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A Melbourne doctor who was among the first to begin testing for COVID-19 says Australia should look abroad for “good lessons” about rapid antigen tests (RATs). With new COVID-19 testing protocols now in place, RATs play a key role in testing regimes. Deputy chair of the Australian General Practice Alliance, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, says Australia should follow the lead of the UK and Singapore, which have both made rapid tests free. “That means people can do what is being asked of them … and they’re not out of pocket every single time they do it,” he told Shane McInnes, filling in for Neil Mitchell. “We

An Australian doctor who oversaw vaccinations in an English city during the UK’s second wave of COVID-19 infections has warned Melbourne is at risk of another deadly outbreak unless more people are inoculated before winter. As Australia’s southern states approach the peak season for respiratory illnesses, Victoria’s vaccination program is running far below capacity, hampered by a shortage of AstraZeneca doses and public mistrust in the locally made vaccine.

Photo courtesy of Hobsons Bay City Council. We would like to offer our heartfelt congratulations to Dr Mukesh Haikerwal on being named the Hobsons Bay City Council's Citizen of the Year!   Dr Haikerwal was recognised for his invaluable and unwavering commitment to the health and wellbeing of the Hobsons Bay community, throughout the pandemic and beyond. He was also recognised for his outstanding leadership, dedication to his staff and patients, and his role in establishing the first GP-led Respiratory Clinic in Victoria.   “To be recognised by my own home community is a very deep and tear-watering experience as this is where I have

An esteemed doctor in the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic and a budding conservationist have been crowned the 2021 Hobsons Bay Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year. Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, local general practitioner and former President of the Australian Medical Association and Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre volunteer Melissa Sheedy were celebrated for their passion, achievements and service to the community on Australia Day. Mayor of Hobsons Bay Councillor Jonathon Marsden presented the awards at the Australia Day citizenship ceremony at the Williamstown Town Hall. Dr Haikerwal was recognised for his invaluable contribution to the health and wellbeing of

‘It is about treating people with respect, not contempt,’ says Melbourne-based GP Mukesh Haikerwal. Photo: Aaron Francis The novel coronavirus is just the latest public health “catastrophe” Melbourne-based GP Mukesh Haikerwal has had to face in his medical career of about 30 years. Major outbreaks of other diseases in the mid-1980s and early to mid-2000s revealed clues about how to effectively manage the COVID-19 pandemic, he said. “I just graduated when HIV AIDS was coming through … we faced bird flu, we faced SARS … (public health responses) only work when community is informed and comes together,” he said. “If I have played