Date published: 
4 April 2020
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The Australian Government is investing $1.5 million to support guidance for clinicians to ensure they are given the best possible advice on managing COVID-19 patients.

The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce will receive $1.5 million from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to deliver ‘living guidelines’ on the clinical management of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection across primary, acute and critical care settings.

The Taskforce, which includes a large coalition of peak health professional bodies, has been convened by the Australian Living Evidence Consortium, led by Cochrane Australia based in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University.

The Taskforce will analyse emerging national and international research and data on COVID-19 to provide frontline health care workers with the most up-to-date information and advice on the disease in a rapidly evolving environment.

Their recommendations will be continually reviewed and updated in near ‘real-time’ to ensure that clinicians are able to provide the best possible care.

The initial set of recommendations will be launched today and will address priority topics in urgent need of clear and unified guidance, including:

  • Drug treatment of COVID-19 infection
  • Use of oxygen therapies
  • Key elements of critical care, and
  • Disease categories and monitoring.

This is an evolving project that will continue to expand as the COVID-19 outbreak progresses. Additional topics and recommendations for special populations will be added in the coming weeks.

The recommendations will also be published in a mobile web app to make it easier for clinicians to access information at point of care.

This latest investment is in addition to the Government’s $2.4 billion Coronavirus National Health Plan that is providing support across primary care, aged care, hospitals, research and the National Medical Stockpile. To date, the Australian Government has made available more than $36 million from the Medical Research Future Fund for research on COVID-19.

Further information on the MRFF is available at www.health.gov.au/mrff

Ministers: