Monthly media digest: September/October 2021

20 October 2021

A digest of college news coverage for September/October 2021.

COVID-19 and elective surgery

ANZCA Councillor and head of the Department of the Critical Care at Melbourne University Professor David Story was interviewed by The Age and ABC Radio National's Drive program host Patricia Karvelas on 19 October about the delays to elective surgery in Victoria caused by COVID-19 cases in intensive care units. The RN interview ran for 10 minutes and starts at 31:40.

National Anaesthesia Day 2021

New Zealand obstetric anaesthestist Dr Morgan Edwards was interviewed on Radio New Zealand's Nights with Bryan Crump on National Anaesthesia Day 18 October. 

ANZCA President Dr Vanessa Beavis featured in 2SM Sydney's 7am radio news broadcast on 19 October. The segment was syndicated to nearly 80 2SM affiliates in NSW and Queensland reaching an audience of over four million people.

The National Indigenous Radio Service also selected audio news grabs of Dr Beavis for use across their nearly 200 syndicated radio stations.

Obstetric anaesthetist A/Prof Victoria Eley explains how a new pilot study is exploring a possible link between antibiotics and child allergies  

A/Prof Eley was interviewed by Nine News Sydney about her research at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital ahead of National Anaesthesia Day. A news segment on her research with women who have had caesarean sections was broadcast on 13 October and reached an audience of 400,000 people.

Fellow Dr Ryan Salter urges NZ not to drop the ball on COVID-19 now

Dr Ryan Salter, an intensive care anaesthetist fresh back from the UK, was interviewed on 11 October about his time at the Royal Papworth Hospital by The  story was published in the leading newspapers throughout the country. 

Professor Dave Story comments on Victoria's COVID-19 hospital surge 

ANZCA councillor and Safety and Quality Committee chair Professor Dave Story was interviewed by The Age medical team in his role as head of the Department of Critical Care at Melbourne University’s medical school on the impact of COVID-19 on Victoria’s hospitals. The 1000 word article ran online in The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and WA Today on 6 October and reached an audience of 700,000 people.

ANZCA councillor A/Prof Deb Wilson interviewed about the new diploma of rural generalist anaesthesia 

Dr Wilson featured in two articles in Tasmanian media on 5 October covering the launch of the new diploma. The Advocate published the article (paywalled) by journalist Claudia Williams which was also syndicated to the Launceston Examiner. 

FPM Dean A/Prof Mick Vagg discusses chronic pain on ABC Radio

A/Professor Mick Vagg featured in a 13 minute segment on ABC Radio Brisbane's afternoon program with host Shaun Bindley on 3 October. The interview starts at 23:40 on the link.

ANZCA fellow Dr Ryan Salter talks about 2nd and 3rd waves in UK

Dr Ryan Salter was interviewed by leading current affairs host Kim Hill on Radio NZ National on Saturday 2 October. Dr Salter has just returned to New Zealand after working at Royal Papworth where rationing of health services was very real and very confronting in the second and third waves of COVID-19.

ANZCA NZ chair Dr Sally Ure urges Kiwis to vaccinate on TV3

Dr Sally Ure spoke with TV3 /Newshub about how hospitals were gearing up for a delta outbreak and who would miss out if COVID-19 took off in New Zealand. 15 mins in on the 6pm newshour 1 October.

ANZCA Councillor Deb Wilson interviewed about the new DRGA

Associate Professor Deb Wilson was interviewed by ABC Radio Northern Tasmania's Drive program host Kim Napier on 29 September about the new diploma of rural generalist anaesthesia. The segment ran for seven minutes. A/Prof Wilson is acting Chair of the Tripartite Committee of Rural Generalist Anaesthesia.

FPM Dean interviewed about opioid tapering

A/Professor Mick Vagg was interviewed by Australian Doctor for a 20 September article on a report (paywalled) in the Journal of the American Medical Association about opioid tapering. The study highlighted the potential pitfalls of opioid tapering for some patients. While the message of minimising opioid use has been hammered home, evidence on the potential harms of opioid tapering has been limited, say the study authors from the University of California, DavisA/Professor Vagg says the research highlights the pitfalls of tapering too quickly.

NZ Anaesthetists pitch in on vaccination drive

Fellow Dr Julian Fuller was interviewed on RNZ on 17 September as one of 30 anaesthetists, surgeons and senior doctors from the Waitematā District Health Board who have become temporary vaccinators as thousands of electives are deferred across the Auckland.

ANZCA joins other medical colleges in open letter for action on climate change 

15 September

ANZCA is one of 12 medical colleges and doctors' groups who have urged the Australian government to commit to stronger climate change targets ahead of next month's global climate summit in Glasgow, warning the health of Australians is being put at risk.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a range of organisations including ANZCA and the Australian Medical Association said the impacts of climate change were already being felt by people affected by extreme weather events.

The letter was reported by the ABC and News Limited online mastheads including the Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun and the Courier Mail. 

Media release: ANZCA backs calls supporting mandatory vaccination of all frontline healthcare workers

9 September 2021. Dr Beavis said the surge in COVID-19 case infections in Australia and in New Zealand highlighted the urgency of ensuring that all frontline healthworkers, including support staff, are vaccinated.

“We know just how fast the Delta variant of the virus can spread so it really is crucial that hospitals and health departments stress the importance of vaccinations for the safety of hospital healthcare staff, not just doctors, nurses and other clinicians, but for all staff including administrative, cleaning employees and contractors as a priority,” she said.

“Anaesthetists are experiencing at first hand the impact of COVID-19 in hospitals where they are applying their intubation skills to ventilate patients in operating theatres, ward emergencies and ICUs”.

The evidence is clear – double dose vaccination protects against severe COVID-19 symptoms and hospitalisation.”

Read the media release.

Covid-19: Surgeries, scans delayed - NZ 

ANZCA New Zealand National Committee Chair Dr Sally Ure is interviewed about the backlog of electives nationwide in an article on on 9 September.

Last updated 11:38 8.11.2021