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AMA backs Qld health chief on border closures

Queensland’s top doctors have called for critics the state’s chief health officer to “back off” over coronavirus border closures.

Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young has been repeatedly targeted during the COVID-19 crisis for advising the state remain isolated from Victoria, NSW and the ACT.

Australian Medical Association President Chris Perry says the group supports Dr Young’s science-based decisions.

“We’re an evidence-based organisation and we follow what the chief health officer says,” he told reporters on Sunday.

“It’s very simple, it’s very straightforward.”

Dr Perry said there had been many “stressful” personal attacks on Dr Young over her health advice to the government.

He said the criticism had mostly been by online trolls but acknowledged the federal government also had a “different point of view”.

Queensland’s chief health officer Jeanette Young has the backing of the AMA. Photo: ABC

“Back off. Leave her alone. We think this chief health officer is doing a great job,” he said.

Dr Perry said Dr Young’s decisions over exemptions to cross the state’s border or quarantining rules had been fair.

“It hasn’t just been footballers and wealthy people,” he said.

He said the AMAQ remains concerned about another coronavirus wave.

“Victoria is a very stark demonstration about what can happen if we lower our sights too quickly,” he said.

There were no new cases in the state overnight, with 30 remaining active.

Meanwhile, Deputy Premier Steven Miles responded to reports that top businesses, including Qantas, were uniting to launch a campaign against the state’s tough border stance.

“Chief executives obviously have a right to further their economic interests of the companies,” he said.

“(But) if the boss of Qantas wanted to do more and show compassion for Australians, then he wouldn’t be gouging them tens of thousands of dollars just to come home.”


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