• Daily Media Briefing - Tuesday 4 May

    Qld Premier calls on Commonwealth to expand GP vaccination network

    The Age, Other, 03/05/2021, Tony Moore

    Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will ask Prime Minister Scott Morrison at national cabinet to expand the number of GPs who can deliver COVID-19 vaccines. [...] That move would be supported by the Queensland branch of the Australian Medical Association, which believed GPs should be central to the rollout.

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    Why WA isn't in lockdown over latest community outbreak

    WA Today, Other, 03/05/2021, Heather McNeill

    Two million Perth residents had barely emerged from a three-day lockdown when another hotel quarantine breach was detected, this time in a security guard who worked at the Pan Pacific. [...] However Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid said he believed Perth should keep some underlying restrictions in place to prevent the need to lock down over small numbers of cases in the future.

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    COVID-19: Masks now part of ongoing restrictions as 93 public exposure sites across Perth identified

    West Australian, Other, 03/05/2021, Peter Law and Briana Fiore

    Premier Mark McGowan has flagged Perth residents may be forced to keep wearing masks for longer, as health authorities remain at a loss to explain how a mask-wearing security guard contracted COVID-19 from a returned traveller at the Pan Pacific hotel. [...] The Australian Medical Association's Perth-based president Omar Khorshid suggested WA should keep some restrictions in place to prevent the need to lockdown Perth the next time the virus escaped from a quarantine hotel.

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    WA lockdown avoided for another day as Premier Mark McGowan rolls up his sleeve for AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

    ABC Online, Other, 03/05/2021, Nicolas Perpitch

    Perth will continue to avoid another lockdown after no new community cases of COVID-19 were recorded overnight. [...] The head of the Australian Medical Association's WA branch has rejected Mr McGowan's assertion that N95 masks are not practical for security guards, while launching an attack on the Premier.

    Also reported by: Geelong Advertiser (Online)

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    WA's top doctor takes aim at 'hopeless' quarantine system after worker, housemates contract COVID-19

    Adelaide Now, Other, 03/05/2021, Ellen Ransley

    Western Australia's top doctor has taken aim at the state's "hopeless" quarantine system after a security guard contracted COVID-19 and inadvertently infected two of his housemates, including a delivery driver. Australian Medical Association WA president Andrew Miller said he did not have confidence in the system and has also labelled the federal government's move to deny stranded Australians the right to return home from India as "absolutely unacceptable".

    Also reported by: (Online)

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    No health advice on jailing India arrivals

    Perth Now, Other, 03/05/2021, Matt Coughlan

    The nation's chief medical officer warned the federal government stranded Australians could die if his recommendation of an Indian travel ban was accepted. [...] Australian Medical Association WA president Andrew Miller said similar measures were not in place for people in Europe or the UK during serious coronavirus outbreaks.

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    Doctors blast WA’s management of hotel quarantine after new Covid outbreak

    The Guardian, Other, 03/05/2021, Christopher Knaus

    The Australian Medical Association has slammed the management of Western Australia’s hotel management system after genomic sequencing suggested a security guard acquired the virus from a returned United States traveller. WA health authorities detected the "Pan Pacific cluster" on Saturday after routine testing of a security guard working at the Pan Pacific hotel quarantine site.

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    Disruption and duplication, or a desperately needed boost?

    The Medical Republic, Other, 03/05/2021, Holly Payne

    With the longest hospital outpatient and emergency department waiting times in the country, there is a clear pressure on ACT leaders to reinvest in primary care solutions. Since coming to power in 2016, the territory’s Labor government has opened five nurse-led walk-in clinics, which have drawn criticism from both the RACGP and the AMA due to the possibility of fragmented care, as well as high running costs.

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    Prevention the cure for AMA

    Pharmacy Daily, Other, 03/05/2021

    Investment in preventative health will be key to addressing inequities in the health system, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) believes. In its submission in response to the Federal Department of Health’s draft National Preventative Health Strategy, the AMA called for greater funding to be allocated to preventative measures, with AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid, describing the current allocaiton of 1.7% of the health budget as “woefully inadequate”.

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    ABC News, ABC News at Noon, 03/05/2021, Ros Childs

    Interview with Dr Andrew Miller, WA president of the AMA. Miller demonstrates the mask he suggests for highest effectiveness as PPE in the workplace. He reports that he can wear this mask for 12 hours in an operating theatre or in intensive care without any problem.

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    ABC Radio Canberra, Mornings, 03/05/2021, Adam Shirley

    Interview with AMA ACT president Dr Antonio Di Dio. Shirley says the ACT Government has today opened a Calvary vaccination hub, specifically for those who received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 jab. As a GP, Di Dio states he supports the opening of the vaccination centre.

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    5AA, Breakfast, 03/05/2021, David Penberthy and Will Goodings

    Interview with Dr Chris Moy, President of the Australian Medical Association. Moy says over 50s should check with their local GP to see how to book an appointment. He mentions the best way to book, however, is through the healthdirect website, which has an eligibility checker and the closest vaccination facility in the area.

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    ABC Radio Perth, Mornings, 03/05/2021, Nadia Mitsopoulos

    Interview with AMA WA president Dr Andrew Miller. Mitsopoulos says WA is experiencing its third hotel outbreak in three months. Miller says WA's hotel quarantine system is a disgrace and a failure.

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    6PR, Breakfast, 03/05/2021, Gareth Parker

    Interview with AMA national president Dr Omar Khorshid. Parker says WA Premier Mark McGowan and WA Health Minister Roger Cook will hold a press event at 8.15am today at the Claremont Showgrounds vaccination centre where they will get their jabs. Khorshid states a lot of Australians are very keen to get the vaccine knowing it is the only way out of the pandemic, but there are still those who are worried and concerned.

