Speed trumps perfection
The executive director of the World Health Organisation, Dr Michael J Ryan, has issued a stark and powerful message to the world on what needs to be done to beat the coronavirus. Dr Ryan explains how the countries of the world can immediately impact the spread of COVID-19 in just 80 seconds. Watch the video.

Risks posed by COVID-19 to ENT surgeons and trainees
We are conscious of the additional risks posed by COVID-19 to ENT surgeons and trainees in Australia and New Zealand. Growing evidence shows that highest viral load is in the nose and upper airway. The Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (ASOHNS) has shared this concern with RACS and we have notified the Australian and New Zealand Chief Medical Officers of this issue.

ASOHNS has made four recommendations, based on reliable evidence from overseas:

  • Enable OHNS surgeons and trainees, as well as those working with them in theatre and in rooms prioritised access to full personal protective equipment
  • Cancel all routine elective airway surgery; only operate on cancer/Category 1 patients
  • Allow ENT surgeons to submit nasal swabs for COVID-19 testing
  • Enhance the availability of telehealth MBS item numbers for ENT consultations.

Read the full ASOHNS guidelines addressing the COVID-19 pandemic here.  

COVID-19 and pregnant health care workers
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) acknowledges the risk posed to the community, healthcare workers and all patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

Medical students’ contributions to the health workforce response to COVID-19
The Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand have advised that for high risk and high stress areas within health services, it is best that medical students not be involved and clinical placements in these areas should cease.

They also advise that there are important roles where medical students can make a valuable contribution to health services that does not impact other staff, supports the smooth workflow of clinical work and patient care, and enables students to continue their learning. Away from the front-line of care for patients with COVID-19, students can contribute to the acute and chronic care needs of people on the hospital wards, in acute care and in community care settings. This is likely to be important in freeing up medical and nursing staff for non-routine duties. Read more.

Passing on relevant communication
We can pass on messages that are relevant for our Fellows, Trainees and International Medical Graduates. Please forward these to Abderazzaq Noor.

General resources
In addition to the COVID-19 information hub we have set-up on our website, we have the following resources that have been forwarded by Fellows:

  • PanSurg: a global hub for surgeons and related professionals to share experiences, policy, data and research for the delivery of safe, effective surgery during the pandemic.
  • COVID-19 resource repository – a collations of COVID-19 research and guidelines.

Useful links