COAG Health Council Communique

The Australian and state and territory health ministers met in Melbourne to discuss a range of national health issues.

Page last updated: 10 October 2014

PDF printable version of COAG Health Council Communique (PDF 236 KB)

10 October 2014

The Australian and state and territory health ministers met in Melbourne today to discuss a range of national health issues.

At a meeting of the COAG Health Council, chaired by Jillian Skinner, NSW Minister for Health, discussions included:

Ebola: Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Baggoley, briefed ministers on the current precautions being undertaken at Australia’s borders and within the health system to protect Australians against the disease. Professor Baggoley pointed out that Ebola was not easily transmitted and people are only infectious when they show symptoms. However all state and territory health authorities have provided specific guidance to their designated hospitals, paramedic and ambulance workforces, general practice, and state-based quarantine and medical staff in relation to how to isolate, test and treat a suspected Ebola case. These measures have been in place since 9 August 2014.

At the border the Australian Government has put in place additional measures to address the low risk of Ebola to Australia. All airport border agencies are aware of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and border staff at our international airports identify and assess people from the affected African countries (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and The Democratic Republic of Congo).

The Commonwealth and all States and Territories continue to cooperate on the response to the Ebola outbreak through the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.

Cannabis: Ministers discussed the issue of medicinal cannabis. They noted the significant body of evidence linking recreational use of cannabis to mental ill health. Ministers reinforced their opposition to the recreational use of cannabis.

Ministers agreed to work collaboratively to share knowledge and information on issues relating to the use of appropriate therapeutic products derived from cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Media contact: Kay McNiece, 0412 132 585

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