West COVID-19 Outbreak Independent Review seeks answers to critical questions
about the state’s preparedness and response, including access to PPE, staff
training and hospital resourcing.
Minister for Health Sarah Lovell said the interim report, released in April,
painted a clear picture that the state’s health system wasn’t adequately
prepared for COVID-19, despite warning time.
hearing consistent concerns from health staff about inadequate supplies of PPE
and a lack of staff training during the lead-up to the North West outbreak, and
those concerns were echoed across the state.
from the government that there were safeguards in place to stop the spread of
COVID-19 and adequate levels of PPE for staff, the outbreak spread between
healthcare settings and devastated the community.
people were quarantined due to the outbreak, and there is no doubt the evidence
they can provide will strengthen the outcome of the review – but there isn’t
enough protection for health workers to ensure there will be no repercussions
for speaking out.
public servants have not had the confirmation they will not be targeted if
information they disclose is able to be traced back to them – these fears need
to be allayed to ensure staff can speak freely.
should be left unturned to ensure that answers are provided to families
affected by the outbreak, and lessons are learned to ensure the state is better
prepared if another outbreak occurs.
“It is an
unfortunate reality that the state will continue to see cases of COVID-19 and –
as noted by the Premier’s own Social and Economic Recovery Council – the
community is yet to be assured the government has a plan to respond to
potential outbreaks in the future.”
*Labor’s submission can be found here.
Shadow Minister for Health