Over-the-counter Covid antivirals a ‘recipe for disaster’, says RACGP
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has strengthened its opposition to making Covid antiviral treatments available over the counter at pharmacies, suggesting it would be a “recipe for disaster”.
It comes after the Pharmacy Guild pushed for the drugs to be made available without a prescription at community pharmacies due to national GP shortages.
RACGP president Dr Karen Price said the guild’s claims were “unfounded and misleading”.
Clear messaging is needed for patients. The Pharmacy Guild … needs to stop muddying the message on access for patients. Patients need to understand the urgency of contacting their GP when they test positive for Covid-19 and not be distracted by the Pharmacy Guild’s efforts to push their own agenda. We are in the midst of a pandemic and timely access requires people to be well informed and clear on what they need to do.
Over-the-counter pharmacy consultations and prescribing by pharmacists is not the answer to getting these treatments in the hands of those who need them. We need pharmacists to concentrate on their own job of stocking and dispensing safely and let the GPs get on with doctoring, because lives can be saved.
At the end of the day, pharmacists do not have the appropriate skill-set to interpret a life history, including a sexual history, or the diagnostics of liver and kidney function. Nor can they order urgent tests if needed. Prescribing these medications is not simply taking them from a box on a shelf and handing them to a patient.
Updated at 06.19 BST
Show key events only
“Flinders Street Station may not have a nose” is an interesting intro to a tweet, but if you’re out in the Melbourne CBD tonight wondering why the train station is red, here’s your answer.
Flinders Street Station may not have a nose, but we’ll be lighting the whole thing red tonight in support of @RedNoseAus #RedNoseDay helps to save little lives, and support anyone impacted by the death of a baby or child in pregnancy, infancy and childhood. pic.twitter.com/1jLthy6lzH
— Development Victoria (@DevelopmentVic) August 12, 2022
Speaking of Richard Marles, the acting prime minister has congratulated Mark Brown of the Cook Islands party for winning the national election.
Brown replaced Henry Puna as PM just prior to Covid-19 and guided the Cook Islands through the pandemic.
Congratulations to Prime Minister Mark Brown on the election win. Cook Islands is, and will continue to be, a close partner of Australia. We look forward to continuing to work with PM Brown, including as Cook Islands assumes the role of Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum.
— Richard Marles (@RichardMarlesMP) August 12, 2022
In other news, the Cook Islands News is reporting more than 60% of voters said “yes” to the cannabis referendum, which was held alongside the election.
Updated at 07.53 BST
Cheng Lei’s situation ‘heartbreaking’, says acting PM Richard Marles
Acting prime minister Richard Marles says Australia has been “advocating on behalf of Cheng Lei” to the Chinese government and has been “concerned” abut her access to justice and to procedural fairness.
Tomorrow marks two years since Cheng was arrested in Beijing.
The situation is completely heartbreaking. And we can only feel for her family here in Australia. That’s why we maintain advocacy on Cheng Lei’s behalf to the Chinese government and we will continue to provide her with that consular service.
Updated at 07.44 BST
Adding environmental concerns to national energy objectives a ‘landmark move’, says Climate Council
The Climate Council has issued a statement following the national cabinet meeting between federal energy minister, Chris Bowen, and his state and territory counterparts.
Communications director, Jane Gardner, said the ministers made a “historic decision” to consider the environment as part of the National Electricity Objective – the first change to the objective in 15 years.
Ministers from every state and territory agreed to a landmark move to underpin the shift from fossil fuels towards 100% renewables. The ministers also agreed to add emissions to the National Energy Objective.
The change could pave the way for tens of billions of dollars in new infrastructure, generation and storage that will fast track the shift from coal and gas to a renewables based grid. Ultimately, this will reduce the cost of living pressures currently facing Australians.
Climate councillor and former BP Australasia president Greg Bourne said it was “about time”.
Although the devil will be in the detail, agreement to add emissions to the National Energy Objectives is momentous. What’s more, the cooperation between federal, state and territory ministers is enormously positive. This could not be further from where we were less than two years ago when the previous energy minister faced a revolt from the states and territories over a national energy and emissions plan.
Incorporating environmental concerns back into the National Electricity Objective (NEO) is a landmark move that finally brings Australia one step closer to a zero emissions energy system that addresses climate change.
Updated at 07.40 BST
There were so many examples of misbehaviour, a reporter says, with the most serious sexual assaults involving women. What does this say about gender imbalance in the workplace, Taylor is asked?
Taylor says she takes her role as a female deputy “very seriously”.
It’s important to be a role model for people and I think that is really important to show younger women that people aren’t prepared to tolerate this and it’s not acceptable behaviour … but this is serious, these allegations.
She says this is why it’s important people have come forward.
I really commend that … you must tell your story, you must be able to do that and then a vigorous progress has to be in place … I think this has really demonstrated some serious issues right across all party lines and the opposition leader has come out today and said that. This is very serious for everybody involved … when parliamentarians of all different stripes come together, really powerful things can happen and I look very forward to that and I’m just really pleased that this report has landed.
