions are impacted by these changes including the Aged Care Direction, Hospital Visitors Direction and Disability Accommodation Services Direction. People who have been in a COVID-19 hotspot will be prohibited from entering these facilities.

     

    Inspirational thought

  • Cornerstone's weekly jobs list

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: NSW, VIC, QLD, NT, WA, SA

    Salary: $180 per hour + GST

    Additional benefits: If travelling – accommodation will be provided.
    Notes: Consulting with Coles Supermarket staff about the Flu Vaccine and potentially
    the COVID Vaccine. Doctor is responsible for consultation and entering of medical notes
    into the patient management system. As well as providing clinical supervision to
    the nurse immuniser.  

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Cairns, QLD

    Salary: $2000 per day + GST

    Additional benefits: Return travel to and from Cairns, with Accommodation and Car-Hire provided.

     

    Job title: VR or GR General Practitioner – Surgical Liposuction

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Perth City, WA

    Salary: : $200,000 + Super

    Additional benefits: Option to franchise ownership buy-in option at 12 months.
    Notes: No cosmetic experience needed – Full training provided.

     

    Job title: Cannabis Medical Officer

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Gold Coast, QLD

    Salary: $110 per hour + GST

    Additional benefits: Full training provided. Relocation assistance can be provided.  

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Tieri, QLD

    Salary: $9000 - $9500 per week + GST

    Additional benefits: Travel, Accommodation and Car-Hire provided.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent I FIFO

    Location: Broken Hill, NSW

    Salary: $1300 - $1400 daily rate

    Additional benefits: Accommodation and Car-Hire provided.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract:  Locum

    Location:  Sydney, NSW

    Salary: $150 per hour + GST

     

    Job title: VR General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract:  Locum

    Location: Packenham, VIC

    Salary: 70% bulk billings or $150 3 month guarantee

    Additional benefits:  Full time nursing support

     

    Job title:  General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract:  Permanent

    Location: Launceston, TAS

    Salary: 65-70% bulk billings

    Additional benefits:  $5000 relocation assistance@

  • Frontline COVID advice 23/04/21

    Vaccine rollout changes, New Zealand contact tracing locations, Vaccine info session, Multiple CHO Directions updated, Clinical Evidence Taskforce updates

    Current COVID-19 situation in Queensland

    Case data
    In the past 24 hours in Queensland:

    • 0 new locally acquired cases
    • 4 new overseas acquired cases, detected in hotel quarantine
    • 18 active cases
    • 1,524 total cases
    • To date, there have been 7 deaths.
    • 2,821 samples tested in the past 24 hours.

    Vaccination data

    • 2,726 vaccine doses administered 22 April 2021
    • 133,853 total doses administered

    National data

    National Cabinet announces changes to vaccine rollout 

    State-run vaccination clinics and General Practice Respiratory Clinics will offer the AstraZeneca vaccine to all people aged over 50 from May 3, and at GP clinics from May 17, it was announced late yesterday. 

    The changes to the Australian Vaccination Rollout Strategy follow concerns of VIPIT/VITT/TTS  linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine in people aged under 50 years.

    The Pfizer vaccine remains the preferred vaccine for people under 50, aged and disability care workers, frontline and quarantine workers and Australians eligible for the 1a and 1b rollout. 

    Meantime, passengers travelling from high-risk areas will be required to have a COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to flying to Australia. Reduced flight arrivals from India were also announced. India recorded more than 300,000 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.

    You can read more from yesterday’s National Cabinet meeting here.

    Contact tracing locations in New Zealand

    A contact tracing alert has been issued for people who have been in New Zealand on or since 17 April 2021. Anyone who has recently travelled from New Zealand to Australia, who has visited any of the locations listed here should get tested and isolate. 

    Invitation to the fourth COVID-19 Vaccine Information Session for Healthcare Workers

    The Queensland Clinical Senate in partnership with CEQ-Engage will deliver its fourth vaccine education session for healthcare workers on Tuesday, 27 April 2021 (next Tuesday).
    While these sessions focus on answering your questions, we'll also address topics including:

    • Update Vaccine induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT)/ thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TSS) 
    • AstraZeneca update 
    • Pfizer supply update
    • Information arising from National Cabinet meetings
    • Clarification around family of 1a eligibility requirements.

    Date:             Tuesday, 27 April
    Time:             9.00 am – 10.00 am
    Location:      Select this link to join the virtual session on Tuesday.

    You can also watch our previous information sessions online.

    Please note: Any user without a Queensland Health email address will not be able to join the event. A recording of the session will be made available. For more information or to ask a question in advance, please email FrontlineCOVIDAdvice@health.qld.gov.au.

    Aged Care Direction updated 


    From 4:45pm, Wednesday, 21 April 2021, updates to the Aged Care Direction came into effect:

    • From 30 May 2021, you must have had the 2021 flu vaccine if it is available to you, to enter an aged care facility.

    Further information about this Direction, including questions and answers please visit the Queensland Health website.

    Chief Health Officer Directions – Updates to multiple Directions

    Updates to the following directions have been published and came into effect at 9am, today (Friday 23 April):

     Below is a summary of the changes made to these Directions and Protocols.
     
    Transport Plans

    • From 9am on 7 May 2021, transport providers who transport quarantined persons to and from quarantine locations (hotels, home quarantine, vessels, etc.) must be endorsed by a government authority and have a Transport Plan in the form approved by the Chief Health Officer.
    • The requirement for a Transport Plan is set out in:
      • Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction (No. 8)
      • Maritime Protocol 
      • Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing for Air Crew Direction and Operational Guidelines for Air Crew
      • Requirements for Quarantine Facility Workers Direction (No. 2)
    • The Department of Transport and Main Roads will endorse transport providers who submit a completed Transport Plan template to COVID19_transport_plans@tmr.qld.gov.au.
    • Transport providers are then required to display a Statement of Compliance on their vehicle and adhere to the plan.
    • The requirements do not apply to ambulance service and emergency services vehicles.
    • Transport providers are kindly asked to submit their plans to the Department of Transport and Main Roads 7 days before their next scheduled quarantine transport service.  

    End-to-end quarantine changes

    • People are required to wear masks on balconies at quarantine hotels and cannot physically interact with other guests on balconies.
    • A quarantined person may only allow someone to enter their quarantine hotel room where an exemption is granted in extreme exceptional circumstances. 
    • Otherwise, an emergency officer may allow another person to enter the room in an emergency situation or to perform a COVID-19 test. Contact details must be kept for anyone who enters.
    • People in home quarantine may only allow another person to enter the premises if they also live there or in an emergency situation.
    • A person who refuses testing when requested to do so by an emergency officer will be required to quarantine for an additional 14 days. Testing will be requested as soon as possible after a person arrives to a quarantine hotel and on day 12-13 of the person’s quarantine period. Planning to implement additional testing on day 5 is also underway.

    Air Crew Direction

    • In order to quarantine at home, a member of positioning crew must be able to provide an undertaking that they only left Australia for the purpose of servicing an inbound or outbound flight and did not undertake any other activities while in a place outside of Australia, including participating in regulatory training.
    • Air crew must travel to and from the airport and their nominated quarantine premises without stopping.
    • Aeromedical crew may on-fly to another destination in Queensland to complete a patient transfer, subject to strict conditions.

    Maritime Protocol

    • Maritime crew that sign off a vessel in Queensland and enter hotel quarantine must be tested before they leave Australia.

    Protocol for Quarantine Facility Workers

    • If a saliva test is not made available to a worker before, during or after their shift, the worker must contact the Venue Manager or Health Manager to discuss how to access a make-up test. 

    Further information about all these Directions, including questions and answers please visit the Queensland Health website.

    Updates from the National Clinical Evidence Taskforce


    Updates this week from the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce include:


    Anzac Day commemorations


    Anzac Day commemorations, including marches, parades, dawn services and other commemorative events can take place this year.

    Find out more about 2021 Anzac Day commemorations—including where to find commemorations in your area.

    Key links - Queensland


    Key links - interstate or national


    Please remember:

    • if you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
    • to regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone
    • to maintain physical distancing especially at work.
    Please forward these emails to ALL staff within your team and encourage them to subscribe by following this link. Please also continue to send through any general questions you are unable to source answers for locally and we will endeavour to answer them as quickly as possible. For HHS-specific or urgent advice please contact your line manager.


    Further information

    For further information for clinicians, please visit our novel coronavirus (COVID-19) website

    Your feedback and questions are welcome and we’ll work with the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre (SHECC) or Vaccine Command Centre (VCC) to provide definitive answers and advice.
  • Frontline COVID advice 21/04/21

    Fourth vaccination info session, AstraZeneca reminder, Decision Support Guide, Vaccination training update, AusVax vaccine surveillance

    Current COVID-19 situation in Queensland

    Case data
    In the past 24 hours in Queensland:

    • 0 new locally acquired cases
    • 1 new overseas acquired case, detected in hotel quarantine
    • 17 active cases
    • 1,519 total cases
    • To date, there have been 7 deaths.
    • 5,433 samples tested in the past 24 hours.

    Vaccination data

    • 2,535 vaccine doses administered yesterday
    • 128,555 total doses administered
    National data

    NEW: Invitation to the fourth COVID-19 Vaccine Information Session for Healthcare Workers

    The Queensland Clinical Senate in partnership with CEQ-Engage will deliver its fourth vaccine education session for healthcare workers on Tuesday, 27 April 2021.

    While these sessions focus on answering your questions, we'll also address topics including:

    • Update on vaccine induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT)/thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TSS)
    • AstraZeneca update 
    • Pfizer supply update
    • Information arising from National Cabinet meetings
    • Clarification around family of 1a eligibility requirements.
    Date:             Tuesday, 27 April
    Time:             9.00 am – 10.00 am
    Location:      Select this link to join the virtual session on Tuesday.

