Greens Call on McGowan to prioritise prevention, financial and health supports before opening up

The Australian Greens MPs

The Greens (WA) are committed to ensuring everyone is able to access health supports when they need it.

The Greens (WA) are calling on the WA State Government to commit to providing people with more support before opening up Western Australia to interstate and international visitors.

The 11 point plan, announced by Australian Greens Health Spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John and Greens (WA) Health Spokesperson Brad Pettitt MLC, will ensure everyone is able to access prevention measures, and the financial and health supports they need to recover from COVID-19.

The plan includes:

  1. Rapid antigen tests (RATs) and N95 masks are readily available to households including through an online ordering system, with delivery to home, or collection from GP or pharmacy.

  2. State Government to urgently provide First Nations communities with the resources and funding needed to address issues around vaccine supply, distribution, hesitancy and education. All solutions must be led by communities and elders, not the police or the Australian Defence Force.

  3. Increased community health campaign to ensure as many people as possible are able to receive their vaccinations, including First Nations people, children, and disabled people.

  4. State Government to ensure all households receive clear communication on how to prepare for and look after yourself and others when diagnosed with COVID-19.

  5. State Government to provide payments to support people to remain in isolation while awaiting the result of a PCR test, and after testing positive to a PCR test or RAT ($320 while awaiting the result, and $320 after testing positive).

  6. State Government to provide lost income support to individuals who do not have access to leave arrangements while recovering from COVID-19 ($500 per 7 days required to isolate) and release details of WA’s small business assistance grant.

  7. State Government to provide payments to individuals to support them if they are required to quarantine out-of-home.

  8. Grants to businesses to improve ventilation (including installing fans and carbon dioxide monitors) and installation of HEPA filters.

  9. WA Health to provide support for those who experience long COVID, including the establishment of specialist post-COVID clinics to bring together a range of healthcare professionals, and increased provision of allied health services.

  10. WA Health to continue to list exposure sites and have a RAT reporting system, including positive cases confirmed by RAT in daily numbers.

  11. Funding to ensure that COVID positive asymptomatic carers, including in aged-care and disability care, are not required to care for non-COVID positive people (can care for COVID positive people).

As stated by Senator Jordon Steele-John:

“The Greens are committed to equitable access to healthcare. The WA State Government must be committed to ensuring everyone is able to access masks and rapid antigen tests. We cannot have the situation that has been unfolding over east, where only the rich are able to access basic preventative health supports.”

“Our Greens plan would give everyone a payment of $320 if they test positive to COVID-19. This is an acknowledgment of the increased costs that come with a positive diagnosis, including delivery costs of food and medicines.”

“We are also calling on the WA Government to commit to keeping up contract tracing systems, and ensuring that asymptomatic COVID positive carers will not be permitted to care for people who do not have COVID-19. This practice has put many disabled people, older people and immunocompromised people at risk over east.”

As stated by Brad Pettitt MLC:

“This plan is an opportunity to use WA’s record $5.6 billion budget surplus to invest in our community and ensure everyone has access to the supports they need to stay safe from COVID-19.

“Doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals have said repeatedly that WA hospitals are already overwhelmed. We must provide support for people to be able to isolate and best manage COVID-19 from home where possible.

“What’s happening over east right now could very likely play out in WA. Medical experts are telling us that our health system is not equipped to deal with the wave of COVID-19 that is inevitably coming.

“We are now less than three weeks away from WA opening its borders. If WA is unable to address the massive RAT shortages, get more kids aged 5 to 11 vaccinated, and put COVID financial supports in place before 5th February, the border opening date should be delayed.”

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