Managing pandemics in general practice


Last revised: 28 Jun 2024

The specific management requirements of a pandemic will be determined by multiple factors, such as: the characteristics of the organism (clinical severity and transmissibility); the characteristics of the population (density, pre-existing health, social determinants); the extent and effectiveness of public health interventions; the capacity of existing healthcare services; and the geographical origin of the initial cases of disease from the virus.

Management will be guided by expert bodies such as, but not limited to, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, the Communicable Diseases Network Australia, the Infection Prevention and Control Expert Group and state/territory and public health authorities.

General practices will work within federal, state/territory and local guidelines for locally relevant pandemic responses.

A pandemic challenges all facets of Australia’s health system, as evidenced in large scale during the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic. General practitioners (GPs) and practice teams play an integral role in providing essential health services to patients and supporting public health goals in disease control.

When faced with a disease outbreak like a pandemic, general practice will be frontline in the response, involved from beginning to end. To ensure the continuation of high-quality clinical care to patients, it is vital that practices have an up-to-date pandemic plan so they are prepared, well informed, well stocked and ready to respond.

Practices that are prepared for pandemics are more likely to provide effective continuity of care arrangements for their patients while ensuring that business operations continue to run as smoothly as possible. Furthermore, practices that have a pandemic plan in place will ultimately be better positioned to meet the emerging and ongoing health needs of their community.

This event attracts CPD points and can be self recorded

Did you know you can now log your CPD with a click of a button?

Create Quick log