Australia and Israel are strategic partners in trade, culture and health. In the wake of COVID-19, AUSiMED recognised an opportunity to distil and exchange the lessons learnt by Australia and Israel in their response to the pandemic. In September 2022, a high-level Delegation of Australian public health officials and expert scientists participated in a COVID19 Learning Exchange Mission to Israel. The mission was organised by AUSiMED with the active support of the Israel Embassy in Canberra.
The delegation was led by Professor Sharon Lewin AO, Director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity and Co-Chair of the National COVID-19 Health and Research Advisory Council (NCHRAC).
During the 5-day visit the delegation met with many of Israel’s top public health officials and practitioners to develop person-to-person networks between Australia and Israel and inform ongoing management of the COVID-19 pandemic and potentially other infectious diseases going forward.
The Lewin COVID-19 Delegation was hugely successful on a range of important dimensions while also meeting AUSiMED’s mission of enhancing global health outcomes through engagement between Australia and Israel. A number of opportunities for future collaboration were identified during and following the mission, including:
A very exciting opportunity for the Royal Flying Doctors Service to trial an Israeli device enabling one of the major barriers to use of telehealth (being the inability to physically examine the patient) to be largely overcome;
Further engagement between Australian and Israeli data modelling experts regarding systems and approaches to data linkage, machine learning, and predictive algorithms; and
Opportunities for new AUSiMED fellowships in several areas.