Influenza pandemic 2009/A/H1N1 management policies in primary are: A comparative analysis of three countries

Marina Kunin, Dan Engelhard, Shane Thomas, Mark Ashworth, Leon Piterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


During the influenza pandemic 2009/A/H1N1, the main burden of managing patients fell on primary care physicians (PCP). This provided an excellent opportunity to investigate the implications of pandemic policies for the PCP role. Aim. To examine policies affecting the role of PCP in the pandemic response in Australia (in the state of Victoria), Israel and England. Methods. Content analysis of the documents published by the health authorities in Australia, Israel and England during the pandemic 2009/A/H1N1. Results. The involvement of PCP in the pandemic response differed among the countries in timing and allocated responsibilities. The Israeli approach during the containment phase was to maximise the protection of PCP at the expense of putting pressure on hospitals where the suspected cases were tested and treated. In Australia and England, PCP managed the suspected patients from the beginning of the pandemic. The work of PCP in England was supported by the introduction of the National Pandemic Flu Service during the mitigation phase, whereas Australian PCP had no additional support structures and their role was constant and intensive throughout the pandemic period. Conclusion. Health authorities need to engage with representatives of PCP to evaluate policies for pandemic planning and management. Adequate support and protection for PCP during different stages of pandemic management should be provided. What is known about the topic? During the influenza pandemic 2009/A/H1N1, the main burden of diagnosing and managing the patients fell on PCP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291 - 299
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Health Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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