Submission: Commonwealth Government COVID-19 Response

On December 15, 2023 CAPHIA submitted a written submission in response to: Commonwealth Government COVID-19 Response. Submissions were guided by a Terms of Reference and limited to three pages plus appendices. 

CAPHIA developed a future-focused, and solution-orientated submission related to our core expertise: public health education, research and workforce development. The submission calls for investment in our workforce, and in key enablers and their systems and infrastructure. Australia’s public health workforce was instrumental to our nation’s strong response to COVID-19. Many of the public health experts on whom we came to rely throughout the pandemic were educated by and/or work for the institutions CAPHIA represents and the education and training provided by CAPHIA member institutions has underpinned the Australasian response to COVID-19. In response to the Australian Government’s COVID-19 response enquiry, CAPHIA has shared several recommendations to build our desired future state: a sustainable, scalable, appropriately resourced, and highly educated public health workforce to actively manage all hazards.

While there are many lessons to be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognise that no two events will be the same. However our recommendations will better prepare for, and improve our response to, the next health event.

These recommendations can only be met met by recognising the key role of public health institutions, and the imperative for governments to commit support through financial investment. Similarly, there should be a strong expectation of action from schools and programs of public health by the government.

Thank you to all those who contributed including the Advocacy in Action Consultation Group, CAPHIA Board of Directors and other members.

We look forward to more discussion, and a collaborative and coordinated effort to ensure we are best prepared for current and future challenge. We welcome an invitation by the Commonwealth Governments to explore these matters further in future consultations.