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06 Mar 2020

Transcript:   AMA Vice President, Dr Chris Zappala, Seven Network, Sunrise, Friday, 6 March 2020

Subject:    Coronavirus


DAVID KOCH:        Eithne Irving from the Australian Dental Association joins us now, along with Dr Chris Zappala from the Australian Medical Association. Good morning to you both.

[Questions to Eithne Irving]

DAVID KOCH:        Okay. Chris, there seems to be confusion with how GPs are also dealing with the coronavirus? What are the main concerns from doctors?

CHRIS ZAPPALA:  Well GPs are seeing the patients now and helping to screen and treat people. But it's much like the dentist, I'd have to say, being sure that there is that supply of protective equipment, but also clear guidelines for what they're supposed to be doing, how they're supposed to be testing and keeping up-to-date with the evolving information as it becomes available and changes. So just being in a position where they can work effectively and safely and have reassurance that they are going to be working safe, they've got the resources to do their job.

DAVID KOCH:        Alright. Chris, can we keep control of this virus? What do doctors want done?

CHRIS ZAPPALA:  It probably is going to be difficult to keep control of this in entirety. But we really must come back to basics. On a personal level, there's always room to move with personal hygiene, hand hygiene and how strict we are with our isolation. And from a medical perspective, we've got to make sure that our facilities in hospitals, our fever clinics, if we have them in general practice, are working safely, that they're resourced, they've got all the equipment that they need. And if there's going to be shortages of staff because they have to go off to be quarantined, that there's a system for backfilling and replacing those individuals so that we can treat people who have the virus, but also the business as usual component.

DAVID KOCH:        Yeah. Thank you to you both. Great advice there, appreciate your time. And Nat, the big message is preparation starts with us and our own hygiene.


6 March 2020

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Published: 06 Mar 2020