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Government Must Provide Worker Immunity for COVID Inquiry

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 25 June 2020

Tags: COVID-19, North West Tasmania, North West Regional Hospital, Health, Tasmanian Health Service

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

Health workers and public servants who want to contribute to the independent inquiry into the North West COVID-19 outbreak should be guaranteed protection from having any actions taken against them.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Foundation, and the Health and Community Services Union, have both called for the Government to provide this protection to workers. The Greens strongly support these calls and we urge the Government to do the same.

The Inquiry needs to hear full and frank accounts from health staff directly involved, to enable meaningful scrutiny of the conditions that resulted in the serious North West outbreak. This will not happen if workers are afraid of repercussions.

Tasmania is currently in a good situation regarding the control of COVID-19, but with the pandemic escalating globally we can’t be complacent.

We need a comprehensive understanding of what happened in the North West outbreak, and to do this we need to hear full and frank accounts from the people on the frontline.

The North West outbreak inquiry should focus on how our health system can be reinforced to ensure any second wave of the coronavirus does not leave us ill-prepared. The Government must provide a guarantee that any worker who makes a submission to the inquiry will be protected from legal or workplace action against them.