Hot spots are an increasingly important feature of Australian life.
While the state of New South Wales is home to some of the country’s most prestigious public and private health systems, such as the World Health Organization and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, hot spots have been steadily expanding in Australia over the past decade.
Hot spots in Sydney and MelbourneHot spots are also growing across Australia and are a major part of the public health landscape.
“Hot spots have really been the driving force behind a lot of the things that we’re doing in our public health system,” says Dr Fiona Richardson from the Department of Public Health.
“They’re the key ingredients for a lot to happen, and in the case of our hot spot programs, they’re really the ones that deliver results.”
The Victorian government’s new public health strategy says public health professionals need to be able to use the tools at their disposal to treat and prevent the spread of diseases.
Victoria Public Health has introduced a new public consultation on hot spots, including a hot spot treatment toolkit and hot spot fairgrounds.
“It’s been a huge part of what we’ve done, but the reality is we have a huge number of hot spots across the state,” Dr Richardson says.
“We’ve got about 2,500 hot spots and we’ve got a hot spots budget of about $3 billion.”
So we’ve managed to get through a whole lot of hot spot budget cuts, but it’s really critical to us to be prepared to do a lot more work in the coming years to do the things we need to do to make sure we’re keeping our population healthier.
“Dr Richardson says public consultation was the first step in creating the toolkit.”
The hot spot toolkit will be an open discussion with people who have experience with hot spots to get a better understanding of what that might look like,” she says.
Dr Richardson is currently developing a new hot spot trial in Melbourne.
In an early stage trial, she has used a public consultation tool to set up a trial of a hot and cold spot treatment in a public health clinic.
She is also working with the Victorian government to develop a hot place service that can be provided to people with chronic conditions, such the common cold.
Dr Richardson said the hot spot service was a “first step in getting a very holistic understanding of hot and hot spots”.”
We’re looking at different types of hot places that can help manage the spread, but we’re also looking at ways to manage the burden of hot conditions,” she said.”
For example, we’ve seen some of our public hospital patients come into the public hospital for a cold, and then they get to our hot and warm spots and they get their condition treated there.
“There are a number of different ways that we can manage that burden.”