Thursday, 3 June 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Health and Aged Care. Will the minister please outline to the House how the Morrison government is continuing to support Australians during the global coronavirus pandemic, including in my home state of Victoria?
I thank the member for Higgins. We know that yesterday Australia had 141,000 vaccinations, another record day. Australians have come forward in record numbers to be vaccinated, and we have now passed over 4.64 million Australian vaccinations. So what this means, of course, is that we are seeing an acceleration of the program; we are seeing cooperation between the Commonwealth and the state; and we are seeing that vaccination program growing and expanding around the country. The last two days have each been record days. There have been approximately 280,000 vaccinations for Australians over the course of those two days alone. That is well north of a quarter of a million in just two days, in addition to the other figures which the Prime Minister mentioned.
In Victoria we've provided over 787,000 vaccines to the state government and over 900,000 vaccines to our primary carers. Both are doing a very solid job. We know that the Victorian government has approximately 200,000 vaccines in inventory. During the course of this week, we're delivering another 71,000 Pfizer vaccines and over 100,000 AstraZeneca vaccines to the Victorian government, with 90,000 vaccines going to primary carers in Victoria. That is part of a broader increase of 130,000 vaccines which we've provided. I've indicated to the Victorian minister that, even though they have significant inventory, if more is needed more will be provided.
I would also note that one of the very important things is the provision of mental health services to Victorians. This is a difficult and challenging time. Any lockdown is very hard, but Victoria has experienced vastly more in terms of lockdown than any other state or territory in Australia, and this is a hard time for the people of Victoria. On that front, we have—and I would commend—the 15 HeadtoHelp clinics which are available to Victorians, whether they wish to call or visit in person, having made an appointment. That help is available. Those HeadtoHelp clinics were set up very quickly with the assistance of Professor Ruth Vine, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer. We also have telehealth, which is an immensely important support, both for mental health, where we've seen over 15 million telehealth consultations so far, and in relation to broader health needs. In addition to that, there is support through the Beyond Blue coronavirus helpline as well as Lifeline. All of these supports are available to help Victorians during what is a deeply challenging time. (Time expired)