First confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Australia

The first case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been confirmed by Victoria Health Authorities this morning. The Commonwealth Department of Health is in close contact with Victorian health authorities and has notified the World Health Organization. The patient, a man from Wuhan, flew to Melbourne from Guandong on 19 January. Minister for Health Greg Hunt…

Action on National Dust Disease Taskforce interim advice

The Morrison Government is acting to accept all five recommendations from the interim advice of the National Dust Disease Taskforce. There is an emerging trend of new cases of accelerated silicosis, a preventable occupational lung disease occurring in workers as a result of exposure to silica dust, in parts of Australia. This can occur in…

Statement – Department of Health Secretary

I join the Prime Minister in providing my deepest thanks to Ms Glenys Beauchamp PSM for her distinguished public service career which has spanned over 30 years.   Ms Glenys Beauchamp PSM has been an outstanding Secretary of the Department of Health since her appointment to the position in September 2017.   Ms Beauchamp has…

$5 million for bushfire related health research

The current bushfire crisis that is impacting large parts of Australia has devastated individuals and communities. The Australian Government is taking action on this significant public health problem.   The medium-term health effects of the recent bushfires will be studied under two major research streams commissioned by the Government.   The Government will provide $5…

Transcript – Weekend Sunrise interview with Matt Doran

E&OE…                       Topics: Mental health support for people affected by bushfires.   MATT DORAN: Joining us from Canberra now is the Health Minister, Greg Hunt. Minister, thank you for your time. A wonderful initiative.   Obviously it is great to see the focus being directed not just to the rebuild of buildings but to the…

Transcript – Weekend Today interview with Jayne Azzopardi

E&OE…                       Topics: Mental health support for people affected by bushfires.   JAYNE AZZOPARDI: Well as fire conditions ease on the fire front for the moment, the Federal Government is this morning turning its attention to the heavy emotional toll for those on the ground.   It’s announced $76 million for mental health services in…

Immediate mental health services deployed into fire affected communities

More mental health support services will be immediately provided to firefighters, emergency personnel, individuals and communities impacted by the ongoing bushfire disaster. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said an initial $76 million would fund free counselling sessions, extra Medicare and tele-health consultations, an expansion of headspace services for young Australians, and community recovery initiatives. “These bushfires…

Number of P2 masks provided for bushfires almost 3.5 million

The Australian Government is providing an additional 576,000 P2 masks to South Australia, Tasmania and Australian Defence Force personnel to support bushfire-affected communities.   An additional 505,000 masks have been reserved for New South Wales and 505,600 masks have been reserved for Victoria, following a request from these states.   The Government has already provided…

Ensuring continued access to affordable PBS medicines for those impacted by the bushfires

The Morrison Government is implementing temporary, emergency measures to ensure people affected by the current bushfire situation are able to continue to receive Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidised medicines when a doctor’s prescription is not immediately available.   These changes will help people with ongoing medical needs including those with asthma, lung disease, diabetes, heart disease…