AMA calls for stronger quarantine model

Australia needs to move away from temporary measures and introduce permanent quarantine solutions.

The AMA has called for an urgent stocktake of potential quarantine sites around Australia in a submission to the Chair of National Review of Hotel Quarantine, Ms Jane Halton AO PSM. Ms Halton invited the AMA to provide this submission as part of her further review into Australia’s quarantine arrangements.

Australia’s current hotel quarantine has resulted in over 30 breaches, one of which has led to the third wave of infections. Australia needs to move away from this temporary measure and introduce permanent quarantine solutions.

The AMA has welcomed the announcement of the three quarantine facilities announced in recent weeks, however the facilities will take months to complete. The AMA is also concerned about the lack of engagement with the local medical communities in the vicinity of these facilities.

The submission also calls for further examination of the options for expanding home quarantine for fully vaccinated people arriving from lower risk locations. This would alleviate some of the burden on quarantine facilities.

AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid will meet with Ms Halton in the coming weeks to further detail the AMA’s priorities in ensuring Australia has a robust quarantine regime. Underpinning the AMA’s position are two goals: To prevent COVID-19 originating overseas from spreading through Australia, and to ensure that Australians can continue to return here from overseas, ideally in increased numbers.

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