    You can also watch our previous information sessions online.

    Please note: Any user without a Queensland Health email address will not be able to join the event. A recording of the session will be made available. For more information or to ask a question in advance, please email FrontlineCOVIDAdvice@health.qld.gov.au

    REMINDER: Second dose of AstraZeneca


    If you have not had a severe adverse reaction to your first dose of AstraZeneca, you can be confident in having your second dose. As per the full statement from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI):

    • Studies have suggested it [VITT/thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome or TSS] may occur in approximately 4 - 6 people in every one million people in the 4-20 days after the first dose of vaccine.
    Switching to Pfizer for a second dose is not supported except in very rare specific clinical circumstances. The safety and efficacy of a mixed-product series has not been evaluated.

    Whilst one dose of AstraZeneca will afford significant protection against severe COVID-19 infection, to create the very best immune response, ensure the most effective clinical protection and maximise broader community coverage, the second dose of the vaccine should be administered 12 weeks apart. AstraZeneca remains a highly effective vaccine (about 76-83 per cent effective at preventing any COVID-19 infection and effectively 100 per cent effective at preventing hospitalisation and death due to COVID-19).


    More information on the AstraZeneca vaccine can be found here.

    REMINDER: COVID-19 Vaccination Screening Questions – Decision Support Guide

    A Decision Support Guide has been created to assist healthcare professionals in their conversations with patients about vaccinating with the AstraZeneca vaccine. The guide includes information on blood clotting and a series of questions to guide decision making. The guide should be used in addition to other pre-vaccination screening questions and consent forms available on our website.

    The THANZ Advisory Statement for Haematologists on VITT is updated weekly and can be found here. This statement provides further information regarding screening, diagnosis and treatment of this exceptionally rare condition.

    UPDATE: COVID-19 Vaccination training


    All workers for Queensland Government controlled COVID-19 vaccination services must complete the mandatory training requirements relevant to their role detailed in the Queensland COVID-19 Training Matrix.

    Significant updates have occurred to the Commonwealth COVID-19 vaccination training program. Queensland staff who administer COVID-19 vaccinations are expected to login and view the new information. Staff are not required to re-complete the training and assessment – just to review the new information. A summary of the updates can be found in the announcement forum. All changes within the modules are identified by 'NEW' in red.

    Training requirements for all other staff roles in COVID-19 vaccination services changed from 15 April. These staff no longer complete the Commonwealth COVID-19 vaccination training program but instead complete the Queensland developed training available through iLearn. This is for workers who prepare; receive and handle; work in the Health Contact Centre or provide clerical services.

    If you fall into this category and have completed Commonwealth modules prior to the change you do not have to repeat the Queensland modules, however you are welcome to review the Queensland materials. These are also updated with new information as required.

    All new staff who prepare; receive and handle; work in the Health Contact Centre or provide clerical services who are completing training from 15 April 2021 should complete the Queensland developed training modules.

    AusVax Safety vaccine surveillance

    AusVax Safety, led by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) is conducting active vaccine safety surveillance of the vaccines in use. Surveillance data have been provided by Vaxtracker and SmartVax based on surveys sent on Day 3 after the vaccination, and data presented here are from surveys received up to 11 April 2021. These data are updated weekly and available online.

    Key links - Queensland

    Key links - interstate or national


    Please remember:

    • if you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
    • to regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone
    • to maintain physical distancing especially at work.
    Please forward these emails to ALL staff within your team and encourage them to subscribe by following this link. Please also continue to send through any general questions you are unable to source answers for locally and we will endeavour to answer them as quickly as possible. For HHS-specific or urgent advice please contact your line manager.


    Further information

    For further information for clinicians, please visit our novel coronavirus (COVID-19) website

    Your feedback and questions are welcome and we’ll work with the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre (SHECC) or Vaccine Command Centre (VCC) to provide definitive answers and advice.
  • COVID-19 Primary Care Update 127

    Here's the latest update from @Carl De Wet

    Epidemiology

    • The latest epidemiological information for Australia is available here. There are lots of interesting information. This figure, updated yesterday, provides a visual summary of our COVID-19 journey in Australia.

    Workplace arrangements

    • Queensland Health recently published a ‘Safe return to the workplace’ factsheet. The main point is that office-based workplaces are not restricted business and organizations may consider how they can support staff to return to the workplace (with the usual caveats of individual circumstances, remaining home and getting a COVID-19 test if unwell)

    Supply of consumables

    • The supply of consumables have recently been interrupted in some practices. Our PHNs and professional bodies continue to advocate on this issue. If issues with ordering or delivery of vaccines and consumables continue, contact the Vaccine Operations Centre hotline on 1800 318 208 or email COVID19vaccineoperationscentre@health.gov.au

     

    Potential risks and benefits of the AZ vaccine

    • The DoH recently published a factsheet with information about the potential benefits and risks of harm from the AZ vaccine (attached). The infographic on page 4 provides lots of information in a simple and clear way.

    Inspirational thought

    ‘He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at’ (Epictetus)

     

    Kind regards,

    Carl

  • ATAGI will answer questions today 2.30pm

    Representatives from the federal health department and ATAGI will answer questions at this afternoon’s Parliamentary COVID committee hearings from 2.30pm AEST. 

    The hearings are expected to focus on yesterday’s decision by National Cabinet to back the PM’s push to vaccinate people over 50 ahead of schedule.

    Watch here: 

    https://www.aph.gov.au/News_and_Events/LiveMediaPlayer?vID={C17FB637-DAB3-4DBB-ACE8-74160CDB1CD6}

     

  • COVID-19 Primary Care Update 126

    Latest news from @Carl De Wet 

    It has been a little while since the last Update. Information is disseminated through so many sources and media, that I wanted to refrain from simple duplication in our Primary Care e-mails.

     

    Epidemiology

    • Worldwide, the number of COVID-19 related deaths passed the three million mark.
    • As of 13 April, more than 730 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered worldwide. In Queensland, more than 115,000 doses have been administered.
    • From next week, the Australian National Cabinet will meet twice a week to improve the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

     

    Queensland CHO Directions

    From 6.00am Thursday 15 April 2021, updates to the following directions came into effect:

      • The Direction revokes the restrictions currently in place for all of Queensland.
      • Masks are no longer required in indoor public places, except at airports and on airplanes.
      • People can stand when eating and drinking at venues.
      • Removed the State of Queensland as a restricted area and declared there are no new restricted areas.
      • As a result, restrictions on visits to aged care facilities, hospitals and disability accommodation services have been lifted.
    • Movement and Gathering Direction (No. 9)
      • Allows 100 people to gather at a private residence. There is no limit to gathering numbers in public spaces outdoors.
    • Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction (No. 18)
      • Removed occupant density requirements for outdoor venues or for areas of a business that are outdoors.
      • Removed occupant density and contact information requirements for outdoor events with no dancing, with some exceptions for contact information.
      • Collection of contact information requirements still apply to venues with both indoor and outdoor settings. For example, a zoo with indoor and outdoor exhibits must collect contact information for all patrons.
      • Outdoor music festivals and outdoor dance festivals with more than 500 people will require a COVID Safe Event Plan or COVID Safe Event Checklist.
      • Removed occupant density or collecting contact information requirements for outdoor wedding ceremonies and outdoor funerals.
      • Continued dance area density requirements of 1 person per 2sqm for indoor and outdoor venues and events.

    For further information  please visit the Queensland Health website.

     

    Adverse Events from Immunization (AEFI)

    • AusVaxSafety has a fabulous webpage with regular updates aggregating self-reported AEFIs - https://www.ausvaxsafety.org.au/safety-data/covid-19-vaccines. It includes information about specific vaccines.
    • As at 11 April, more than 200,00 Australians have responded to the survey. Of these, 51.8% reported any adverse event, and 1.2% reported visiting a doctor or ED. The Queensland experience closely reflects the national data.
    AEFI

     

    Practical tip

    • We have had queries about consumers presenting to general practices who do not provide COVID-19 vaccine services. The following practical approach applies: During the vaccination process, consumers are advised to seek appropriate medical help if they experience AEFIs. In many instances, that would be their usual GP. In a few instances it might be ED. Vaccine service providers do not provide follow-up care once the consumer has concluded the recommended period of observation, and do not have a role in the reporting of AEFIs that are identified outside the occasion of service. The clinician who assesses the patient, and who suspects an AEFI, must report it.

     

    Literature

    • This article  published last month reports thrombocytopenia following Pfizer and Moderna SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.

     

    Inspirational thought

    A prominent notice in the staff room of a busy rural ED recently caught my eye. The advice to think before you speak has been around for some time, but remains relevant.

    before you speak is it
    ​​​​
  • Weekly jobs list

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately pending training program and Medicare

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Gatton, QLD

    Salary: 65% of billings or $120 + GST per hour initial guarantee

    Additional benefits: Mon-Fri role with no weekends, Bulk Billing Practice

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately pending training program and medicare

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Warwick, QLD

    Salary: 60-70% of billings

    Additional benefits: Solo GP Practice, after hours and on-call is required

     

    Job title: Indigenous General Practitioner/VMO

    Dates: Immediate pending training program and Medicare

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Dalby, WA

    Salary: : $180,000 per annum

    Additional benefits: $10k relocation assistance, Salary sacrificing, Accommodation, Electricity, Vehicle all included

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Goulburn, NSW

    Salary: 60 – 65% of billings

    Additional benefits: 3 month initial guarantee

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Monbulk, VIC

    Salary: 70% of mixed billings or $150p/hour (3 month initial guarantee)

    Additional benefits: DPA exemption for GP interested in teaching

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Innisfail, QLD

    Salary: 65% of mixed billings + initial guarantee

    Additional benefits: After hours and weekend work available, option to work in hospital on weekends.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate – Flexible length ideally 3 + weeks

    Type of Contract:  Locum

    Location:  Dalby, QLD

    Salary: $1,500 daily rate

    Additional benefits: Travel and accommodation provided.

