COVID-19

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Practical management of IBD patients during the COVID-19 pandemic - issued 13 July 2020

The COVID‐19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS‐CoV‐2, has emerged as a public health emergency and challenged healthcare systems globally. This review aims to summarise the current literature and provide guidance on the management of inflammatory bowel disease patients in the context of the COVID‐19 pandemic in the Australasian setting.

Access the article in the Wiley Online Library here.


Updated GESA Advice Regarding School Attendance for Paediatric Patients With IBD During the COVID-19 Pandemic - issued 29 May 2020

The public health measures instituted by the Australian and New Zealand governments have Peen successful in controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. 

Currently, there are very low numbers of new cases being diagnosed each day despite one of the highest per capita testing rates in the world. 
This suggests that there are very low rates of community transmission currently, which means that we are in the fortunate position where plans are being or already have been made in most jurisdictions to re-open schools. As schools are being re-opened our recommendation now is that it is safe for all siblings and the vast majority of paediatric IBD patients to return to school.

Download the GESA statement of advice.


GESA statement of considerations for the Management of Liver Diseases During the COVID-19 Pandemic - issued 28 May 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a disruption of medical care for patients with chronic diseases. Patients with chronic liver diseases represent a particularly vulnerable population and their care can be negatively impacted during this pandemic, both directly and indirectly. Several international societies including AASLD and EASL have issued guidelines on how to manage patients with chronic liver diseases during the different phases of this pandemic. The broad principles for the management of liver diseases in the Australian context moving forwards from May 2020 are summarised in this statement.

Download the GESA statement of considerations.


GESA Updated Advice on Preventative Measures During Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic - updated 11 May 2020

On 29 April 2020, the Infection Control Expert Group (ICEG) of the Australian Department of Health published guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak, providing nationally consistent advice on the appropriate use of PPE. GESA has now released an updated statement regarding PPE use during endoscopic procedures and SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

Download the GESA statement.


GESA and GENCA Recommendations for Endoscope Reprocessing During the COVID-19 Pandemic - issued 1 May 2020

GESA’s Infection Control in Endoscopy (ICE) Committee has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. The ICE Committee is a multi-society, multi-disciplinary Committee with expertise in GI Endoscopy, GI Endoscopy Nursing, Infection Prevention and Control, Infectious Diseases and Sterile Processing. Endoscopic reprocessing is at the core of safe and efficient endoscopy practice. The ICE Committee considers the safety of all patients in endoscopy units and personnel involved in instrument reprocessing a priority.

Download the GESA recommendation statement.


GESA recommendations on Endoscopic Procedure Triage - updated 24 April 2020

After a meeting of the National Cabinet on 21 April 2020 the Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison, announced a relaxation of restrictions on elective endoscopic and surgical procedures. As of Monday 27 April, all category 1, 2 and “some important category 3” procedures can be considered for triaging onto a procedure list. 

Endoscopists and endoscopy units throughout the country should adhere to existing protocols in defining category 1, 2 and 3 procedures and surgeries. It is essential to note that restrictions on case numbers remain.

Download the updated GESA recommendation statement.


Removal of the bulk-billing requirement for patients younger than sixteen and for patients at risk of COVID-19 - issued 20 April 2020

The Minister for Health has confirmed today the removal of the bulk-billing requirement relating to patients younger than sixteen and for patients at risk of COVID-19 - these changes are effective today. Normal billing practices will now apply.

More information can be found at this link https://www.mbsonline.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/News+2020-04-20. The Minister's media release announcing these changes can be seen at https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/australians-embrace-telehealth-to-save-lives-during-covid-19.


Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on GI and liver researchers in Australia - issued 17 April 2020

GESA Research and Grants Committee Chair, Nina Tirnitz-Parker, and GESA President, Simone Strasser, have prepared a statement regarding the severe impact on all research activity of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Suspension for six months of the GESA Colonoscopy Recertification Program during the COVID-19 pandemic - issued 8 April 2020

The Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) has announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to ease the burden on medical practitioners in these challenging times, the GESA National Colonoscopy Recertification Program has been suspended from 1 April 2020 until 30 September 2020.

Read the media release from GESA CEO Fiona K. Bailey.


Principles for clinicians caring for paediatric gastroenterology patients during the COVID-19 pandemic - issued 7 April 2020

GESA Paediatric Network Chair, Edward Giles, and GESA President, Simone Strasser, have prepared a statement of principles for clinicians caring for paediatric gastroenterology patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Download the Principles


GESA Colonoscopy Recertification Program suspended to assist colonoscopists during COVID-19 pandemic - issued 2 April 2020

In light of the disruptive times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic the GESA Board and the Colonoscopy Recertification Committee have resolved to suspend the Colonoscopy Recertification Program until at least 30 September 2020.

Download the statement


Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on GI and Liver Researchers in Australia

GESA Research and Grants Committee Chair, Nina Tirnitz-Parker, and GESA President, Simone Strasser, have prepared a statement regarding the severe impact on all research activity of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Download the statement here.


Principles for clinicians Caring for Paediatric Gastroenterology Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic

GESA PaediatrCc Network Chair, Edward Giles, and GESA President, Simone Strasser, have prepared a statement of principles for clinicians caring for paediatric gastroenterology patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Download GESA’s  statement of principles.


GESA Colonoscopy Recertification Program Suspended to Assist Colonoscopists During COVID-19 Pandemic

In light of the disruptive times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic the GESA Board and the Colonoscopy Recertification Committee have resolved to suspend the Colonoscopy Recertification Program until 30 September 2020 or later.

Read the GESA statement.


Principles for Clinicians Caring for Patients With IBD During the COVID-19 Pandemic - updated 26 March 2020:

The GESA IBD Faculty, in collaboration with Crohn’s & Colitis Australia (CCA), has developed this guidance for clinicians caring for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recommendations are developed according to feedback and advice from expert committees and consumer organisations.

Download the GESA statement.


Recommendations for Patients with IBD During the COVID-19 Pandemic - updated 26 March 2020

The GESA IBD Faculty, in collaboration with Crohn’s & Colitis Australia (CCA), has developed this guidance for people living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Download the GESA statement.


GESA Guide for Triage of Endoscopic Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic

To support endoscopists and health systems in appropriately restricting endoscopic procedures, GESA provides the following triage guide.

This guide considers the probabilityy of detection of clinically significant pathology necessary to inform patient management in the short term, and the potential role of endoscopic procedures causing staff and/or other patient exposure and resource utilisation, particularly of PPE.

Download the GESA statement.


Considerations for Australian Endoscopy Units During the COVID-19 Pandemic - updated 20 March 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has particular implications for the safety and wellbeing of staff and patients involved in endoscopic procedures. Recommendations are emerging from multiple organisations, including the US Joint GI Societies (AGA, AASLD, ACG and ASGE) and the Australian Society of Anaesthetists, among others. In addition, various public and private facilities in Australia are starting to restrict access to elective endoscopic procedures to avoid unnecessary exposure of staff and patients to the novel coronavirus.

Download the GESA recommendations.


Impact of COVID-19 for GI and Liver Patients - updated 19 March 2020

Cases of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) are rapidly increasing in the Australian community as they are in most countries around the world. Information about this new viral infection is rapidly changing and it is important to stay up to date with advice from federal and state-based departments of health.

Download the GESA statement.