COVID-19

As a professional medical college, it's our responsibility to put the safety of our members and the community we serve above all else.

We share regular updates from the Australian Government, Department of Health and the Aotearoa New Zealand Ministry of Health.

The COVID-19 Living Narrative is a collation of approved policy and advocacy activities that have been undertaken by the College since March 2020in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes submissions, policy documents, webinars and other correspondence to government and key stakeholders on issues such as personal protective equipment (PPE), telehealth, COVID-19 vaccination and vaccination insurance schemes. It also includes advocacy activities and media releases regarding disability, aged care, children and young people, school closures, public health measures, healthcare worker infection, health system capacity and equity.  The COVID-19 Living Narrative will continue to be updated with key College work, progressed by the RACP COVID-19 Expert Reference Group.

Read our 2020 COVID-19 Learning Report (PDF) and 2021 member survey report Are you COVID-19 safe? (PDF).

What we're doing

Following advice from the Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Governments and recommendations for social distancing, we're postponing, cancelling or live streaming key events and ceremonies for the foreseeable future. CPD deadlines have been extended.

All committee meetings will be held virtually through our video conference provider, Zoom. Contact the relevant committee secretary for more information.

Education and training

We've changed some requirements and created a set of principles to guide our decision-making during COVID-19.

Advocacy

We have several advocacy activities underway to support you during COVID-19.

FAQs

Find answers to some frequently asked questions on COVID-19 here.


Advice and news

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

The Commission has developed a wide range of resources providing advice on how to reduce the risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) exposure and infection. These resources are freely available for Australian health service organisations, healthcare professionals and consumers.

Australian Government Department of Health

The Department has developed a wide range of coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for health professionals, including aged care providers, pathology providers and healthcare managers.

PBS listing of molnupiravir

Commencing 1 March 2022 Lagevrio® (molnupiravir) will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Section 85 program as an Authority Required (Streamlined) benefit for patients with mild-moderate COVID 19 who have a high risk for developing severe disease, reducing the need for admission to hospital.

A fact sheet is available via the PBS website here.

Please note:
Not all prescribing software may have been updated to allow for ePrescribing and prescriptions may be unable to be uploaded to the Prescription Exchange Service. A standard paper based authority prescription may be supplied. 

As part of the COVID-19 National Health Plan, the National Health (COVID-19 Supply of Pharmaceutical Benefits) Special Arrangement 2020 (The Special Arrangement) was implemented as an interim measure while Electronic Prescribing capability was still being implemented. Due to the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Special Arrangement has been extended until 31 March 2022. Factsheets for prescribers are available on the Department of Health’s website: COVID-19 National Health Plan – prescriptions via telehealth – a guide for prescribers

It is important that you update your prescribing software when appropriate to ensure the COVID-19 treatment item code changes are displayed. If you have updated your prescribing software and the item is still not appearing you can handwrite the prescription and obtain the streamlined code from the PBS website. 

 

Specialty Society COVID-19 information

Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society –  ADIPS ADS Joint Statement on GDM Diagnosis during the COVID-19 pandemic | Updated 7 May 2020

Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs

Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine: ASHM COVID-19 taskforce on HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and Sexual health

Australasian Sleep Association – COVID-19 resources for respiratory and sleep clinicians

Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases

Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists – Special Interest Group

Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy

Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion

Australian and New Zealand Children's Haematology Oncology Group: COVID-19 Vaccination Guidance for children 12 years and older undergoing cancer treatment and children with non-cancerous blood disorders | Published 6 September 2021

Australian and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine – Online learning modules (members only)

ANZSPM Guidance - palliative care in the COVID-19 context | Published 2020

Australian Diabetes Society  –  updates on diabetes and COVID-19

Australian Paediatric Endocrinology Group

Australian Rheumatology Association (PDF)

Australian Rheumatology Association | Clinical resources

Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand | Position statements and practice guidelines

Gastroenterological Society of Australia

Medical Oncology Group of Australia:

New Zealand Dermatological Society Inc (NZDSI) blog

New Zealand Rheumatology Association: Arthritis New Zealand-New Zealand Rheumatology Association position statement – COVID-19 vaccination in patients with inflammatory arthritis and related autoimmune diseases | Published 19 February 2021

New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes

New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology:

Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand

Society of Obstetric Medicine of Australia and New Zealand

Society of Youth Health Professionals Aotearoa New Zealand

Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand - Update on operational guidance for respiratory function testing during COVID‐19 restrictions | 5 August 2021

Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand

COVID-19 resources

COVID-19 Vaccines

Visit the following websites for up-to-date information about the COVID-19 vaccinations roll-out in your jurisdiction within Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Australian Department of Health

Aotearoa New Zealand Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora

ACT Health

NSW Health

NT Government | Immunisation: Health professionals

Queensland Government

SA Health

Tasmania Government

Victoria Government

Government of WA

Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) | Statements

Telehealth / virtual care

Australia

MBS telehealth

COVID-19 Temporary MBS Telehealth Services | Extended until 31 December 2021.

Australian Cybersecurity Centre | Web Conferencing Security

Australian Digital Health Agency | Electronic Prescribing

Australian Government Department of Health | COVID-19 National Health Plan prescriptions via telehealth: A guide for prescribers

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency | Telehealth guidance for practitioners

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association | Health Worker and Health Practitioner Exemplar Health Assessment (PDF)

Services Australia | Bulk billing a telehealth video consultation

MBS Online | The new COVID-19 Telehealth MBS items can now be claimed | Updated 2020

My Health Record | Registration overview
(Contact the Digital Health Agency at 1300 901 001 or help@digitalhealth.gov.au)


Aotearoa New Zealand

Ministry of Health | National Telehealth Service

NZ Telehealth Forum and Resource Centre | Your guide to telehealth in NZ

ACC | COVID-19 information for providers

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Access to PPE

You may need to privately source personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly if you work in community private practice.

The COVID-19 Manufacturer Response Register helps match capability and demand for PPE between Australian businesses and customers.

When using the register, buyers need to:

  • do due diligence in establishing the quality of the supply
  • find out minimum order for some suppliers, as this isn't clearly stated

The register was developed by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, in collaboration with the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

Additionally, you may also be able to source PPE from the following sites:

Note: We have not conducted verification, quality or capability assessments on the suppliers or their products and therefore we cannot recommend suppliers. Undertake your own due diligence before purchasing. Conditions and requirements across states and territories vary so seek advice from your local health department.

Use of PPE

The NSW Government has a range of PPE-related resources on how to appropriately fit, wear, and dispose of PPE.

Aotearoa New Zealand

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Aotearoa New Zealand's COVID-19 response is sourced and distributed as part of a nationally coordinated approach, managed by the Ministry of Health. A nationally-coordinated approach enables supply directly to the groups that need PPE and overall stocktaking and management of supplies at a national level.

Webinars

Brave New Normal World: COVID-19 where to from here? | February 2022
COVID-19 and children | December 2021
COVID-19 treatment | December 2021

Expert Reference Group (ERG) Long COVID 2-part webinar series

Understanding and managing long COVID | September 2021 | Medflix 
Living and working with long COVID | September 2021 | Medflix

General COVID-19

  • COVID-19 Vaccinations 4-part webinar series | March-April 2021 | Medflix
  • COVID-19 Symposia 3-part webinar series 2020 | Medflix

Telehealth

Webinars are recorded regularly. Check back for the latest information.

Telehealth and Electronic Prescribing Webinar | Accurate as of 8 April 2020

Telehealth and Electronic Prescribing Webinar | Accurate as of 1 April 2020

Pomegranate Health podcast | Episode 57: The Art of Telehealth

Media releases

Read our COVID-19 media releases

Aotearoa New Zealand position statements

Reset for equity: First dose of COVID-19 vaccines for Māori and Pasifika (PDF)

RACP Māori Health Committees’ Equity Statement on COVID-19 (PDF)

Social media

We share COVID-19 updates, resources and information on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

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