     

    Job title: VR General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract:  Locum

    Location: Packenham, VIC

    Salary: 70% bulk billings or $150 3 month guarantee

    Additional benefits:  Full time nursing support

     

    Job title:  General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract:  Permanent

    Location: Launceston, TAS

    Salary: 65-70% bulk billings

    Additional benefits:  $5000 relocation assistance

  • PPE Guidance

    Here's the latest message from Dr Jillann Farmer, Deputy Director-General Clinical Excellence Queensland

    I am pleased to advise that from 6am, Thursday, 15 April 2021, all geographical areas will be low risk for PPE usage. Further information can be found at https://www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/novel-coronavirus-qld-clinicians.

    Queensland Health appreciates your collaboration in working to address the impacts of COVID-19.
  • Queensland Health COVID update 14/04/21

    Queensland restriction to ease at 6 am tomorrow. De-escalation of PPE requirements, Direction update

    Current COVID-19 situation in Queensland

    Case data

    In the past 24 hours in Queensland:

    • 0 new locally acquired cases
    • 2 new cases acquired in PNG, detected in hotel quarantine
    • 51 active cases
    • 1,508 total cases
    • To date, there have been 7 deaths. (The seventh person to die in QLD was an 80-year-old returned traveller who died in hospital this week. He was diagnosed while in hotel quarantine and admitted to hospital on 25 March).
    • 8,246 samples tested in the past 24 hours

    Vaccination data

    • 2,568 vaccine doses administered yesterday
    • 115,025 total doses administered
    More Queensland data

    National data

    Queensland restrictions update

    From 6 am Thursday 15 April restrictions across Queensland will ease due to no new unlinked community transmission cases of COVID-19 and consistent testing numbers. From 6am tomorrow:

    • you can visit aged care facilitiesdisability accommodation serviceshospitals and correctional facilities if you meet the visitor requirements
    • face masks are no longer mandatory except in airports and on planes. We recommend you continue to wear masks on public transport and places where social distancing isn’t possible
    • 100 people can gather at your home
    • there are no limits on the number of people that can gather in public spaces
    • 200 guests are allowed at weddings and funerals, or one person per 2 square metres. No limits with ticketed and allocated seating.
    • you can stand when eating and drinking at venues
    • no limits on the number of people at outdoor events with ticketed and allocated seating (excl. music festivals)
    • you can dance at venues.
    More information is available online.

    De-escalation of PPE requirements

    From 6 am Thursday 15 April 2021, in line with the eased restrictions detailed above, all geographic areas will be ‘low’ risk for PPE usage.

    Please refer to the Pandemic Response PPE guidance documents should you require further information.

    Direction update

    From Tuesday 13 April 2021, the Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction (No. 17) was updated to clarify the existing occupant density requirements for wedding ceremonies and funerals to operate under are one of the following (whichever is greater):

      • 1 person per 2 square metres, or
      • 100 per cent seated venue capacity with ticketed and allocated seating, or
      • a maximum of 200 people.
    Further information about this Direction and Protocol, including questions and answers please visit the Queensland Health website.

    Key links - Queensland


    Key links - interstate national


    Please remember:

    • if you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
    • to regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone
    • to maintain physical distancing especially at work.
    Please forward these emails to ALL staff within your team and encourage them to subscribe by following this link. Please also continue to send through any general questions you are unable to source answers for locally and we will endeavour to answer them as quickly as possible. For HHS-specific or urgent advice please contact your line manager or Hospital Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC).
  • Qld Clinical Senate April Newsletter

    See below message from Dr Alex Markwell

    We are pleased to share with you the Senate’s April 2021 newsletter.

     

    As well as a quick update, the newsletter links to the Senate’s latest recommendations and report from the Adolescent to young adult care: doing better meeting, as well as our current podcasts; Infectious Diseases Physicians, Drs Naomi Runnegar and Trent Yarwood, and Primary Care Lead for Queensland’s COVID-19 pandemic response, Dr Carl de Wet.

     

    Kind regards

    Dr Alex Markwell

    Chair, Queensland Clinical Senate

    Emergency Physician

    ​​​
  • Queensland Health COVID update 12/04/21

    Clinical update on new recommendations for AZ Vaccination, Thrombosis information and papers of interest to clinicians

    Current COVID-19 situation in Queensland

    Case data

    In the past 24 hours in Queensland:

    • 0 new locally acquired cases
    • 1 new overseas acquired cases, detected in hotel quarantine
    • 55 active cases
    • 1,504 total cases (A historic case with a link to a recent Brisbane cluster was added to Queensland’s cases over the weekend. The case, who attended the Byron Bay party, had been in self-isolation and there was no risk to the community. You can read more here).
    • To date, there have been 6 deaths
    • 3,778 samples tested in the past 24 hours
    Vaccination data
    • 4050 vaccine doses administered in the past three days
    • 109,314 total doses administered
    More Queensland data

    National data

    Clinical update on new recommendations for AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccination

    The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) issued a statement on 8 April recommending that the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer (Comirnaty) is preferred over the AstraZeneca COVID 19 Vaccine in adults aged under 50 years. This recommendation is based on the increasing risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 in older adults (and hence a higher benefit from vaccination) and a potentially increased risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following AstraZeneca vaccine in those under 50 years.

    COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca can be used in adults aged under 50 years where the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks for that individual and the person has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits. 

    People who have had the first dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca without serious adverse effects can be given the second dose, including adults under 50 years.

    Queensland Health has amended the relevant information and forms on the COVID-19 vaccination information for healthcare workers website to reflect the changes and assist HHS Vaccination clinics:

    Please note that new clinical information and data is being released currently and the above advice will be amended as required. 

    Thrombosis information and papers of interest to clinicians

    A New Clinician information sheet called “Information for clinicians – thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) or vaccine induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia (VIPIT)” has been developed to assist clinicians in managing patients who present with thrombosis following vaccination. It is based on the THANZ statement, which was updated 10 April 2021. It is critical not to use heparin-based anticoagulation in treatment of suspected TTS, however we note, THANZ now state,
     
    “…most cases of common site venous thrombosis (DVT in the lower leg) will be unrelated to VIPIT. In the absence of thrombocytopenia, we advise management as per usual VTE pathway in consultation with a subspecialist thrombosis haematologist…”

    Two recent papers published by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEMJ) of interest:

    We will continue to advise of further clinical updates.

    Key links - Queensland

    Key links - interstate national

    Please remember:

    • if you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
    • to regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone
    • to maintain physical distancing especially at work.
    Please forward these emails to ALL staff within your team and encourage them to subscribe by following this link. Please also continue to send through any general questions you are unable to source answers for locally and we will endeavour to answer them as quickly as possible. For HHS-specific or urgent advice please contact your line manager or Hospital Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC).

    Further information

    For further information for clinicians, please visit our novel coronavirus (COVID-19) website

    Your feedback and questions are welcome and we’ll work with the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre (SHECC) to provide definitive answers and advice.

  • Vaccine Communications Team update

    Please see below a list of updated information resources that are now published on the Department of Health website.

    Published 10 April 2021

    Patient information on AstraZeneca vaccine and thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndromenew document

    Preparing for your COVID-19 vaccination – updated document

    AstraZeneca vaccine information sheet – updated document

    After your AstraZeneca vaccine – updated document

    Pfizer vaccine information sheet – updated document

    Published 9 April 2021

    COVID-19 vaccine consent form – updated document – no changes since distribution last night

    The easy print versions and translated versions have been unpublished but will be available again as soon as they have been updated.

    NCIRS are continuing to update further resources over the weekend and next week. We will provide further updates and these links as soon as they are available.

    The Department of Health encourages you to share these new and updated resources with your networks.

  • Queensland Health COVID update - 10/04/21

    Changes to rollout of AstraZeneca vaccine, Aged Care Direction changes, NCIRS webinar, National Taskforce updates

    Current COVID-19 situation in Queensland

    Case data

    In the past 24 hours in Queensland:

    • 0 new locally acquired cases
    • 1 new overseas acquired case, detected in hotel quarantine
    • 63 active cases
    • 1,501 total cases
    • To date, there have been 6 deaths
    • 9,734 samples tested in the past 24 hours
    Vaccination data
    • 4,966 vaccine doses administered 8 April 2021
    • 105,283 total doses administered
    More Queensland data

    National data

    URGENT – Changes to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout

    Following consultation between the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), last night the Australian Government announced four changes to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout that come into effect immediately:

    1. At the current time, ATAGI recommends that the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer (Comirnaty) is preferred over COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in adults aged under 50 years. This recommendation is based on the increasing risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 in older adults (and hence a higher benefit from vaccination) and a potentially increased risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following AstraZeneca vaccine in those under 50 years. 
    2. COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca can be used in adults aged under 50 years where the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks for that individual and the person has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits. 
    3. People who have had the first dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca without any serious adverse effects can be given the second dose, including adults under 50 years. This is because the syndrome has only ever occurred after the first dose of AstraZeneca; not the second. 
    4. The Federal Department of Health will further develop and refine resources for informed consent that clearly convey the benefits and risks of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for both immunisation providers and consumers of all ages.
    The Queensland Health Vaccination Command Centre will work with all stakeholders to manage this significant change. The full ATAGI statement is here

    It is important to note that only one person in Australia is believe to have developed thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome. 

    Chief Health Officer Directions change

    From 3 May 2021, the following changes to the Aged Care Direction will come into effect. The direction:

    • requires staff and visitors to aged care facilities to have the 2021 flu vaccination, if the vaccine is available to them. 
    • the vaccine will be considered unavailable to a person if they:
      • have a medical contraindication, or
      • are observing the recommended waiting periods between the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccination. 
    Further information about this Direction, including questions and answers please visit the Queensland Health website.

