General practice: professional preparation for a pandemic
Collins, N and Litt, J and Moore, M and Winzenberg, TM and Shaw, K, General practice: professional preparation for a pandemic, Medical Journal of Australia, 185, (10) pp. S66-S69. ISSN 0025-729X (2006) [Refereed Article]
• General practice will play a key role in both prevention and management of an influenza pandemic. Australian pandemic plans acknowledge a role for general practice, but there are few published data addressing the issues that general practitioners and their practices will face in dealing with such a crisis. • The outcome will revolve around preparation in three key areas: Definition of the role of general practice within a broad primary care pandemic response, and adequate preparation within general practices so they can play that role well. Planning exercises and forums must include GPs, and rehearsals must include practical experience for general practices and their staff. Local Divisions of General Practice and GP practices can advocate for this, can define their role, and can prepare by using pandemic preparedness checklists. Definition and enactment of communication strategies to facilitate transfer of useful clinical and administrative data from practices and rapid dissemination of information into the community via general practice. Resource provision, which should be centrally funded but locally distributed, with personal protective equipment, vaccines and antivirals readily available for distribution. Resources must include support for human resource management to ensure appropriate health care professionals reach areas of workforce demand. Administrative, clinical and financial resources must be available to train GPs and practices in pandemic awareness and response.