Updated at 07.35 BST
Deputy national leader in the New South Wales government Bronnie Taylor is appearing on ABC’s Afternoon Briefing following the release of the Broderick review.
Asked if she’d been “personally aware” of serious complaints recorded in the NSW parliamentary review, she said she’d “always had an open door” during her seven years in office.
I will stand up for what’s right and I will absolutely call that behaviour out. In terms of the severity of some of these allegations and the alleged criminal conduct, I have never seen that myself happen and it has never been raised with me about serious alleged criminal offences … one great thing about this report … is that it was anonymous so people felt very safe.
[This is] not about partisan politics, it’s about the behaviour of everybody in this building. I can only speak from a personal level with my own behaviour and the example that I set for myself and my staff and I believe that that is of a high standard … there is no tolerance in any workplace in Australia for any type of alleged criminal behaviour or bullying or harassment.
Updated at 07.13 BST
In Victoria, the Environmental Protection Authority is investigating scum.
And by that, I don’t mean *insert defamatory joke here*.
EPA officers are on site at Cherry Creek, Altona Nth with reports of surface scum on the water and a discernible odour. We’re investigating if it’s a pollution or naturally occurring event. We’ll keep the community updated. Report pollution at 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842)
— Environment Protection Authority Victoria (@VicGovEPA) August 12, 2022
Veteran affairs department has ‘unacceptable’ backlog of compensation claims
Australia has “fundamental cultural problems” that need to be tackled to address the nation’s defence force and veteran suicide crisis, royal commission chairman Nick Kaldas says.
The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide interim report made 13 urgent recommendations, including clearing the massive backlog of compensation claims by March 2024.
Kaldas said the backlog was unacceptable, and the delays and complexities of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs had impacted suicides. He told the ABC:
There’s been more than 50 previous inquiries looking at all aspects of this, and the reality is that most of the recommendations that have previously been made were actually not acted upon.
Kaldas said findings that a significant number of suicides involving current or former personnel who did not serve overseas on operational deployments showed deep issues.
What that tells us is that there are fundamental cultural problems that must be tackled. Not just for those who are returning from a combat zone or a conflict zone, but for those who have not left Australia.
Asked if it was enough that the government apologised for letting down the nation’s veterans and defence force personnel, Kaldas said: “It’s an important step and it’s a positive step.”
Updated at 07.05 BST
Agreement on emissions reductions for Queensland energy market a ‘watershed’ moment
Queensland energy minister Mick de Brenni has described today’s agreement to enshrine emissions reductions objectives into energy market laws as a “watershed” moment in national energy policy:
The energy sector is Queensland’s largest carbon emitter and has a significant role to play in accelerating our path towards net zero emissions.
The Queensland government has been working hard with the ACT government to present this proposal to national energy ministers and we will continue to cooperate with all jurisdictions to deliver this historic reform.
De Brenni said prioritising inclusion of emissions reduction goals in the National Energy Objectives had been “blocked” by successive Coalition governments.
In fact, the original National Objectives go back even further to the Howard government, which resisted the inclusion of emissions in the first instance.
It’s a clear and direct signal to the entire nation as well as the global community that everyone is now working together in this new energy era.
Updated at 07.01 BST
Here is the communique from today’s meeting in full:
“First action … is to fast track an emissions objective into the National Energy Objectives – answering the call that has been there for too long. This ensures that the transformation to net zero is delivered in the long term interests of consumers, guided by affordability.” https://t.co/HpA12hvB7q
— Michael Mazengarb (@MichaelM_ACT) August 12, 2022
Bowen thanks his state and territory colleagues for “constructive engagement” and announces a series of agreements have been made.
We’ve done a lot today … we have of course been briefed by our energy market operators plus the ACCC on the current state of the energy market and it’s fair to say challenges will remain this year, next year and in the immediate future.
Just as we’ve worked closely managing this winter we’ll continue to work closely managing seasons that come upon us to ensure lights stay on and we’ll do everything humanly possible to manage supply.
Bowen says his state and territory counterparts have agreed to changes to the gas market including empowering energy regulator Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) with greater powers and functions. AEMO will be able to direct market participants to supply gas where necessary.
“It’s not a silver bullet,” he says, but it’s an “important step”.
During the meeting it was also agreed emissions reduction would become part of the National Energy Objectives, the first change to the objectives in 15 years.
It sends a very clear direction to energy market operators that they must include emissions reductions in work they do, the objectives they have and decisions they make.
Bowen says this builds on the climate bill and sends a message of “certainty” to investors in renewable energy that “Australia is open for business and determined to reduce emissions”.
We all know this transition hasn’t been fast enough and hasn’t been orderly enough … this capacity mechanism is going to be important.
Updated at 06.52 BST
READ NEWS SOURCE
The post Australia news live: selling Covid antivirals over the counter a ‘recipe for disaster’, leading doctors’ body says appeared first on thewashingtondigest.com.