- 71 per cent of healthcare professionals are experiencing high levels of COVID-19 related stress
- 41 per cent of healthcare professionals are ‘not confident’ Australia’s healthcare system can deal with the COVID-19 pandemic
- 39 per cent of healthcare professionals are critical of the speed of the Government’s response to COVID-19
Australian healthcare professionals are already feeling the strain and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic even though the virus peak is estimated to be some weeks away.
According to Australian first research released today by TKW Research, 78 per cent of frontline healthcare professionals are concerned about contracting the COVID-19 virus and passing it on.
Drew Le Grand from TKW Research said more than 400 healthcare professionals across Australia took part in the survey (March 25-27, 2020).
“While some healthcare professionals were worried for their own safety, many were really concerned about becoming infected and then passing it on to others; becoming part of the problem, not the solution,” Drew Le Grand said.
“Even though it is early days in terms of the virus workload, healthcare work stress is impacting 71 per cent of staff. Around half of those survey have experienced anxiety and 43 per cent have experienced tiredness since the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
The research also revealed that more than half of healthcare professionals were either ‘not that confident’ (41 per cent) or ‘not at all confident’ (15 per cent) that Australia’s healthcare system can deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A common sentiment was that staff are very proud of the Australian healthcare system and they consider it one of the best in the world,” Mr Le Grand said.
“However, the majority of healthcare professionals felt Australia’s healthcare system was already at capacity before the COVID-19 pandemic and that the spread of the virus will only bring further stress to the system,” he added.
Worryingly, the research also found that 39 per cent of healthcare professionals were critical of the speed of the Government’s response to COVID-19.
“Despite this, most healthcare professionals agreed that measures implemented by the Government to date were “very effective” in slowing the spread including; personal hygiene (74 per cent), 14-day quarantine for returning travellers (68 per cent), self-isolation (68 per cent), enforcing travel bans (67 per cent) and closing non-essential services (66 per cent),” Mr Le Grand said.
“Healthcare professionals are very positive about the measures put in place, they just feel the response was slower than they wanted to see.
“Healthcare professionals are not only worried about the increase in patient numbers but also how best to deal with them given many are scared, misinformed and have expectations that often can’t be met,” Mr Le Grand concluded.
With access to over 85,000 healthcare professionals, TKW Researchwill be regularly monitoring the impact the virus is having on our healthcare sector over the coming months.