UNEMSA and UNMS are working hard to advocate for your safety, wellbeing, and academic progression during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This page contains information on what to do in certain scenarios, useful contact information, and external resources on COVID-19.

If at any point you feel worried or concerned by a decision or action made by a teacher, clinical supervisor, or other member of academic/clinical staff, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re here for you.

DISCLAIMER: This is a student-written and updated resource based on regular meetings with faculty, the wider university and health services. As the pandemic progresses, advice provided on this page may seem at odds with official resources published by the government and the university. Please follow advice provided by official sources first and foremost.


  • If you feel unwell, isolate yourself

  • Continue to follow local hospital and university protocols in addition to trusted resources like the Department of Health and DFAT’s Smart Traveller website.

  • Use PPE and hand hygiene measures correctly and regularly to stay protected.

  • Stay informed personally about the COVID-19 situation.

  • Voice your concerns and priorities to faculty, UNEMSA, and other bodies at the university.

  • If you are a vulnerable individual, take the necessary precautions to ensure your personal safety - consult with your primary health physician if you are unsure of what to do.

  • Remain alert and cautious; there is no need to panic.

Who Should I Contact About…

Placement Concerns

Attendance/Teaching Concerns

Advocacy Concerns

  • UNMS: Year Representatives, Clinical Site Representatives, VPE, or President
  • UNEMSA: Year Representatives, VPE, or President

What Should I Do If…

I’m worried about getting sick/missing classes?

The JMP is investigating alternative teaching methods for on-campus classes to prevent transmission and spread of COVID-19. This potentially may include zoom classes, recorded lectures and cancellation of some non-essential classes. Further information should be provided soon regarding this.

Students who are self-isolating will be able to participate in classes via teleconference or videoconference and have this marked as valid attendance, even without a medical certificate.

At this stage, students will remain in clinical settings however, risk avoidance strategies will be put in place to limit the risk to students. GPs have been asked to triage potential COVID-19 cases and avoid exposing medical students. The faculty are considering alternate pathways to supplement any placements lost.

For any questions, please contact your Course Coordinator. For M.D. students, this is A/Prof Lisa Lampe.


I’m feeling sick?

Any student who develops symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, sore throat, cough) after a recent return from international travel should follow the directive to call the health direct helpline 1800 022 222 for advice or call their GP or Emergency Department and follow advice; do not attend clinical practice before calling.

If any student develops such symptoms, even if they haven’t travelled recentlythey should seek advice from their GP before attending their clinical placement.

If you are unable to get a GP appointment, you should self-isolate until symptoms resolve. If you are unable to get a medical certificate due to illness or long GP waiting times, the JMP will accept a Statutory Declaration as evidence of illness and self-isolation.

I’m on overseas placement?

Be wary, and avoid potential cases of COVID-19 in your placement hospital.

Please make sure you are registered with International SOS, and use the CHECK-IN feature of their app at least once a day. Importantly, stay in touch with your families. Your course coordinators and year managers would also like to hear from you if you are able to keep them updated via email.

Faculty have stated that students overseas are able to return home without risk of failing their placement in the interest of safety. If you are concerned for your safety, please come home.

For any questions about international placements, please contact A/Prof Michelle Guppy (Y3 Community Placements Organiser)


My overseas placement has been cancelled?

The JMP has suspended "all university related international travel by enrolled medical students" and that "approval for travel has been revoked". It has been heavily encouraged that students do not travel for holidays, as they will require a 2 week self-isolation period on their return.

As this travel suspension has come from the University and not the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), both universities’ travel insurance policies are not covering losses due to cancellation. Students who have organised their own travel insurance for placement may be able to recover funds with a letter of support from the university. Both universities are currently investigating potential recovery of costs. Some placement providers refuse to provide refunds on placements, however we are looking into this.

The New Colombo Plan is also seeking returns on all grants for cancelled placements. We understand that some students have spent part or all of this grant already. Please contact faculty about this - if you have only spent part of your grant, it is recommended that you return all remaining funds.

For any questions about international placements, please contact A/Prof Michelle Guppy.

Myself, or someone I live with is at risk of severe infection?

COVID-19 can be incredibly dangerous to certain demographic groups.

Students who are at risk of severe COVID-19 infection (i.e. immunocompromised and pregnant students, and students with respiratory conditions) and those living with those at risk of severe infection (i.e. students living with or caring for elderly, immunocompromised or pregnant relatives or friends) should contact faculty regarding alternative options to placement.

Your best contact for this is your year coordinator, clinical site dean, or course coordinator.