We are living through extraordinary times. In a year that saw country Victorians face devastating bush-fires and the long-term effects of drought, we are now coping with the effects of COVID19.
The impact of COVID19 has reached every corner of Victoria, Australia, and the World. The RWAV Board extends our deepest sympathy to all who have lost loved ones or seen loved ones suffer through this COVID19 crisis.
We thank all of our wonderful healthcare workers across the State; whether on the front-line, in supportive roles, or providing primary healthcare services. All have been working tirelessly and making personal sacrifices to keep everyone safe and healthy during this crisis.
We are all dealing with a new way of living with social distancing. These rules have had a dramatic impact on businesses, employment, and our day to day lives. Social distancing is making a significant difference, enabling the health system to cope with this crisis, and we thank you for the efforts you are making.
The changes to MBS telehealth items, PIP QI funding, digital referrals, GP respiratory clinics, and other Government initiatives have provided extra ways to protect our clinicians and the community. RWAV is working with health professionals and communities to ensure that specialist outreach services can continue where they can with the use of telehealth and other means.
How can we help? RWAV would like to provide more support where needed to rural and remote health services. You are the best placed to understand the health care needs of your own communities. The RWAV Board would like to hear from you about what your health workforce needs are now.
Please complete a short survey on the impact on COVID19 on your business here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RWAV-COVID19
In the aftermath of the COVID19 crisis, there will be important conversations to be had about our healthcare system and how it needs to support Victorians in rural and remote areas. The health workforce and ways of providing healthcare services will be a key part of these conversations. We will have a choice to keep what worked well before the crisis and be determined to resolve what we can improve on for our future. In recent weeks, we have seen innovation and extraordinary collaboration between the many participants in our healthcare system. There will be many learnings from which we can all benefit. We stand ready to hear from you and look forward to engaging in a conversation to build a stronger healthcare workforce for rural and remote Victorian communities.
RWAV is open for business, although currently managed through a deployed workforce. You can contact us for support from the many RWAV programs which remain operating.
RWAV Chair Dr Yousuf Ahmad on behalf of the RWAV Board