AUSTRALIA’S health system is facing a critical crisis as more than 100 doctors are preparing to undergo mandatory training in emergency medicine in response to the catastrophic coronavirus outbreak.
Key points:The coronaviruses first hit Australia in 2014 and it has since spread across the worldAn emergency medicine training scheme is to be rolled out nationallyThe scheme will be aimed at training the nation’s most skilled emergency medicine doctors in a bid to reduce the numbers of infectionsThe coronas first hit Australian shores in 2014, with the virus sweeping through the country, with cases increasing rapidly.
But as the country’s coronaviral pandemic began to affect the broader population, it soon became clear the system needed urgent attention.
“It is important to make sure we are managing the infection and that we are getting the best of the best, the most capable doctors, the best prepared and trained,” Dr David Healy, a GP in Perth, told the ABC.
“There are lots of people who are not in the best position, who are in a very, very, low position to help.”
The first stage of the training scheme will see doctors from around the country train in emergency Medicine at a university.
Dr Healy said it was a huge boost to the nation, and that they were taking the lessons learnt in the Australian Medical Association’s coronas outbreak seriously.
“If we have a good response to it, it is a great opportunity to do a much better job in a lot of ways in the future,” he said.
Dr David Heymans, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Adelaide, said there were “quite a few” doctors training in Emergency Medicine but there were concerns about the impact on public health.
“When you are training in a field of emergency medical care, you can’t take people that you know have had a lot in the community, you need to know who they are,” he told ABC News.
“The first thing we are doing in the course of this training is making sure that we don’t have a large number of people, that we do not have large numbers of people that are not going to do this very well.”
He said the course would also be tailored to local circumstances.
“We want to get as much data from our local hospital and regional hospital as possible,” Dr Heymens said.
“In our first stage we are looking at the best way to train people in the general community, but in the second stage we will be looking at whether we can use the training to train doctors in regional hospitals.”
The program will start at the end of next year and be rolled-out across the country.
Dr Gwen Jones, chief executive of the Association of Emergency Medicine Practitioners, said it would provide “a massive boost” to the system.
“For us to be able to take on the workload, the demand, the volume and the quality of people we need, is really a tremendous boost,” she said.”[It] will be an opportunity to train a lot more people, so the community can have a better chance of managing the spread of coronaviroc virus.”
In the past, emergency medicine graduates had taken on jobs such as ambulance drivers, but now it is being sought by those who work in the health sector, especially nurses.
“They are looking to do the work that they love,” Dr Jones said.
Ms Jones said the training was a significant step in the right direction, and it was vital that doctors were prepared to be part of the response to a major health crisis.
“Emergency Medicine is going to be a key skill set in the new Australian Health Service and it is an incredibly valuable skill set,” she told ABC Radio Perth.
“That is why we are making sure we get the right trained people to take it on.”ABC/AAPTopics:health,public-health,health-policy,health,australiaFirst posted May 21, 2020 17:50:23Contact Mark SmeetsMore stories from Western Australia