Senate debates

Monday, 23 March 2020

Questions without Notice

Coronavirus

2:21 pm

Photo of Michaelia CashMichaelia Cash (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business) Share this | Hansard source

As the Minister for Health has stated, we are managing a global supply shortage of different pieces of equipment. One of them is testing kits. We have had an additional 97,000 arrive in the past week. Of all the countries in the world, there are very few that have actually conducted more tests than Australia.

But, to be safe, we're also looking at alternative forms of testing, such as point of care. The first of those new point-of-care tests was approved provisionally by the Therapeutic Goods Administration last week. That will expand the range of testing kits available through general practitioners, fever clinics, emergency departments, and other mechanisms. Ultimately, we have to protect our elderly and we have to support them, and we have scaled up and conducted over 36,000 telehealth consultations.

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