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Minister Silent on Healthcare Staff COVID Absences

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Tags: Health, Health Crisis, COVID-19

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

With Tasmania’s borders opening in five weeks, the Government must urgently consider the potential health system impacts of absences from healthcare workers who become infected with coronavirus.

It is extremely concerning Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff would not respond to our question on this issue in Parliament today. Given his failure to answer, I have written to him on behalf of the Greens seeking an immediate response.

Full vaccination provides critical protection against the worst effects of COVID-19, but does not prevent all vaccinated people from becoming infected with the virus.

Recent research in The Lancet medical journal shows the overall effectiveness against infection for fully-vaccinated people in a large US study was 73%.*

There is already chronic understaffing in Tasmania’s health system. It’s crucial the Government has modelled, and is planning replacements for, the potential impact of coronavirus-positive healthcare workers unable to attend work.

In an already overstretched system, every healthcare professional who cannot attend a shift adds to the work burden on staff, and potentially impacts upon the optimum patient care.

Tasmanians have reasonable anxieties about the potential impact of COVID-19 once the border opens, and questions from our crucial health professionals cannot be ignored.