    NCIRS webinar: COVID-19 vaccine uptake and acceptance

    The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) will present the COVID-19 vaccine uptake and acceptance webinar on Friday 30 April 2021 from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm AEST. In this webinar participants will:

    • hear an update on COVID-19 vaccine uptake in Australia
    • hear the latest research on Australian attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines
    • learn evidence-based strategies for increasing COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among your patients, colleagues, family and friends.
    Register online to attend. 

    Latest guidance from National COVID-19 Taskforce

    Updates from the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce include:

    Key links - Queensland


    Key links - interstate national

    Please remember:

    • if you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
    • to regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone
    • to maintain physical distancing especially at work.
    Please forward these emails to ALL staff within your team and encourage them to subscribe by following this link. Please also continue to send through any general questions you are unable to source answers for locally and we will endeavour to answer them as quickly as possible. For HHS-specific or urgent advice please contact your line manager or Hospital Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC).

    Further information

    For further information for clinicians, please visit our novel coronavirus (COVID-19) website

    Your feedback and questions are welcome and we’ll work with the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre (SHECC) to provide definitive answers and advice.

  • Latest COVID update from Queensland Health

    Death of former PNG Governor, THANZ statement on VIPIT, CHO Direction for quarantine workers, Positive wastewater results, Anaphylaxis/adrenaline dosage cards, Guidance from National COVID-19 taskforce

    Current COVID-19 situation in Queensland

    Case data

    In the past 24 hours in Queensland:

    • 0 new locally acquired cases
    • 6 new overseas acquired cases, detected in hotel quarantine
    • 73 active cases
    • 1,497 total cases
    • To date, there have been 6 deaths
    • 8,352 samples tested in the past 24 hours.

    Vaccination data

    • 5,396 vaccine doses administered in the past 24 hours
    • 94,762 total doses administered

    More Queensland data

    National data

    Death of former PNG Governor from COVID-19 complications

    A former Papua New Guinea (PNG) Governor has passed away in a Queensland hospital from complications due to COVID-19. The 77-year-old male died on Monday, 5 April 2021.

    He was a dual PNG / UK national who was transported by Medivac from PNG to Queensland on 28 March, as his condition was worsening. Since that day, he has been in ICU at Redcliffe hospital and died on Monday.

    The death is not counted in Queensland statistics, as he was diagnosed in PNG. 

    THANZ statement on VIPIT (thromobosis post-vaccination)

    The Thrombosis and Haemostasis Society of Australia and New Zealand statement on suspected vaccine induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia (VIPIT) is available here. This statement provides information about this condition which we believe is the process leading to thromobosis and thrombocytopaenia post-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination, as well as an algorithm for investigation and treatment. Updates, as required, are made available weekly.

    CHO Direction for quarantine workers

    From Tuesday, 06 April 2021, the Requirements for Quarantine Facility Workers Direction came into effect. This Direction replaces the COVID-19 Testing for Quarantine Facility Workers Direction.
     
    The updated Direction makes the following changes:

    • for vaccinated workers, require saliva surveillance testing each shift plus a weekly throat/nasal swab if away from work, until 14 days have passed.  
    • for unvaccinated workers, continue to have saliva testing each shift plus a weekly throat/nasal swab.  A weekly throat/nasal swab is also required while the worker is away from work, until 14 days have passed.
    • mandate that a surgical mask must be worn in a designated zone of the hotel. This takes effect immediately on commencement. A person who fails to wear a mask and who enters a designated zone may be subject to a fine of $200.
    • defines a designated zone as a floor where a quarantined person is or has stayed, a corridor adjacent to their room or a lift, stairwell or other area that provides access to the floor.
    • defines maintenance and repairs contractors. These contractors do not have to undertake routine surveillance testing if an emergency officer directs them not to. They must present to a Queensland Health employee at the hotel before entering a designated zone of the hotel and follow all mask wearing and infection control instructions. 

    Further information about this Direction and Protocol, including questions and answers please visit the Queensland Health website.

    Positive wastewater results 

    Fragments of SARS-CoV-2 have been detected at the Capalaba, Maroochydore and Maryborough wastewater treatment plants. Anyone in these suburbs with symptoms, no matter how mild, should get tested. 

    For information about which suburbs are included this catchment, visit the Queensland Health wastewater areas webpage.

    For information about Queensland’s wastewater surveillance program, visit the Queensland Health website.

    Anaphylaxis/adrenaline dosage cards

    Clinical Excellence Queensland is arranging a small print run of the anaphylaxis/adrenaline dosage cards, which are designed to attach to a lanyard or retractable badge holder. To order, please email FrontlineCOVIDadvice@health.qld.gov.au with the number required and the relevant postage address. Please note, supply is limited.

    Latest guidance from National COVID-19 Taskforce

    Updates from the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce include:

    Key links - Queensland

    Key links - interstate national

    Please remember:

    • if you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 please get tested and stay at home until your test returns a negative result.
    • to regularly wash your hands and disinfect your phone
    • to maintain physical distancing especially at work.

    Please forward these emails to ALL staff within your team and encourage them to subscribe by following this link. Please also continue to send through any general questions you are unable to source answers for locally and we will endeavour to answer them as quickly as possible. For HHS-specific or urgent advice please contact your line manager or Hospital Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC).

    Further information

    For further information for clinicians, please visit our novel coronavirus (COVID-19) website

    Your feedback and questions are welcome and we’ll work with the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre (SHECC) to provide definitive answers and advice.

  • Nominate for Federal AMA Board - closes this Friday

    Nominations are now open for the Queensland Representative position on the Board of the Australian Medical Association.

    Under the AMA Constitution, the AMA Queensland Representative position is open for nominations. The appointment is for two years.

    A number of corporate governance skills have been identified that would be beneficial to the Board. 

    To nominate for this position, please forward a summary statement that addresses the skills matrix to Amanda Sanderson at a.sanderson@amaq.com.au by 5pm Friday 9 April 2021.

  • Weekly jobs list

    Job title: Telehealth Gen Reg Doctor

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Work from home

    Salary: $120,000 per annum

    Additional benefits: 3 days per week roster, Training provided

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: South East Melb, VIC

    Salary: 65 - 72.5% of billings

    Additional benefits: Bulk billing clinic, Monday-Friday hours

     

    Job title: Indigenous GP VMO

    Dates: April – December (4 week block min)

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: NT

    Salary: $1,200 - $1,500 per day

    Additional benefits: Flights, Accommodation and Car provided.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Locum or Permanent

    Location: Warwick, QLD

    Salary: $1,200 per day

    Additional benefits: Flights, accommodation and car hire provided

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Cairns, QLD

    Salary: 70% billings for first 3 months then 65%

    Additional benefits: Flights, Car and Accommodation provided.

     

    Job title: GP/VMO

    Dates: Immediate until April 2022

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Sydney, NSW

    Salary: $2,000 - $2,500 per day

    Additional benefits: Accommodation and travel provided

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates:  Immediate

    Type of Contract: Locum and Permanent

    Location: Broken Hill, NSW

    Salary: $1,200 - $1,400 per day

    Additional benefits: Accommodation, travel and car provided

     

    Job title: Medical CMO

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Byron Bay, NSW

    Salary: $13,650 per week

    Additional benefits: Week on week off roster, 12 hours day shifts + on call

     

  • Cornerstone's weekly jobs

    Job title: Medical CMO

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Byron Bay, NSW

    Salary: $13,650 per week

    Additional benefits: Week on week off roster, 12 hours day shifts + on call

     

    Job title: General Practitioner Occupation Health

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Cairns, QLD

    Salary: 65% of billings (70% of billings first 3 months initial guarantee)

    Additional benefits: Full books from day 1, All training provided.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner 

    Dates: April/May

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Rainbow Beach, QLD

    Salary: 65% of billings or $1200 initial guarantee

    Additional benefits: Monday - Friday role, 10 appointments, Busy practice

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Noosa, QLD

    Salary: $1,500 per day

    Additional benefits: FIFO 2 weeks on – 1 week off roster, Flights and accommodation allowance

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Bendigo, VIC

    Salary: 6070% if billings

    Additional benefits: Bulk billing practice, Patient base takeover, Initial guarantee

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Sydney, NSW

    Salary: 70% of billings

    Additional benefits: Flexible hours, 3 month initial guarantee $150 per hour

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent FIFO

    Location: Regional NT

    Salary: $189,585 – $206, 545 (pro rata for FIFO)

    Additional benefits: Attraction allowance, annual airfares, relocation allowance

     

    Job title: VR General Practitioner

    Dates: April - June

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Sydney, NSW

    Salary: 70% of billings or daily rate

    Additional benefits: Flights and accommodation allowance

  • COVID-19 Primary Care Update 125

    Latest update from @Carl De Wet
    Epidemiology

    • Globally, more than 125 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported, including 2.8 million deaths.
    • SHECC continues to closely monitor the situation in PNG.

     

    COVID-19 vaccination commenced in General practice

    • By now you will all know that COVID-19 vaccination commenced in general practice this week, and you will all have your own success stories. In the Gold Coast, Dr Lisa Beecham administered the first vaccine to a sprightly 90 year old patient who was ‘very excited about getting the vaccine’. More practices will join the collaborative effort over the next few weeks, and stock volumes will increase with the approval of vaccine production on Australian home soil.

