Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson
The ANMF submission to the investigation of the North West COVID-19 outbreak confirms many public reports about the lack of access to personal protective equipment by key healthcare workers.
The Greens raised concerns in early April with the Health Minister about the lack of PPE availability, and inconsistent and inadequate advice about its use. We also raised our concerns publicly during the following weeks.
Tasmanians have experienced first-hand the terrible reality of a coronavirus outbreak. It’s crucial we take lessons from that experience and urgently apply them to reduce future risk.
We only have to look to Victoria to see what it looks like when a highly infectious virus takes hold in the community.
The reliance on locums and casuals in the North West, combined with community demographics, means the region is highly vulnerable. As well as addressing issues about PPE, the Government needs to look at how it can better structure and staff the health system going forward.
The evidence shows there were system failures in the North West earlier this year. We should now learn our lessons and take steps to make sure an outbreak like this – or worse – can’t happen again.