Australia set to establish national Centre for Disease Control

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Anthony Albanese has told Australians to “stay tuned” for fulfilment of a key election commitment for future pandemics – the establishment of an Australian-style CDC.

AUSTRALIAN CDC

Australia will soon get a new ‘centre for disease control’, like the US CDC, it has been revealed.

Anthony Albanese has signalled the government will move forward with funding for the new centre in the October budget, after discussing the facility with state and territory counterparts in a national cabinet meeting.

The Prime Minister revealed this week that the Commonwealth has already begun liaising with the states, which he said were “receptive” to the idea.

“I have already had discussions with at least a couple of Premiers who are very keen to have it located.”

Albanese said he would not be drawn when pressed for further details when asked to describe what this centre would look like, saying “stay tuned” for announcements in the upcoming budget.

“The reason why you have budgets is so you have a few announcements in the budget. Stay tuned.”

While details remain hidden, a pre-election policy page may give us more to go with in the meantime.

Labor had pledged to develop a centre for disease control during the 2022 election campaign, arguing Australia had been “left scrambling” by the arrival of COVID-19:

According to the Labor policy, which is now in motion with confirmation comments from Albanese:

“The CDC will:
Ensure ongoing pandemic preparedness;
Lead the federal response to future infectious disease outbreaks; and
Work to prevent non-communicable (chronic) as well as communicable (infectious) diseases.”

Albanese’s announcement comes after months of pressure by medical authorities to follow through on his promise and ‘strengthen’ Australia’s response to pandemics.

Yet, the US-CDC has been criticised for being overly bureaucratic, lacking innovation and being “missing in action” during the COVID pandemic?

So how does an Australian-style CDC solve these problems?

Furthermore, just why does this centre needs to be established?

Let’s take a look at what role medical authorities are predicting this body to play.

THE POLICY

Medical authorities say ‘inadequate national coordination’ of disease tracking, data analysis, lab capacity to process PCR tests, vaccination uptake and communication, all made Australia ‘worse off’ during the pandemic.

This prompted the renewed calls for the establishment of an Australian centre for disease control (CDC).

Australia is the only OECD country without its own centralised pandemic response agency.

Key word: Centralised.

At the moment, as we have all found out, states largely individually handle their pandemic responses.

This is why Melbourne was under lockdown for longer than any other state.

But authorities want to change this moving forward, with more national control.

Labor say its CDC version will lead a national health response to future pandemics, while ‘also working to prevent chronic and transmissible diseases’.

Interestingly, the Australian Medical Association has been calling for a CDC since 2017, which it said would have “helped avoid systemic issues exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic”.

The AMA believes the CDC body should provide public advice on areas such as border management and vaccine coordination.

Now, with the pandemic, they finally get their wish.

A senate inquiry into Australia’s response to COVID-19 backed the move its in final report in April.

“There’s no doubt … some health experts felt locked out of being able to provide advice to government because of the way the decisions were taken,” committee chair Katy Gallagher said at the time.

Since this report, discussions have been held in the academic community on what this centre should look like.

“Comprehensive infectious disease surveillance and near real-time data analysis is critical for coordinating national disease control responses, such as restricting population movement or contact tracing.”

Discussions have also taken place on Twitter on ‘key features’ that should be included:

The groups have been calling since April for Albanese to move on his promises.

Get ready, ladies and gentlemen.

More nationalised disease control is set to hit Australian shores.

Could you imagine what a ‘pandemic’ would look like if largely controlled by a federal agency?

Let’s also not forget that Anthony Albanese has signalled his support for handing over pandemic powers to the World Health Organization.

Could this be a way to consolidate the power first, before handing it off?

TOTT News will continue to follow these developments.

Source: https://tottnews.com/2022/08/12/australian-centre-for-disease-control/

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