Health system needs adequate staffing ready for border opening

Tasmanian Labor

With just six days to go until borders reopen concerns and questions over staffing levels across our health system remain.

Shadow Health Minister Anita Dow said with the health system at breaking point, shortfalls on shifts now and health care professionals working overtime the government must explain what resources and support will be provided to staff as they face even more demand once we have COVID cases in our community.

“Today we heard the disturbing story of the state of our health system, with police having to respond to an unresponsive child on Tuesday night in Glenorchy due to the closest ambulance being an hour away in Oatlands,” Ms Dow said.

“This is completely unacceptable at any time, let alone six days out from borders reopening.

“On Tuesday the ANMF rightly raised concerns about staffing levels and lack of transparency in relation to workforce planning. Further statements by the ANMF and other unions today make it clear that the government is yet to provide detail about their plans for the frontline health workforce.”

Ms Dow said it was good to have public information on additional bed capacity, ICU, PPE and ventilators but we must have the staff required to provide care to Tasmanians across our community and hospitals.

“There is currently no modelling available on staffing requirements for when we have COVID in our community.

“At a time when our health workers are already under immense pressure the government must stand up and support them with the resources they need and to ensure their well-being and safety.

“Just six days out from our border reopening Tasmanians need confidence the government has put the required systems in place to keep them safe.

“We are not playing politics, we are asking genuine questions on behalf of Tasmanians as we prepare for our borders to reopen on December 15.”

Anita Dow MP

Shadow Health Minister

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