     

    COVID-19 vaccination in general practice - practical points

    • Should general practices provide vaccines for people in group 1a who present to their service with this request? The short answer is that each individual general practice immunizer and service can use their discretion whether they do or not. However, Queensland Health supports a pragmatic approach and administering vaccines where feasible.
    • The QH Taskforce is currently working on a state-wide approach to manage patients at high risk of anaphylaxis from vaccines, including consideration whether they should be offered the option to receive vaccines in a hospital setting. We will provide an update when it becomes available.
    • Work continues to integrate the AEFI process and template into general practice software. We will provide an update on progress in due course.
    • Can multiple doses of the AZ vaccine be drawn up as long as they are used within a certain period of time? This is already included in the formal QH procedure. ATAGI provides a clear answer for general practice here (and attached) – see page 1 point 1.5. Specifically:

    Where doses will be administered immediately one after another (e.g. in dedicated immunisation clinics, including within general practice), it is acceptable to withdraw multiple doses consecutively from one vial in the preparation area, with each filled syringe (with a capped administration needle) appropriately labelled and stored at the appropriate temperature and protected from light, before each dose is carried across to the administration area for use as soon as practical for each recipient. In this setting, it is acceptable to pre-draw multiple doses from one vial and use within one hour if stored at room temperature, or within six hours if stored at 2-8°C'

     

    HealthPathways

    • COVID-19 vaccination HealthPathways for our Queensland setting are now available online, and includes:
    • COVID-19 vaccination information
    • COVID-19 vaccination procedure
    • Preparing for COVID-19 vaccination
    • The HPs were adapted for Queensland and each region by the HP team and Streamliners. Well done and thanks to Aaron, Scott and the rest of the team
    • Please provide feedback on the HPs. The editors value opportunities to further improve the resource.

     

    COVID-19 vaccines and anaphylaxis

    • The media recently reported a number of COVID-19 vaccine anaphylaxis incidents. Careful review of each incident found that most did not meet the criteria for true anaphylaxis
    • The pragmatic approach remains to treat each individual patient according to clinical need in the first instance. We are grateful that every patient in Queensland has so far fully recovered from AEFI.

     

    Resources

     

    Notification of suspected cases of COVID-19

    • Queensland PHUs and SHECC are unanimous that suspected cases of COVID-19 should be notified to PHUs by phone. This arrangement will be reviewed if there is a significant surge in community cases.
  • 1773 Guidelines: updated Hypoglycaemia (newborn) guidance

    Please see latest info from Clinical Excellence Queensland.

    The Hypoglycaemia-newborn guideline has been amended. The publication/revision history of the QCG guideline is outlined in the guideline supplement available online at www.health.qld.gov.au/qcg/guidelinehistory

    Printed copies should be replaced. For further implementation suggestions, see the QCG implementation checklist.

     

    All guidelines and short guides are endorsed for use in Queensland by the Statewide Maternity and Neonatal Clinical Network and NeoMedQ by Queensland Neonatal Services Advisory Group

    Please see latest info from Clinical Excellence Queensland.

    The Hypoglycaemia-newborn guideline has been amended. The publication/revision history of the QCG guideline is outlined in the guideline supplement available online at www.health.qld.gov.au/qcg/guidelinehistory

    Printed copies should be replaced. For further implementation suggestions, see the QCG implementation checklist.

    All guidelines and short guides are endorsed for use in Queensland by the Statewide Maternity and Neonatal Clinical Network and NeoMedQ by Queensland Neonatal Services Advisory Group

  • Cornerstone's weekly jobs list

    Job title: General Practitioner – AMS

    Dates: July 2021

    Type of Contract: Perm/FIFO

    Location: Coastal Remote NT

    Salary: $189,585 - $206,545 (based on level of experience)

    Additional benefits: Relocation/Repatriation allowance, annual airfares, Professional development allowance, Monday - Friday hours.

    General Practitioner - Cornerstone Medical Recruitment (cmr.com.au)

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Flexible

    Type of Contract: Permanent 

    Location: Brisbane, QLD

    Salary: 65% of mixed billings + initial guarantee

    Additional benefits: Established patient base, Accredited practice with fantastic amenities, Flexible hours on offer.

     https://www.cmr.com.au/job/doctors-general-practitioner-dpa-position-30299022/?wpv-profession[]=doctors

     

     

    Job title: Telehealth Doctor

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent 

    Location: Work from anywhere in Australia

    Salary: $200,000 + Super per annum

    Additional benefits: Monday - Friday role working from home, Occasional weekend work available for additional earnings. 

     https://www.cmr.com.au/job/doctors-telehealth-doctor-3233641/?wpv-profession[]=general-practitioner

     

    Job title: ED HMO

    Dates: 26/04/2021 – 07/02/2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Echuca, VIC

    Salary: $120 - $140 per hour

    Additional benefits: Accommodation and travel provided, Professional development programs to up skill, Less then 3 hours from Melbourne.

     https://www.cmr.com.au/job/doctors-7-7-hmo-3179096/?wpv-profession[]=hospital-doctors-junior

     

    Job title: General Practitioner 

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Northern QLD

    Salary: $1,500 daily rate

    Additional benefits: Existing patient base, Coastal town location, Potential to earn $400,000 per annum.

     GP Required. Earn up to $1500p/day life of contract. Live close to Cairns. - Cornerstone Medical Recruitment (cmr.com.au)

     

    Job title:  General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Noosa, QLD

    Salary: $1,500 daily rate

    Additional benefits: Flights and accommodation allowance, 2 weeks on - one week off roster

     https://www.cmr.com.au/job/doctors-fifo-gp-noosa-3233537/?wpv_post_search=Noos&wpv_filter_submit=Submit&wpv-lifestyle-location=0

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Cairns, QLD

    Salary: 65% of billings (70% of billings first 3 months initial guarantee)

    Additional benefits: Occupation Health training provided, Monday - Friday role, full patient base

     https://www.cmr.com.au/job/doctors-occ-health-gp-3224070/?wpv_post_search=cairns

     

    Job title: General Practitioner 

    Dates: April/May

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Rainbow Beach, QLD

    Salary: 65% of billings or $1200 initial guarantee

    Additional benefits: Monday - Friday role, 10 appointments, Busy practice

    https://www.cmr.com.au/job/doctors-gp-3228395/?wpv_post_search=rainbow%20beach

     

    Job title: GP/VMO

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Cobram, VIC

    Salary: 70% of bulk and mixed billings at the clinic and 100% of billings for hospital VMO work. 

    Additional benefits: Relocation fee negotiable, Escape the busy city life

    General Practitioner - Cornerstone Medical Recruitment (cmr.com.au)

     

     

    Job title: General Practitioner 

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: South Brisbane, QLD

    Salary: Potential $250,000 per annum

    Additional benefits: Ability to earn $180 per hour for any supervision, Private car parking.

    General Practitioner- Southside Brisbane - Cornerstone Medical Recruitment (cmr.com.au)

  • COVID-19 Primary Care Update 124

    Latest news from @Carl De Wet

    COVID-19 vaccines, anaphylaxis and periods of observation

    • We received several queries yesterday about COVID-19 vaccines, anaphylaxis and periods of observation, and we aware of social media interest in this topic.
    • Please note that we received official, written confirmation today that Queensland Health vaccination processes will continue in line with guidance provided in the product information (PI) and issued by ATAGI.
    • This means people with a history of severe allergies or anaphylaxis should be observed for 30 minutes following vaccination, and other people should continue to be monitored for 15 minutes following vaccination.
    • In other words, there has been no change to ATAGI guidance, to Queensland Health processes, and no change (at this time) to how we implement COVID-19 vaccination services in general practice from next week
    • For interest, an excerpt from the TGA’s initial advice:
      • “All of the Queensland reports related to vaccine from a single batch. TGA testing of the batch prior to release confirmed that it was compliant with all requirements. The TGA has confirmed that there were no temperature deviation for the batch during importation. TGA and UK have both conducted laboratory testing of the AstraZeneca vaccine prior to release as an extra safeguard. This testing has confirmed that the particular single batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine being used in Australia and administered at these Queensland sites is compliant with international standards, and is consistent with other batches of AstraZeneca vaccine supplied in Australia and safe to use.”

     

    TGA reassurance about rates of Venous thromboembolism

    • The TGA provided an update this week on the rates of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) in those receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
    • Reassuringly, to 15 March, the TGA has not received any reports of VTE following the administration of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
    • Other reported rates of VTE internationally following vaccination appear to be lower than that expected in the general population.
    • In Australia at least 17 000 patients develop VTE each year. This compares with the 30 cases reported in the 5 million people vaccinated in the European Economic Area and no additional (to baseline rates) in the more than 11 million doses administered in the UK. 
    • As of this time there is no indication of an increased rate of blood clots happening or cause and effect with the AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia

     

    Resources

    • A summary of the key messages from the GP onboarding pack is attached for interest
    • Please regularly check your local PHN website for COVID-19 related resources. The Qld PHN COVID-19 Working Group recently endorsed four checklists to help practice teams prepare for implementing and delivering a COVID-19 vaccination service. The checklists are practical, easy to use and includes links to the most relevant resources and information.

    GPs Onboarding Pack – Key Points

    Vaccine Information and Booking Service - The COVID-19 Vaccination Information and Booking Service is based on the existing National Health Services Directory (NHSD).  All approved COVID-19 vaccination clinics must be listed on the NHSD and should accept bookings from all eligible people. If you have an online booking system you intend to use, Healthdirect will work directly with the booking service to ensure your booking profile is integrated. Practices do not need to change their existing booking process (ie, telephone, online etc). Patients can still phone your practice and book in for their vaccination or register in your online booking as usual.

