Sarah Courtney has failed to confirm whether a vital
component of the Launceston General Hospital’s COVID safe response is operating
Labor Member for Bass Michelle O’Byrne said despite
comments made by Sarah Courtney in Parliament today, staff at the LGH say the
negative pressure room in the emergency department still doesn’t work.
“Doctor’s at the LGH last week wrote to senior
management detailing their serious concerns about patient safety, and one of
the matters they raised was that the negative pressure room at the LGH ED
wasn’t working,” Ms O’Byrne said.
The letter stated:
“We need to be prepared for future waves, or a future
pandemic. Our ‘fast-track’ area was designed to be a negative pressure
ward. This does not work.”
“Negative pressure rooms are an integral component of
a COVID safe response when people arrive at an emergency department, particularly
so people with respiratory symptoms such as coughing and sneezing can be
separated to reduce risk to others.
“Staff at the LGH say the negative pressure room in
the ED does not work because of a broken fan, and that in fact, this has been
the case for the entire period of our COVID-19 response.
“In Question Time today, the Minister ignored the
specific question and spoke about a different negative pressure room in the
“Tasmanians need to have confidence that our hospital system is well-placed to respond safely to any cases of COVID-19 in our community. A critical part of this is the capacity to manage emergency department presentations appropriately.”
Michelle O’Byrne MP
Labor Member for Bass