COVID 19: Its Impact On the Australian Healthcare System & Where To From Here?

COVID19 has been this year’s primary disruptor. It’s having a huge impact on people’s lives with thousands of Australians afflicted with the disease and the entire community practicing unprecedented social distancing measures to keep the most vulnerable safe. Our health sector has spent months hoping for the best and preparing for the worst that, thanks to these efforts, have not eventuated. In fact, like other countries who have had some success in flattening their pandemic curve, we must now consider how and when we can slowly come out. Professor Erwin Loh has played a key role in ensuring St Vincent’s public and private facilities have been prepared for sick patients, and able to keep their staff safe and well. Join him and Dr Leslie Cannold in an in-depth conversation about what was required to prepare Australia’s healthcare system for the first global pandemic in more than one hundred years, and where we’re headed now.


Professor Erwin Loh is national Chief Medical Officer and Group General Manager Clinical Governance for St Vincent’s Health Australia, the nation’s largest not-for-profit health and aged care provider, with 36 facilities, including six public hospitals, nine private hospitals and 17 aged care facilities in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, along with three co-located research institutes – the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research.


Dr Leslie Cannold has a BA from Wesleyan University in the USA, a Masters in Arts and Bioethics from Monash University and a PhD from the University of Melbourne. She educates and trains on inspirational leadership, gender equity and respectful relationships, She is a regular on ABC TV’s Moral Compass and an occasional columnist at The Age. Leslie sits on a variety of boards and advisory committees and is the recipient of numerous awards and notices for her contributions to public life. Leslie is an award-winning columnist, oft-noted as one of Australia’s leading public thinkers. She has been named alongside Professor Peter Singer, Professor Gustav Nossal and Inga Clendinnen as one of Australia’s top 20 public intellectuals and was named by the Power Index as among the Top Ten most influential brains.In 2013, Leslie was listed alongside Prime Minister Julia Gillard as one of Melbourne’s most influential women. She was a finalist in the best science tweet contest for Science Week 2010 and in 2011 was honoured as Australian Humanist of the Year. Leslie is an adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of International Business and Asian Studies at Griffith University and Founding Faculty at The School of Life in Melbourne.