    - page 10

    Proof of eligibility - Practices should only book patients who meet the eligibility for each phase (or the preceding phase of the roll-out). Once Phase 1b commences, this means Phase 1a and Phase 1b priority populations will be eligible. Patients will need to prove their eligibility to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to receive the vaccine in Phase 1b. Individuals and health professionals can use the COVID19 vaccine eligibility checker to see if an individual is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Practices should confirm that proof of eligibility meets one of the accepted types for the first dose (this is not required for the second dose as long as the first dose is registered in AIR) and make a simple record of proof. If a patient does not have proof of their underlying medical condition, they may complete a Phase 1b declaration form. This form will be available from the Department’s website. – pages 12/13

    Consent - Informed consent is required before administering each COVID-19 vaccine dose and providers are required to document it in a patient’s medical record. Verbal or written consent is acceptable. Patients are to be advised that their vaccination details must be reported to the Australian Immunisation Register. This will include some personal information. An optional written consent form has been developed as an aid for those providers who choose to use it. – page 15

    Stock management - Stock control measures will be in place with tiered caps on allocation based on estimated throughput and priority population distribution and reach. The maximum allocation provided to each site may be reviewed as vaccine availability expands and supply stabilises. Clinics should consider arranging bookings to allow a period of flexibility around vaccine delivery. For example, by not booking appointments that rely on new stock within 48 hours of anticipated delivery. YOU DO NOT NEED TO HOLD BACK STOCK FOR THE SECOND DOSE. The online stock management portal will support sites to manage their vaccine stocks. - page 16

    Ordering stock - Sites will be able to place orders via an Online Order Form up to their maximum allocation (minimum of 100 doses to be ordered at a time) via the online portal once a week. Orders will need to include a point of contact for delivery acceptance and notifications.

    Orders should be placed 14 calendar days in advance of the requested delivery date. Orders for the first three weeks will be limited to your allocated vaccine cap, and you should place your first order as soon as possible to ensure timely delivery. Orders can be changed or cancelled through the online portal up to 7 days in advance of the requested delivery date. If you wish to make a change within this timeframe, you will need to contact the VOC on 1800 318 208. – page 17

    Managing stock - Sites will be required to report stock levels to the VOC via the online portal. The Vaccine Stock Management Form should be completed weekly. It is critical that cold-chain storage and handling requirements for the Vaccines are maintained at all times and not breached during the stocktake process - page 18

    Government contact details - Australian Department of Health Vaccine Operations Centre (VOC): 1800 318 208 or email COVID19VaccineOperationsCentre@health.gov.au Note: The VOC hours of operation are between 7am to 10pm - page 21

  • GP Fellows must apply for Ahpra specialty recognition

    FRACGP’s without Ahpra speciality recognition must apply for it by 16 April 2021 or will lose access to A1 rebates

    Recent legislative changes have simplified recognition of General Practitioners (GPs) as specialists, streamlining access to higher Medicare rebates for your patients. GP access to Medicare will be determined by continued registration status with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra). Medical practitioners who have been awarded fellowship must be registered as a Specialist GP with Ahpra for continued access to these rebates.  

    Fellows who do not hold specialist registration with Ahpra 

    If you have gained fellowship with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and are not registered as a specialist with Ahpra, you must apply to update your registration status with Ahpra by 16 April 2021 prior to expiry of the transition period. Current Fellows of the RACGP and ACCRM who do not hold specialist registration with Ahpra AND do not complete an application for specialist GP registration in time will lose access to the higher rebates. You can check if you fall into this group by: 

    1. Checking your current registration status with Ahpra by clicking here.
    2. Type in your Surname and Christian name and click on the ‘Search’ button.
    3. If there are multiple entries, scroll until you find your details and Click on ‘View Details’
    4. Scroll down the page to ‘Registration Type’.
    5. If you are a fellow of the RACGP or ACRRM, you should hold Type:  Specialist registrationand Specialty: General Practice 
    6. If you hold General Registration only you will have to apply for specialist registration with Ahpra before 16 April 2021 by clicking applying to update my registration status
    7. If you need assistance to submit your application, please contact Ahpra on 1300 419 495

    Doctors who were previously on the Vocational Register 

    GPs who were previously listed on the Vocational Register and wish to be re-instated and recognised as a GP by Medicare, will need to complete an Application for Vocational Registration for General Practitioner form.  Forms must be submitted to Services Australia by 30 April 2021. There will be no opportunity to return to the Vocational Register after 15 June 2021. 

    If you no longer need access to specialist GP Medicare items no further action is necessary. If you are already registered as a specialist GP with Ahpra no further action is necessary. 

  • Latest info COVID-19 Primary Care PPE Requirements Update

    Please see latest email from @Carl De Wet below.
    The risk of COVID-19 community transmission in the Queensland primary care setting was reviewed today and revised to ‘low’. The practical implication is that the ‘low’ PPE requirements are now again in force in all areas in Queensland in primary care settings. Please note that the additional PPE provisions in the Greater Brisbane area in hospitals, RACFs and disability settings were extended for a further 72 hours and therefore remain in place.​​​
  • Cornerstone's weekly job list

    Job title: General Practitioner 

    Dates: 15/03/21 - 8/8/21

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Rockhampton Region, QLD

    Salary: $1,800 daily rate

    Additional benefits: Accommodation and car hire provided, Coastal location

     

    Job title: Medical Officer 

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Gold Coast, QLD

    Salary: $200,000 per annum

    Additional benefits: Monday - Friday role; Relocation assistance considered

     

    Job title: VR General Practitioner 

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Locum or Permanent

    Location: Adelaide, SA

    Salary: 75% Bulk Billings

    Additional benefits: Monday - Saturday role

     

    Job title: General Practitioner AMS

    Dates: Immediate Start, 3-4 weeks

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Domadgee, QLD

    Salary: $1,500 daily rate

    Additional benefits: Flights, accommodation and shared car provided.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: 25/3/21 - 9/4/21

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Inverell, NSW

    Salary: $1200 daily rate

    Additional benefits: Accommodation, car and travel provided

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Flexible

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Nundah, North Brisbane QLD

    Salary: 65% of mixed billings or $150 per hour initial guarantee for 3 months

    Additional benefits: Established patient base, flexible work hours.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate - 2 week cover

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Melbourne, VIC

    Salary: $150 per hour

    Additional benefits: Accommodation provided; Flights covered based on discussions

     

    Job title: VR General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Aberfoyle, SA

    Salary: 65 % of billings 3 months initial guarantee

    Additional benefits: Located 30 mins from Adelaide city, Full nursing support provided.

  • Annual Conference - two weeks left until early bird

    Two weeks left to secure your spot with the Early Bird rate at AMA Queensland's Annual Conference venturing to the Northern Territory this year from 19 - 25 Sept with a number of post tour options available.
    Visit the website for further information and to register.
    See you there!
  • COVID Primary Care Update 120

    Latest information from @Carl De Wet

    Epidemiology

    • Globally, approximately 117 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported, including 2.6 million deaths.
    • Queensland has had 1,325 confirmed cases of COVID-19. It has been 61 days since the last confirmed community transmission.

     

    Public Health Directions

     

    Updated – COVID-19 Series of National Guidelines (SoNG) 

    • Version 4.3 of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) SoNG was published on 4 March 2021 and includes revisions to: The Disease, Case Definition, Testing, Case Management, Release from Isolation, Close contacts, Outbreak investigation and management in high-risk settings, Special situations, Appendix B and Inclusion of a new section: Appendix C. This latest version can be viewed online.
    • The one-page GP assessment and management of patients with suspected COVID-19 has been updated (thanks Meg) - https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0036/951858/gp-management-suspected-covid-19.pdf

     

    COVID-19 vaccine program

    • >5500 Pfizer vaccines have been administered in Queensland
    • Astra-Zeneca hubs opened yesterday at Bundaberg and Logan hospitals. Today, AZ hubs will open in Rockhampton and Ipswich hospitals. Additional hubs will open later this week across Queensland
    • The first JCU medical student has been vaccinated (thanks Peta-ann)
    • In towns with <2500 residents, the current approach in Queensland will be to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to all eligible, local residents, rather than strict enforcement of priority groups.

     

    Resources

     

    Events

  • Cornerstone's weekly jobs list

    Job title: Indigenous General Practitioner 

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Brisbane, QLD

    Salary: $260k per annum

    Additional benefits: 4 weeks paid annual leave, 2 weeks sick leave, Super on top 9.5%, 10 days paid training leave 

     

    Job title: General Practitioner 

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Cairns, QLD

    Salary: 65% of billings (70% of billings first 3 months initial guarantee)

    Additional benefits: Regular GP or OCC health position available, All training provided for doctor interested in Occ Health

     

    Job title: VR General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Aberfoyle, SA

    Salary: 65 % of billings 3 months initial guarantee

    Additional benefits: Located 30 mins from Adeliade city, Full nursing support provided.

     

    Job title: Junior Emergency Doctor

    Dates: Various

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Port Lincoln, SA

    Salary: $120 per hour

    Additional benefits:  Self-contained Accommodation, return flights and car hire provided; Coastal location

     

    Job title: COVID-19 Screening Doctor

    Dates: 22/03/2021 – 30/06/2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Gold Coast & Robina, QLD

    Salary: $116.50 per hour

    Additional benefits: Flexible working arrangements

     

    Job title: ED HMO 7/7 roster

    Dates: 26/04/2021 – 07/02/2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Echuca, VIC

    Salary: $120 - $140 per hour

    Additional benefits: Flights and accommodation provided

     

    Job title: FIFO GP VMO

    Dates: Immediately until June

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Port Lincoln, SA

    Salary: $200 per hour

    Additional benefits: Sole accommodation, return travel and car hireAccommodation is suitable for bringing families

     

    Job title: General Practitioner 

    Dates: 8/3/21- 2/4/21

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location:  Wadeye, Remote NT

    Salary: $1500 per day

    Additional benefits: Travel and accommodation provided. Weekly travel to Darwin on weekends.

