26 September 2023

Local health expert to aid Victoria

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Queensland’s top communicable diseases expert has been sent to Victoria to assist with that State’s response to its COVID-19 outbreak.

Dr Sonya Bennett (pictured) was followed by 40 registered nurses after an expression of interest to help was sent out by Queensland Health.

Minister for Health, Steven Miles said the rising number of cases in Victoria meant that extra assistance needed to be given to help manage the outbreak.

“We have done very well so far, but we have a duty to help each other when these sorts of local outbreaks arise, and Dr Bennett is one of the leading experts in this field,” Mr Miles said.

He said that following a request from Victoria Health, Queensland had opened an expression of interest for 40 registered nurses to be deployed to Victoria.

“We have some of the best nurses in the country and it is important we support our fellow Australians,” the Minister said.

Dr Bennett is the Executive Director of the Communicable Diseases Branch in the Prevention Division of Queensland Health.

She is a medical officer in the Royal Australian Navy (part-time force) and an Associate Professor at Griffith University.

Mr Miles said Dr Bennett generally performs the role of Chief Health Officer in Dr Jeannette Young’s absence and was responsible for the State-wide strategic direction and policy around communicable diseases.

“Her role includes managing State-wide incidents of public health significance, like COVID-19. She is highly regarded by her peers and is the Chair of the national body, the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA),” he said.

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