Australia Well Prepared for Ebola

By Petrina Smith
Monday, 20 October, 2014



Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Baggoley is confident that State and Territory health authorities have well developed systems in place to protect the community if a case of Ebola is found in Australia.


Speaking after a meeting of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) held today to evaluate Australia's ongoing response to Ebola, Professor Baggoley said, as usual at these weekly meetings, State and Territory Chief Health Officers gave updates on their Ebola preparedness plans.


“Nationally and at a local level we have alerted doctors, hospital, paramedics and other health professionals on what to do if they suspect a patient has Ebola,” Professor Baggoley said.


"All States and Territories have their own response plans which include designating specific hospitals to treat suspected cases and ensuring there are adequate facilities and equipment, including personal protection, available.


Professor Baggoley said he was impressed to see that many of these hospitals had already conducted mock exercises to test their response plans and capabilities.


“In addition the Communicable Diseases Network of Australia has produced a series of special guidelines for hospitals, public health units, clinicians and GPs. The guidelines give step by step guidance on identifying and dealing with a suspected case and they are continually under review as new information and experiences from overseas are received."


Professor Baggoley said Australian health authorities will continue to meet regularly to review the Ebola response with the Commonwealth providing national guidance and State and Territory health authorities managing the response at the coalface.


Extensive information for consumers and health professionals, together with the series of national guidelines, is publicly available at www.health.gov.au/ebola.

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