  • COVID Update 118

    Here's the latest update from @Carl De Wet
    COVID-19 vaccination program

    • By the end of this week, all six Pfizer hubs in Queensland will be operational. It is one of those welcome instances where we are slightly ahead of schedule in healthcare; well done to everyone involved!
    • In the next fortnight, Astra-Zeneca hubs will be established in every HHS in Queensland. It is anticipated that the Astra-Zeneca hospital hubs will begin vaccine administration as early as next week.
    • It remains unclear when general practices will receive the first Astra-Zeneca vaccines for administration. At this time, the earliest estimated date is 15 March 2021. Please note that this is NOT the confirmed date – it is simply an indication of timelines to help practice teams plan and prepare.
    • The Gold Coast PHN will be hosting a ‘CQI and the COVID-19 pandemic – get ready for vaccinations’ webinar on 9 March, commencing at 18:00. Registrations are free.
    • The PHNs are currently exploring the possibility of an interactive COVID-19 Adverse Events from Immunisation (AEFI) template integrated into (some) GP software programs. We will keep you informed of developments.

     

    Resources

     

    Public Health Directions

    • introduce a mandatory requirement for all international air crew to complete the Queensland International Arrivals Registration.
    • provide that a person may only open the door to their allocated room at a government-nominated quarantine hotel for a permitted purpose or when permitted by a quarantine facility worker
    • provide that when the door to an allocated room in a government-nominated quarantine hotel is open, all quarantined persons in the room must be wearing a surgical mask
    • provide that any travel when a person leaves (and returns to) quarantine to receive medical care at a hospital is by ambulance
    • provide that any travel to leave quarantine for another permitted purpose must be either in an emergency services vehicle or by transport arranged by an airline operator.    
    • introduce the concept of a ‘member of positioning crew’ and evidence requirements for these crew members including a Member of Positioning Crew form
    • prohibit Queensland-based air crew from quarantining at home if they live with a ‘designated worker’ such as a person who works in a residential aged care facility or hospital
    • introduce an Operational Guideline for International Air Crew outlining infection control and home quarantine requirements for Queensland-based air crew
    • allow domestic pilots operating crew-only flights that are repositioning international air crew, to be exempt from quarantine on return to Queensland if they have been segregated from international air crew for the duration of the flight
    • require that international air crew must be tested for COVID-19 on arrival to Queensland
    • introduce the concept of a ‘ferry flight’ as an inbound flight to Australia transporting essential crew only with no passengers on board. Ferry flights are permitted to land in Queensland and on travel to another destination in Queensland or another State or Territory provided certain criteria are met.
  • Credabl Women in Medicine Virtual Event

    Our corporate partner, Credabl, is hosting a three-part virtual event series this March to share the powerful stories, insights and experiences of Women in Medicine. From thoughts on entrepreneurship, to pioneering change, making an impact in the community, balancing careers with motherhood and more, you will be motivated by these women and their courage. 
  • Cornerstone's weekly jobs list

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: 01/03/2021 – 12/03/2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Keith, SA

    Salary: $1,300 per day

    Additional benefits: Travel, car and accommodation provided. Solo GP practice and on-call to urgent care.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: 06/03/2021 – 16/03/2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Coonamble, NSW

    Salary: $1,500 per day

    Additional benefits: Travel, car and accommodation provided; Monday – Friday hours.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: 15/03/2021 – 11/04/2021

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Inverell, NSW

    Salary: $1,200 per day

    Additional benefits: Travel & accommodation provided

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediate. Flexible dates  - 4 to 6 week placements at a time

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Tennant Creek, NT

    Salary: $1,500 per day

    Additional benefits: Flights, accommodation and car hire provided. NO AMS experience required.

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: April or May for 4 weeks

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Coastal QLD

    Salary: 65% of mixed billings or $150 per hour

    Additional benefits: Flights, accommodation and car hire provided; Tropical coastal location

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Flexible

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Galston, NSW

    Salary: 70% of mixed billings + $150 per hour initial guarantee

    Additional benefits:

     

    Job title: General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Tuggerawong, NSW

    Salary: 70% of billings + $150 per hour

    Additional benefits: Flights and accommodation included

     

    Job title: GR General Practitioner

    Dates: Immediately

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Cairns, QLD

    Salary: 65% of billings (70% of billings first 3 months initial guarantee)

    Additional benefits: All training provided for doctor interested in Occ Health. Full books from day 1, Must be unrestricted

  • Additional information to COVID update 117

    New information from @Carl De Wet
    In Update 117 we shared information about Adverse Events following immunisation (AEFI) that included a reporting template, and the Queensland Health process for reporting. We subsequently received several queries requesting further clarification about AEFI, i.e., what is the definition of adverse events, and what qualifies as an AEFI for the purpose of mandatory reporting. In response, I would like to offer these practical reflections, based on my own understanding, informal discussions with Public Health, and perusing the literature:

     

    • Ultimately, identifying an AEFI, or potential AEFI, is at the discretion of each individual clinician exercising clinical judgement. There is no definition (that I am aware of) that can provide perfect clarity.
    • In some instances, clinicians may have doubt whether a symptom or sign is an AEFI. As a rule of thumb, if in doubt, report a suspected or potential AEFI. All reports are reviewed and triaged by the TGA/public health units before they are included (or not) in the national database. Reporting a suspected or potential AEFI therefore does not automatically mean that it will be recorded as one, but it does mean none are missed.
    • Every potential AEFI should be reported, irrespective of its severity. This is a list with examples of potential AEFI. It ranges from common, mild and self-limiting symptoms like swelling and redness at the injection site through to rare and serious complications like facial drooping, anaphylaxis and death.
    • This list is not exhaustive. It is very likely that other AEFI will be identified. The AEFI report template includes a section to describe AEFI (and potential AEFI).
    • The practical implication is that there will likely be a considerable number of AEFI, and suspected AEFI, with an associated impact on workload creating and submitting reports.
    • From a nationwide perspective, reporting AEFI is incredibly important. It helps us to truly understand the benefits and risks of the vaccine, and provide reliable, accurate and trustworthy information to all consumers.
    • We will continue to monitor this issue, and provide updates as they develop. We will also discuss this issue during webinars. Please consider subscribing to the newsletters of your local PHN, College and professional Associations. The newsletters are invaluable in providing information about COVID-19 and educational events.
    ​​​
  • COVID-19 Primary Care Update 117

    Latest update from @Carl De Wet
    Adverse events after COVID-19 immunization

     

    Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine training module

    • We have received many queries about the vaccine ingredients, so I thought I would share this for interest. None of the vaccine ingredients are of human or animal origin and there are no food, latex or gelatin in the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available. If individuals have had an allergic reaction to other vaccines in the past, it does not mean that they will also be allergic to the COVID-19 vaccines (Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy [ASCIA], 2021). 
    • Non-active ingredients of the vaccine (no preservatives are used):
    • L-Histidine (an amino acid). 
    • L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate (an amino acid). 
    • Magnesium chloride hexahydrate (supports many activities inside cells). 
    • Polysorbate 80 (a stabiliser).
    • Sodium chloride. 
    • Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA, a binding agent) 
    • Water for injection. 

    Practical tips: COVID-19 vaccine consent, including in RACFs

    • The ATAGI immunisation provider guide to obtaining informed consent for COVID-19 vaccine addresses frequently asked questions your patients may have regarding the vaccinations, along with suggested discussion points.
    • The DoH has released a consent form for COVID-19 vaccination. It is not mandatory to use this consent form, or to obtain written consent, but practices will need a way to ensure patients have the relevant information prior to receiving the vaccine, and to document informed consent.
    • The DoH has released a resource pack containing information for residential aged care providers, workers, residents, carers and families. It is comprehensive and excellent and worth saving for future refence. Two of the resources are particularly relevant:
    • A RACF consent process flowchart (attached and online). The flowchart does not routinely include GPs in the consent process. The role of GPs relate to the following: ‘RACFs unsure of clinical suitability [will] seek clinical advice to determine suitability to participate’.
    • The Clinical Governance requirements for COVID-19 vaccination clinics at RACF document further clarifies: ‘where there are concerns in relation to resident suitability for the vaccine, RACFs should consult with GPs. GPs may provide a phone assessment or may review the resident personally’ and ‘RACF is responsible for facilitating, seeking and recording informed consent for all residents…’ (page 2)

    High incidence of respiratory disease in Queensland

    • The latest Sullivan Nicolaides report confirms what many primary care clinicians suspect: a recent, sharp increase in the incidence of RSV and rhinovirus (thanks Mike).
    • It remains important to continue to test for COVID-19

    Webinars

    • The Queensland Clinical Senate and Clinical Networks held a second COVID-19 vaccine information sessions for clinicians yesterday. The webinar is now available to view. It addressed, among other things:
    • phase 1a vaccinations – how will I know if I’m included?
    • the role of the recently established Vaccination Coordination Centre (VCC)
    • advice for phase 1a clinicians who might be pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding
    • timing your COVID-19 vaccinations around other potential vaccinations.
    • The Gold Coast PHN will be delivering a free, online COVID-19 update on 25 February at 19:00. Registrations are now open.

    Online resources

    Public Health Directions

    From midday 22 February 2021, updates to the Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction (No. 5) and Border Restrictions Direction (No. 23) came into effect. The updates implement improvements to the Queensland end-to-end quarantine system and include:

    Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction (No. 5)

    • You can only open the door of your quarantine room for a permitted purpose, such as to collect food, laundry or medical supplies, and if everyone inside is wearing a surgical face mask.
    • You can only leave government arranged quarantine for medical care at a hospital, in an emergency situation or to depart on a connecting international flight.
    • Travel when allowed to leave and return to quarantine must be in an ambulance, emergency services vehicle or transport arranged by a government authority and you must wear a surgical face mask.
    • International arrivals must complete a Queensland International Arrivals Registration, unless they have travelled to Queensland on a quarantine-free flight. You should complete a registration 3 days before you depart for Queensland.
    • International transit passengers can arrive in Queensland and leave on another international flight if they follow the Australian Government Department of Health advice.

