Gippsland is losing RAT race as tetsing crisis mounts

Senator Jess Walsh, ALP, Victoria

Gippsland RATs crisis another Morrison mess.

Gippsland is a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) free zone as pressure mounts on the Morrison Government to deal with the RAT test supply crisis that it has failed to fix.

A survey of 20 pharmacies in the Gippsland region revealed that only two pharmacies contacted had any RATs in stock, but with such limited supply (less than 100 units) they would be sold within hours.

Elsewhere, repeated orders, many made before Christmas, have failed to materialise. Nearly all pharmacies confirmed that they have no idea when they can expect a new batch of the tests.

Victorian Labor Senator Jess Walsh said that people in regional areas like Gippsland were being forgotten by the Morrison Government.

“Scott Morrison says he’s making RATs free and available to concession card holders, but anyone walking into a pharmacy in Gippsland hoping to be able to get a test is going to walk away empty handed.”

“One pharmacist told us that getting your hands on a RAT in Gippsland right now was like Charlie looking for a golden ticket to go to the chocolate factory. Testing for COVID19 shouldn’t become a lottery, but that’s what it’s become in Gippsland.”

“It’s further evidence that the Morrison Government is incapable of delivering on its promise of making RATs available in order for people to meet the guidelines to test themselves at home.”

“Health care in Gippsland has already been feeling the strain during this pandemic. The Morrison Government should be making the availability of RATs a priority in regional areas. RATs should be free and available through Medicare.”

Senator Walsh is

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