Rebuilding Health in the Covid Pandemic – a call to action

AIMA and ACNEM acknowledge the achievement of the Federal Government in control of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia using border control, and best-practice public health measures to reduce transmission, increased vaccination rates and lockdowns. The cost to Australia has been enormous, and despite these efforts, many Australians continue to suffer health and mental health impacts as a result of the pandemic.

We believe that our two organisations, through our membership of health professionals, can contribute expertise, experience and guidance to improve the current situation, and reduce the impact of the inevitable increases in numbers of infected Australians.

We request that the Prime Minister and Health Minister establish a “preventive and resilience taskforce” utilising experienced practitioners drawn from AIMA and ACNEM in leadership roles.

We see this taskforce as a body to:

  • develop medium and long-term strategies to reduce the co-morbidities that result in the worst outcomes of COVID-19 infection;
  • propose treatment strategies to reduce the health impact of COVID-19 directly;
  • reduce health and mental health risks from lockdowns using evidence-based self-help strategies including the use of nutritional and complementary medicines and integrative healthcare services (these approaches are already routinely being used by many Australians to boost and immunity and support recovery from COVID-19);
  • propose and carry out clinical research in areas of lifestyle, nutritional, environmental and integrative approaches for the disease prevention and treatment, and management of mental and other health problems related to the illness in lockdown.

Integrative, nutritional and environmental medicine is fundamentally preventive and our approach to chronic co-morbidities is personalised and supportive.

This approach is needed now in the face of increasing SARS-CoV-2 infection cases, including the looming “long COVID”. As peak bodies in education and representation, our combined membership has extensive experience in supporting and treating Australians suffering prolonged post-viral sequelae such as chronic fatigue syndrome.

This, combined with the vaccination program and continued public health measures, will contribute to helping our country to open up and reduce the risks of further health complications from COVID-19 and the lockdowns.