Albanese promises new body to strengthen defence against future pandemics

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Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

A Labor government would set up an Australian Centre for Disease Control to strengthen the country’s preparedness for future pandemics as well as boost efforts to deal with chronic illnesses.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese, announcing the initiative, said Australia was the only OECD country not to have such a centre.

The country went into COVID-19 “with less than one mask for every Australian in the National Medical Stockpile, an over-reliance on global supply chains, and badly stretched aged and healthcare systems.

“These failures have contributed to the tragic deaths of almost 900 Australians – 673 of whom were aged care residents and 28 linked to the Ruby Princess debacle – and more than 27,000 infections.”

The centre would have three broad functions

  • ensuring ongoing pandemic preparedness
  • leading a federal – not just Commonwealth – response to future infectious disease outbreaks
  • working to prevent non-communicable (chronic) as well as communicable (infectious) diseases.

The centre would run regular drills like Exercise Sustain in 2008. This was the last time such a pandemic preparedness exercise was held.

It would manage the National Medical Stockpile, and work with other countries on regional and global preparedness.

Mr Albanese said Australia’s response to COVID was “too slow, too reactive and too un-coordinated.

“We can’t be left playing catchup again.”

Labor’s health spokesman, Chris Bowen, said health experts had been calling for such a centre for more than three decades.

“We know that almost 90 per cent of Australian deaths are associated with chronic disease – but 38 per cent of the chronic disease burden is preventable.” An Australian centre “would save lives and ease the pain of chronic illness”, Mr Bowen said.The Conversation

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons licence. Read the original article.

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Written by The Conversation


Total Comments: 11
  1. 0

    Well Michelle Gratten and Albo what geniuses you lot are and how easily you all forget. Back when Tony Abbott won the election and become PM he proposed that a $7.00 co charge, later reduced to $5.00 be made to see a GP. From that co payment there would be $2.00 I think deducted and put to a national diseases centre to study and find cures etc etc. He was hung out to dry by Labour, the Greens and you MG and many other MSM lefties that could not wait to get rid of him. What a bloody joke this article is and Albo for making it.

    • 0

      Totally agree. Great for the politicians who have wound back the medical system, aged care and the Federal Medical Stockpile. These same politicians signed the Lima Agreement to reduce our ability to operate as a sovereign country. They put restrictions on manufacturing and outsourced work to cheaper labor countries to help their rich mates. Now we are supposed to forget all this and believe they have all seen the light? Then how come we had the Ruby Princess, and the Hotel Quarantine debacles? How come we had to stop elective surgery and pay owners of private hospitals a kings ransom to keep them available on standby. How come aged care went from being a government function to a privatized business that is critically ill, but makes massive profits for its owners?

    • 0

      Aren’t nearly all opposition politicians not only hypercritical but also wiser in hindsight?

      Really Albo and co???

      I sincerely doubt he could have come up with anything worthwhile…not while sitting in the corner with a full nappy and both thumbs fighting for space in his mouth.

      Well done popster. You’re on the ball.

  2. 0

    How interesting that Albanese chooses to ignore the fact that 90 percent of COVID-19 deaths were in Red Dan’s Victoria.

  3. 0

    Health experts have been calling for a centre for three decades hey Albasneezy? Why has Labor never done anything about it? Why did you stop Tony Abbott doing something about it? This article is rubbish.

  4. 0

    If the Morrison government continued to quarantine all overseas travelers arriving in Australia as he did with the first two Chinese flights, one in Christmas Island and the next in a NT mining site we could have had less infections, less deaths and less economic damage.
    It appears racism is still top of the agenda in the coalition.
    His failure in controlling our border is the root cause of all other infections. Never forget his manta “we stopped the Boats” and Johnny’s mantra “we decide who comes to Australia and the manner in which they come”. Well now they have to own up to their failures. Cant got a Pacific island and sun-bake this time.

  5. 0

    How would it overcome the problems caused by State sovereignty, premiers full of ego and self importance, wilful ignoring of the constitution, or outright incompetence and stupidity by state authorities?.

  6. 0

    I hope Albo has a plan for the future i know the Hillsong Hillbilly doesn’t.

  7. 0

    No Country was prepared for this Pandemic. Politicians didn’t spread Covid-19, ordinary people did. Mainly those people who refused to follow the dictates of Commonwealth and State Governments. Happily I live in WA, the State Government of which has isolated us from the Eastern States which shows in the number of cases and deaths from other States, such as Victoria (another labour State) where people spent their time campaigning against physical isolation; thus spreading the disease.

  8. 0

    So all those countries with such a centre have fared better than us have they? Let’s take this headline “Trump blatantly disregarded recommendations made by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention after coming into contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19”. OOO and Now Trump has COVID. So the Albo is saying that we would have a centre that politicians would take heed of? Or would this be another centre that they ignore but costs tax payers lots of money….



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