The Public Health Association of Australia welcomes the announcement today of a commission of inquiry into Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We believe the inquiry should focus on finding solutions and learning lessons for the future,” PHAA CEO, Adj Prof Terry Slevin said.
“It should not be a legalistic nor political mechanism to find and attribute blame and seek retribution.
“The pandemic had a significant impact on every person in Australia.
“We must approach this process with openness and honesty, looking to determine what we did well, what we could have done better, and how we can improve our systems our processes to help protect the health of current and future generations of people in Australia.”
The inquiry should also provide guidance into the scope, resources, and roles that can be played by the promised Australian Centre for Disease Control (ACDC).
“This is a once-in-a-100-year opportunity to get this new piece of public health architecture right,” Adj Prof Slevin said.
“It will need a clear scope, proper governance to ensure it is expert and independent and it will need proper resources to tackle the significant challenge.
“The challenge includes preparedness, leadership, and prevention of communicable diseases.
“It should also lead in the prevention of chronic diseases, which remain the slow-moving tsunami of health issues plaguing Australia.
“Let’s set out Australia’s future Highway to Health.”