Helpful responses included:
- university epidemiologists and public health experts who regularly provided clear messages and advice to the community about COVID-19;
- researchers who undertook/are undertaking research on pandemic-related matters, such as mapping the COVID-19 genome to support vaccine development;
- health students and staff who assisted vaccination roll-out; and
- university clinics/ campuses that acted as vaccination hubs to increase community access.
Despite this contribution, universities were hit hard by the pandemic. Details of the pandemic’s early impact on the sector overall were provided in Universities Australia’s (UA’s) July 2020 Submission to the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19.
This submission is specifically about the pandemic’s impact on universities’ delivery of entry-level (pre-registration) health profession education (HPE).
Universities provide Australia with most of its new-entry health professional workforce across allied health, dentistry, medicine, midwifery, nursing and pharmacy. Universities’ HPE inputs support Australia’s continued health workforce supply and healthcare delivery, the need for which was heightened by the pandemic.