Date: 16 November 2017
With microorganisms rapidly adapting to counteract the effects of antimicrobial agents, our defence against infection is under threat. In addition to the mortality and the morbidity directly associated with infective conditions, many technologically advanced medical treatments that rely on the use of antibiotic prophylaxis (such as chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants, joint replacement surgery, and interventional cardiology) may become too dangerous to offer.
System-wide efforts are now underway to combat AMR and sectors across the Australian community have been mobilised to act.
GPs and the primary care sector have a role to play in these efforts. In 2016, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) produced Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Australia (AURA), its first report on the state of AMR and antibiotic use in Australia. That report states that in 2014, almost half (46 per cent) of Australians had at least one antimicrobial dispensed to them in the community.
Since the release of its National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2015-2019, the Australian Government has devised a series of ‘Priority Areas for Action’ arranged under seven Objectives and detailed in a companion document Implementation Plan: National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2015-2019.
This document outlines the RACGP position on antimicrobial resistance and response to the issue of AMR in Australia. It proposes a number of activities to respond to AMR and complements the Strategic Objectives and Priority Areas for Action outlined in the Australian Government’s Implementation Plan.
The RACGP seeks support from Commonwealth and State Governments in the implementation of these activities.