i Limitations

The models used here take a very simplified view of the health care workforce, without reference to its geographic distribution.

The calculations of the number of beds do not take into account the differing severity of the disease in hospitalised patients, and the requirements for different levels of hospital care.
The calculations in this section consider only interventions based on the use of anti-viral drugs.

Further work needed

The healthcare workforce has a much larger percentage of female than male workers and in view of family commitments, this may imply that the workforce may suffer from more absences in a pandemic due to the need to care for children, particularly if there is a high attack rate amongst children. The effect of this issue in the broader framework of work attendance during a pandemic, and the issue of compliance with taking of antiviral drugs will be explored as part of the NHMRC funded project which is currently under way.

Alternatives to hospitalisation have been considered here in an indirect way by estimating the number of extra beds that will need to be found over the course of a pandemic. However, the timing and form of these alternatives will have some impact on the number of antiviral courses required for HCWs, and these two issues may need to be considered in more detail.

The time-specific demand for prophylactic AVs to maintain the health care services should be addressed in more detail, and with reference to the State/Territory services and the demand from other essential service providers.

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Using Mathematical Models to Assess Responses to an Outbreak of an Emerged Viral Respiratory Disease(PDF 873 KB)