    Border Restrictions Direction (No. 23)

    • You can only open the door of your quarantine hotel room for a permitted purpose, such as to collect food, laundry or medical supplies, and if everyone inside is wearing a surgical face mask.
    • Travel when allowed to leave and return to a quarantine hotel must be in an ambulance, emergency services vehicle or transport arranged by a government authority and you must wear a surgical face mask.
    • Travel when allowed to leave and return to home quarantine must be by private vehicle and you must wear a surgical face mask. You cannot travel in a taxi, rideshare or by public transport.
    • Air crew when allowed to leave and return to home quarantine or crew accommodation must travel by private vehicle or transport provided by the airline. They cannot travel in a taxi, rideshare or by public transport.
    • If you need to enter Queensland from a COVID-19 hotspot for court or tribunal obligations, you must have written confirmation or an order of the court or tribunal that confirms you are required to attend in-person and that alternative arrangements, such as video link, are not appropriate.
    • You cannot leave quarantine for medical supplies unless you have an exemption from the Chief Health Officer.
  • Cornerstone Weekly Jobs

    Job title: GP

    Dates: 8th March - 5th April

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location:  Cardwell, QLD

    Salary: $150 per hour

    Additional benefits: Flights, accommodation and car hire provided.

     Job title: GP (Pre-Employment & Occupational Health Medicals)

    Dates: ASAP

    Type of Contract: Part Time and Full Time positions

    Location: NSW multiple locations 

    Salary: $220k per annum

    Additional benefits: Monday - Friday role only, 5 weeks annual leave plus 18 days paid sick leave.

     

    Job title: GP

    Dates: Immediate start & ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Northern NSW

    Salary: $1200 to $1500 daily rate

    Additional benefits: Accommodation, flights and car hire provided. VMO opportunities for additional remuneration.

      

    Job title: GP 

    Dates: Immediate

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Outback NSW

    Salary: $1200 - $1450  daily rate

    Additional benefits: Accommodation, flights and car hire provided for both locum, FIFO and perm arrangements.

      

    Job title: Emergency Registrar

    Dates: From 1 day to a few weeks

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Sydney, NSW

    Salary: Up to $3000 per day

    Additional benefits: Accommodation and flights provided. 

      

    Job title: GP

    Dates: Flexible

    Type of Contract: Permanent Position

    Location: Cobram, NSW

    Salary: 65% of billings or initial guarantee

    Additional benefits: Flexible hours with VMO opportunities for additional remuneration available.

      

    Job title: GP

    Dates: Flexible

    Type of Contract: Permanent

    Location: Brisbane, QLD

    Salary: 65% of billings or $150 per hour initial guarantee

    Additional benefits: DPA handover position for Doctors restricted by 19AB

    Job title: GP VMO/ED

    Dates: Immediate start & ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Port Lincoln, SA

    Salary: $2000+ daily rate

    Additional benefits: Accommodation, flights and car hire provided.

     

    Job title: GP

    Dates: Immediate - ongoing

    Type of Contract: Locum

    Location: Fraser Coast, QLD

    Salary: $1200 to $1500 daily rate

    Additional benefits: Accommodation, flights and practice car provided.

  • Latest Primary Care Update

    Latest news from @Carl De Wet 

    • patient fact sheet, to support informed consent
    • consent forms for adults and children – please note that the consent form is not mandatory; we are sharing it for consideration in case it is useful
    • Clinical questionnaire (will be added later today)
    • Roadmap (will be added later today)

     

    Commonwealth General practice COVID-19 vaccine EOI

    • There are rumours that some practices have already been informed about the outcome of the EOI. To the best of our knowledge this is not the case – no one has been notified at this time.
    • The Commonwealth has advised that all practices that were successful in the EOI will be notified at the same time (although not all will commence delivering vaccines at the same time). No date has been fixed, but it is unlikely to be before next week.


    Vaccines and the elderly

    • The TGA assessed the Astra-Zeneca vaccine as safe and effective for all people aged 18 and over.
    • The caveat about administering the vaccine in the elderly relates to patients who are very frail, in which case an individual assessment of risk/benefit should be made – which is no different to any other immunisation or therapeutic intervention. There is not requirement for everyone older than 65 to routinely discuss the vaccine with their GP.

     

    Public Health Directions

    From 5.00pm, 17 February 2021, updates to the Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertaking Direction (No. 13) came into effect. Changes to this Direction mean:

    • events with more than 10,000 people attending must submit their COVID Safe Event Plan for Chief Health Officer approval a minimum of 20 business days before the event
    • multi-day events with onsite accommodation (including camping) must have a COVID Safe Event Plan approved by the local Public Health Unit (for up to 10,000 people per day) or the Chief Health Officer (for more than 10,000 people per day)
    • large lectures in universities and other higher education institutions (such as TAFEs and RTOs) are now allowed up to 100 per cent capacity if seating is ticketed and allocated.

    For interest

    ​​​​​​​
  • COVID vaccine resources from Dept of Health

  • Qld Palliative Care Awards open

    The  2021 Palliative Care in Queensland Statewide Awards are now open.

    First held in 2018, this is the only event of its kind in Queensland that recognises the individuals, innovators and leaders within the palliative care sector.  In 2021 the Palliative Care in Queensland Awards Ceremony will be held virtually during National Palliative Care Week (23-29 May 2021).

    This is an opportunity for Queenslanders to celebrate the amazing people, teams and organisations driving innovation, inspiration and excellence within the palliative care sector in Queensland. 

  • AMA Queensland members can get $50 off their next Samsung device

    Samsung is offering AMA Queensland members $50 off their next Samsung device
  • Greater Melbourne COVID Information

    Greater Melbourne has been declared a hotspot from 1am Saturday 13 February.

      • From 1am Saturday 13 February, anyone who enters Queensland and has been in the 36 local government areas in Greater Melbourne since 9 February will be directed to quarantine in government-arranged accommodation for 14 days.
      • People will still be able to transit through Melbourne airports, as long as they don’t go out into the community in the declared hotspots.
      • Anyone who has been in Greater Melbourne on or since 5 February, but hasn’t been to one of the affected venues, should come forward for testing and isolate until you receive a negative result.
      • Border passes will be reinstated for anyone travelling to Queensland from Victoria.
    To view the list of affected venues in Greater Melbourne, visit the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website
  • COVID-19 Primary Care Update 112

    See latest update from @Carl De Wet Primary Care Clinical Lead | SHECC | Queensland Health

    Epidemiology

    • No locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours; one overseas acquired case detected in hotel quarantine
    • >8000 samples were tested in the past 24 hours

     

    Advice for travellers from Victoria or NSW

    • Anyone in Queensland who has been in Victoria since 5 February who attended venues at specified times and dates attended by a positive case should get tested immediately, isolate for 14 days and call 13HEALTH.
    • In addition, anyone who been at any of these venues (at other times) or who has been in Greater Melbourne since 5 February should come forward and get tested if they experience any symptoms.
    • A number of venues in Sunbury, Victoria have also been listed as exposure sites.
    • Anyone in Queensland who has been in New South Wales since 2 February should check the list of venues attended by the latest case and get tested if they have any symptoms.

     

    Resources

    • The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) has been released a set of FAQs to answer questions regarding COVID-19 vaccination in relation to allergy, immunodeficiency and autoimmunity
    • This article provides a clear and practical estimate of the required workload for a successful COVID-19 vaccination in program. An alternative estimate I heard was the equivalent of 5 to 10 Influenza vaccine programs!
    • The RANZCOG guideline about COVID-19 vaccination in pregnant and breastfeeding women remains a potential useful resource in addressing vaccine related concerns and questions.

     

    COVID-19 vaccine training modules

    • The Australian Government released the COVID-19 vaccination training program this week. You can register for an account and login here.
    • Practical tip: remember to check your junk-mail folder if you do not receive the confirmation e-mail after registering
    • There are six (6) core modules. Completion of all six is ‘compulsory for health professionals wanting to supply and/or administer COVID-19 vaccinations’
    • One certificate is issued after all six modules have been successfully completed.
    • In addition to the six core modules, there is an additional module for each vaccine. At this time, there is only a Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine module. A second certificate of completion is issued after a vaccine specific module is completed. In time, there will be an Astra-Zeneca vaccine module.
    • There is a quiz after each module, with a required pass rate of 100% (multiple attempts are allowed).
    • Personal experience suggests that the estimated 3 to 4 hours for completion is realistic (but as with so many things in life, there will be exceptions)

     

    Inspirational thought

    • I have not heard the wonderfully descriptive phrase ‘vaccine hesitancy’ before the COVID-19 pandemic. This article explains ‘how to deal with the Craig Kelly in your life: a guide to tackling coronavirus contrarians’. I especially enjoyed the reminder to ‘check yourself; and don’t play misinformation whack-a-mole’. It also reminded me of Voltaire: ‘think how difficult it is to change yourself, and you will realise how insignificant are your chances to change others’.

     

  • ACEM's roundtable on mental health in EDs - EOIs due 10 Feb

    The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) recently launched Nowhere Else to Go, examining why Australia's mental health system is failing people presenting to the emergency department in mental health crisis, and the urgent reforms needed. The commissioned report, prepared by the Mitchell Institute for Education and Health Policy at Victoria University, was launched last September at a webinar that brought together over 400 stakeholders from across Australia.

    ACEM are now planning a Queensland specific roundtable event to bring together stakeholders from emergency care, psychiatry, general practice, mental health consumers and government to consider the recommendations and steps that should be taken to improve the outcomes for people with mental health conditions.

    We must work collectively to address the issues and improve the timeliness and experience of care for consumers. Only with collective action can we hope to develop systems of care that are holistic, client centred and provide the right level of care in the right environment at the right time.

    The Queensland online roundtable event will be held Thursday 25 February at 1:00pm AEST.

    To express your interest in participating, please contact our Policy Manager Jeff Allen j.allen@amaq.com.au by COB Wednesday 10 February.
  • Buy your foundation tickets today!