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.”