National plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance

Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, has welcomed the Liberal Government’s launch of the National Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Strategy 2015-2019 implementation plan which was developed thanks to the Government’s commitment of $9.4 million in funding to continue work already being done around AMR research and education.

Constituents in Pearce will be better protected from the immediate global threat of antibiotic-resistant superbugs under the Liberal Government’s new plan, developed in partnership with health professions, research communities, veterinarians and agriculture industries.

A particular focus of the plan is Australia’s high use of antibiotics in general practice, which is 20 per cent above the OECD average. Bringing prescribing rates down is critical as high antibiotic use is the number one driver of the increasing resistance to antimicrobials.

“Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, parasites and other disease-causing organisms become resistant to the medicines used to treat the infections they cause,” Mr Porter said.

“Resistance to antimicrobials is such an urgent global health priority that the World Health Organisation describes it as a looming crisis in which common and treatable infections are becoming life threatening.”

The Implementation Plan for the Strategy focuses on activities that will minimise the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of infections and ensure the continued availability of effective antibiotics.

Activities undertaken by the Australian Government, State and Territory Governments, professional bodies and research organisations will include:

  • Tools and resources to support general practice and raise awareness about antimicrobial resistance within the community.

  • A One Health Antimicrobial Resistance in Australia website.

  • Training workshops and online education for health professionals.

  • Species-specific antibiotic guidelines for use by veterinarians in the clinical management of various species of animals.

  • Implementing a national AMR and antibiotic usage surveillance system for future integration with animal health and agricultural surveillance.

More information about the AMR Implementation Plan can be found at http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/ohp-amr.htm