Michael Moore, chief executive officer of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), has announced that the country needs to take the management of superbugs more seriously.
"We now have yet more evidence of the importance of establishing a National Centre for Disease Control to provide appropriate coordination of the full range of population health issues and particularly with regard to antimicrobial resistance (AMR)," Mr Moore said in a June 11 statement.
AMR was identified as a "major issue" in 1999 by the Joint Expert Technical Advisory Committee on Antibiotic Resistance (JETACAR).
The Senate Finance and Public Administration Reference Committee has just reviewed this issue to see how much progress has been made on mitigating it in the past decade.
The review demonstrates that one of the common factors contributing to increasing AMR is the use of antibiotics when they are not needed, as well as patients taking antibiotics at the wrong doses and times.
"The more antibiotics are used, the more chances bacteria have to become resistant to them," the review explained.
The results of this review should give our government the information it needs to start taking this issue seriously, claims PHAA president Heather Yeatman.
"It is essential that we act immediately to safeguard the effectiveness of antibiotics for the future health of both people and animals," she said.
The committee believes the establishment of a National Centre for Disease Control will help manage AMR and boost Australians' confidence in the health system.
Developing a National Centre for Disease Control was first proposed in a report, titled Diseases Have No Borders, which was compiled by the Federal Parliamentary Committee on Health.
This report was released in March 2013 and stated that such a centre would benefit the Australian health system in a number of ways, such as by encouraging uniformity, and by improving efficiency and coordination between public health departments across the country.
In addition to this, the report called for more communicable disease prevention programs to be put in place, such as the National Immunisation Program.
It is good to see that an effort is being made to improve Australia's health system.
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