AUSTRALIA is becoming increasingly vulnerable to an epidemic of what is known as ‘the Australian way of doing things’, a new study says.
The findings come as the Australian Federal Government struggles to respond to a rise in coronavirus infections and a spike in the number of new cases.
Australia’s rate of new infections has increased from 5,500 per 100,000 in 2014 to nearly 11,000 per 100 toMentally ill Australians, including those with severe mental illness, are becoming increasingly isolated, particularly in the north-west and eastern suburbs.
“What’s happening to the mental health system is really concerning, because the number and the frequency of infections is just really alarming,” Professor Michael Todar, a public health expert from the University of NSW, said.
In the state of New South Wales, where the most cases have been reported, more than 1,300 new cases have occurred in the last week alone.
While New South Welsh Health said it is taking steps to contain the spread, the Government has been forced to suspend the state’s vaccination policy.
Professor Todars group of colleagues and fellow researchers are calling for the Government to consider the potential health and economic benefits of an Australian way that includes a focus on mental health.
New South Wales’ new Chief Medical Officer, Dr Anne Burdon, said there are also significant concerns about how a national approach to infectious disease can affect the community.
“[It is] about providing support, support in an effort to deal with this crisis,” she said.
“But there are risks involved.
There is a risk of the population becoming further isolated and the need for that isolation to be balanced with the need to deal and manage the spread of the virus.”
Australian Health has warned of an epidemic if Australia fails to act to contain an epidemic in the coming months.
Ms Burdan said she would ask the Government’s Health Minister, Peter Dutton, to examine the “risk and opportunity” of a national response to the pandemic.
Mr Dutton said he would also look at how Australia could move forward from the current federal government.
AAP/ABC NewsTopics:health,vaccines-and-immunity,diseases-and ofcom,health-policy,danish-language,australia