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The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is today calling for action to tackle the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Northern Territory with hospitalizations at an all-time high and the healthcare system struggling to to face.
RAGP is supporting local Indigenous health organizations by calling for better immunization coverage, including boosters, and ensuring those who test positive for COVID-19 have a safe place to isolate.
While vaccination coverage has improved in the Northern Territory, it is behind all other states and territories with 90.8% for the first dose and 87.8% for the second dose. Recall coverage is only 42%. And vaccination coverage among Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders continues to lag behind non-Aboriginals, at 87.8% for the first dose and 80.6% for the second dose.
Professor Peter O’Mara, chair of the RACGP for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, said urgent action was needed.
“NT has the highest per capita hospitalization rate in the country, and while the death toll is low, every death matters,” he said.
“And the healthcare system is overstretched. Government clinics have reduced services, specialist outreach services and elective surgery remain cancelled, and primary care services are badly affected.”