AFMW President’s July Update

President's Update - July 2021

As I write, Melbourne is in its 5th Stage 4 lockdown, South Australia has announced a snap seven day lockdown and Sydney is in its 4th week of lockdown. We are all feeling the challenge and our patients are presenting with high levels of anxiety.

The national vaccination program has had its ups and downs as we are all aware and GPs continue to address patient confusion and vaccine hesitancy. We need to remain steadfast that quarantine controls need to be improved, tracing made faster, appropriately fitted masks provided to health professionals, along with hand washing and social distancing in closed spaces. These remain the key forms of disease control. The other main form of morbidity prevention is vaccination,  so let’s maintain the clear message that vaccination rates must improve.  For those interested in reading the research on how the effects of  lockdown compare to the impact of disease, this is an interesting article: Is the cure really worse than the disease? The health impacts of lockdowns during COVID-19 | BMJ Global Health

Let’s send our best wishes to our friends in Indonesia, who are now facing a terrible plight with COVID. The rates among children are concerning, read: Indonesia grapples with high COVID rates among children as health experts urge people to protect their kids – ABC News


Breast Cancer

On July 15th, I presented at the Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) webinar, alongside a panel of 3 other experts. The webinar went very well. There were over 8000 registrants – yes, 8000 and the rural group constituted around half of this number which is fantastic.

My session centred around the role of GPs, from the acute to the post 5year mark. The Breast Cancer Australia guidelines recommend transferring care to the GP in a shared care model with the GP providing ongoing holistic care, with 12 monthly follow up. Cancer Australia recommends that care be transferred to the GP and away from the oncologist/ surgeon team, although they need to be included in the updates.

See Cancer Australia website and guidelines on Shared Care.


Reduce Violence against Women and their Children

Developing the next National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children | 

Many of you have already read my emails and tweets regarding the last opportunity to ‘have your say’ and help shape the future of reducing family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia. Our response to the report has been submitted but the closing date is 31st July and I urge you each as individuals to make your comments and recommendations to inform the report.

Here is the link:



Over the next few weeks, we will all be bracing ourselves as we watch the delta variant developments across the states. I encourage you all to wear well fitted masks, PPE and get vaccinated. This is complex next phase of COVID-19 and as we all march on in our intensely busy professional lives, let’s keep our sights on a healthy future for all and reach out for help when we feel the need ourselves.


Stay well and safe,

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