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RACGP – GP push to spread clear COVID messaging

GPs are calling for better dissemination of information COVID-positive people can access from home

Dr Magdalena Simonis, a member of the RACGP Expert Committee – Quality Care (REC–QC), who recently wrote an advice piece for Nine Newspapers (shared with the AFMW) on how to manage COVID-19 at home summarises the key messages. Read the article at RACGP newsGP.


‘Our phone lines are being overwhelmed by requests for advice,’ Dr Simonis told newsGP.

‘One of the reasons … I wrote the article was because I was repeating myself many times a day [to patients] over the phone.’

Dr Simonis says people are dealing with a lot of insecurity and, in her view, that has not been adequately addressed by government messaging.

‘They’ve said “go see your GP if you’ve got concerns” but they didn’t ask us what we would need in case there was a swarm of anxious patients,’ she said.

‘So we are trying now to patch those gaps.

‘There’s a lot of concern out there about how to manage this at home, and people are being told to manage this at home and to stay at home. But they’re not being empowered to make decisions about their families.’

Dr Simonis believes there needs to be a ‘multi-pronged’ approach, to communication including TV, radio, social media and newspapers.

A key part, she says, is ensuring appropriate messages reach Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities.

‘It needs to be delivered ideally through representatives of their community in the language that they understand, and through people that they trust,’ Dr Simonis said.

It is one of the reasons Dr Simonis also wrote about managing COVID in the home for the Greek community newspaper Neos Kosmos [article shared with AFMW] – and she encourages other GPs with CALD backgrounds to do something similar for their respective communities if possible.

Read the full article:


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