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    Triple J, Hack, 03/05/2021, Avani Dias

    Interview with AMA's Dr Hash Abdeen. Dias says anecdotal evidence show that there isn't enough support from hospitals when people report their drinks have been spiked. Abdeen says Qld Health and Qld Police said such reports should be taken seriously.

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    Who to call, where to go and what to expect as inoculation rollout moves into the next phase

    Age, General News, 04/05/2021, Rachael Dexter, Page 4

    Yesterday marked a milestone in Australia's coronavirus vaccine rollout as the biggest cohort so far in the population became eligible for their first and second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. If you're a Victorian, here's everything you need to know about vaccines available.

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    Doubt on local mRNA plans as firms pull out

    Age, General News, 04/05/2021, Liam Mannix, Page 5

    Vaccine development experts say it will take at least $250 million plus the support of a major pharmaceutical company to set up mRNA manufacturing in Australia, cooling hopes of a local jab in the next year. Manufacturing a vaccine under the tightly controlled conditions demanded by medical regulators is an enormous, costly and difficult challenge only a few companies globally are capable of.

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    Barilaro diagnosis misses various roots of vaccine vacillation: expert

    Sydney Morning Herald, General News, 04/05/2021, Alexandra Smith and Kate Aubusson, Page 4

    An Australian expert in vaccine uptake says confusion and a lack of confidence are likely factors stopping people in NSW from getting the AstraZeneca vaccine. NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said yesterday complacency was to blame for the slow uptake of the vaccine, adding that supply had outstripped demand.

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    Stroke fear on vaccine

    Herald Sun, General News, 04/05/2021, Page 8

    A Queensland man who had a stroke and developed blood clots within days of having an AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot is waiting to hear from health experts assessing whether the vaccine could be responsible. The 65-year-old, of Shute Harbour, was so ill a doctor asked his wife whether they had discussed end-of-life issues.

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    Booster shot for vaccine rollout

    Adelaide Advertiser, General News, 04/05/2021, Andrew Hough, Page 9

    South Australian GPs have been asked to help boost the state's COVID-19 vaccine rollout. SA Health last night sought applications from Commonwealth-approved medical practices to deliver 1000 more doses.

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    Aged care vax failure

    Courier Mail, General News, 04/05/2021, Madura McCormack , Page 1

    Tens of thousands of critical aged-care staff have been told to join the queue to get their coronavirus vaccine at GP clinics or state-run vaccination hubs, with government documents revealing plans to deliver the jab in their workplaces have hit another snag. There are an estimated 318,000 aged and disability care staff across the country, but the latest data available shows just 37,000 have been vaccinated all of them with leftover doses as residents received Pfizer jabs.

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    Call out for over-50s to 'roll up and get jabbed'

    West Australian, General News, 04/05/2021, Charlotte Elton and Peter Law, Page 5

    All Australians aged over 50 became eligible for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine yesterday — including Premier Mark McGowan, who received his first jab yesterday morning. The 53-year old Premier rolled up his sleeve at Claremont Showground's mass vaccination clinic, accompanied by Health Minister Roger Cook.

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    Vaccine hubs open doors to people aged 50 and over

    The Age, Other, 03/05/2021, Rachael Dexter

    Vaccine sites have officially opened to every Victorian aged 50 and over, as health authorities move to reassure those wary of the AstraZeneca vaccine to speed up the roll-out. From 7.30am six mass vaccine sites across the state began inoculating those 50 and over.

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    High demand at mass COVID vaccine clinics

    Oberon Review, Other, 03/05/2021, Liz Hobday

    There's been growing demand at Victoria's mass vaccination clinics as people over 50 lined up for their COVID jab. From Monday, anyone aged over 50 can get an AstraZeneca vaccine at high volume clinics in Melbourne, Geelong, and Ballarat.

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    Public Health and Medical Practice

    Gender doctors 'pressed to give drugs'

    The Australian, General News, 04/05/2021, Bernard Lane, Page 7

    Gender clinicians are under increasing pressure to enable "conveyor belt" medicalisation of children who arrive already convinced that hormonal drugs are the only solution to their distress, according to a landmark study. The first paper from Australian gender clinicians to tap into international concerns about the "gender affirmative" medicalised treatment model for gender dysphoria suggests that young people are often not open to exploring other possible factors in their distress, such as family trauma, sexual abuse, depression, and autism.

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    Pandemic takes toll on maternal health

    Age, General News, 04/05/2021, Wendy Tuohy, Page 9

    A so-called "covid lag" has contributed to a rise in demand for perinatal support, as mothers who endured pregnancy during the pandemic welcome babies into the continuing health crisis. Maternal mental health organisation Gidget Foundation Australia has supported 122 per cent more people this year, while calls to the national helpline for women suffering perinatal depression and anxiety doubled last year.

    Also reported by: Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney)

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    Preying on IVF hope

    Herald Sun, General News, 04/05/2021, Grant McArthur, Page 5

    Four out of five IVF patients are paying thousands of dollars for untested add-on treatments, with little or no proof they will increase their chances of having a baby. Some of the techniques pushed to desperate patients may even harm their chances of a healthy pregnancy, a study backed by Victoria's fertility watchdog found.

    Also reported by: Adelaide Advertiser (Adelaide), Courier Mail (Brisbane)

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    Medicinal weed warning

    Northern Territory News, General News, 04/05/2021, Page 2

    Consumers are being warned against buying medicinal cannabis on the black market, with the products potentially posing dangerous risks to health. Australia's health regulator warned consumers products bought on the internet may be unsafe, of poor quality, or contain a different dose to what the label claims.

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