Media Releases

A NATIONAL COVID-19 HEALTH MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR 2023

December 12, 2022

The Australian Government has launched the National COVID-19 Health Management Plan for 2023 (National Plan). 

 

Although the emergency phase of the pandemic is behind us, COVID-19 will continue to impact the lives of Australians, and that is why the Australian Government is investing over $2.8 billion to continue to support those who need it. 

 

The National Plan reflects a consistent approach across Australia, agreed by National Cabinet on 30 September 2022, to transition our COVID-19 response – the clear priority is to minimise the incidence of death and severe illness, particularly focusing on those most at risk.  

 

The National Plan will ensure Australia’s health system has the capacity and capability to respond to future waves and variants; promote uptake of vaccination and treatments; and slow the spread of transmission. 

 

Importantly, the National Plan recognises that COVID-19 continues to disproportionally impact some Australians and therefore the Australian Government will continue to support those most at risk.    

 

The National Plan outlines a suite of measures, which: 

  • provide vaccine certainty, with a forward plan for vaccine procurement and administration; 
  • empower the community to make informed choices to protect themselves and their loved ones; 
  • take pressure off hospitals by ensuring people can seek care in the community, where and when they need it; 
  • provide additional help for aged care, First Nations, disability and multicultural communities;  
  • support effective COVID-19 testing to limit the spread and ensure that those most at risk of severe disease have fast access to care and treatments; and 
  • strengthen the National Medical Stockpile safety net and pandemic preparedness capability to ensure Australia remains well-protected and prepared into the future
     

The Government will continue to adapt Australia’s COVID-19 response in line with the epidemiology, with constant monitoring and communication on any changes to occur through the National COVID-19 Community Protection Framework.  

 

A National Statement of Expectations on COVID-19 Management in Aged Care Settings also accompanies the National Plan. We have seen the significant impact COVID-19 has had on older Australians and so it remains crucial for aged care services to make sure older Australians receive appropriate protection from, and management of, any COVID-19 infections in their surrounds. 

 

A list of key measures in the National Plan is below and the full document can be found here

 

Quotes for attribution to Minister Butler: 

 

“The National Plan provides clear guidance to the community and health care providers on how the Australian Government will play its part in managing COVID-19 into the future.” 

 

“We will continue to protect those most at risk, while ensuring we have the capacity to respond to future waves and variants.”  

 

Key measures within the National Plan include: 

COVID-19 Support 

Measure end date 

Partnerships to assist culturally and linguistically diverse communities 

30 June 2023 

Additional digital mental health services 

30 June 2023 

COVID-19 communications 

30 June 2023 

Medical indemnity to allow non-practicing doctors and midwives assist with the COVID-19 response 

21 September 2023 

The National COVID-19 Vaccine Program 

31 December 2023 

A National Partnership to Protect Priority Groups from COVID-19 with a focus on vaccines and PCR testing 

31 December 2023 

COVID-19 support for aged care, including prioritised PCR testing if needed 

31 December 2023 

Expert advisory groups to provide advice on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments 

31 December 2023 

The Living with COVID national triage and assessment service 

31 December 2023 

Support from the National Medical Stockpile for the aged care, First Nations and disability sectors 

31 December 2023 

Temporary Medicare Benefits Schedule items for: 

  • COVID-19 pathology testing 
  • safe prescribing of antiviral treatments  
  • telehealth exemptions to ensure COVID-19 patients can access medical treatment, and  
  • MRI diagnosis of COVID-19 vaccine-associated myocarditis 

31 December 2023 

First Nations and remote community COVID-19 supports 

30 June 2024 

GP-led respiratory clinics (GPRCs) 

  • 76 GPRCs continue to 28 February 2023 
  • After which time GPRCs will be stood-up and stood-down as needed 

BE THE FIRST TO HEAR FROM MARK