Australia’s front line defence against COVID-19 has been bolstered with a group of local manufacturing companies and engineering firms delivering its first invasive ventilators to the National Medical Stockpile.
This shipment, and the rest to follow over coming weeks, comes only three months after the Morrison Government reached a $31.3 million agreement with Grey Innovation and its industry consortium to produce 2,000 invasive ventilators.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said not only has the consortium produced much-needed medical equipment, Grey Innovation has been able to employ an extra 22 engineers and another 250 jobs have been created or retained across all suppliers.
“Since the start of the pandemic, the Government has been working hard to secure supply and increase the domestic manufacture of ventilators as well as critical personal protective equipment,” Minister Andrews said.
“The local production of these ventilators is an outstanding example of what can be achieved when industry and Government work together and draw on our highly advanced manufacturing capability.
“These ventilators are available to be sent anywhere they are needed in Australia and give us an impressive reserve capacity.
“Hopefully they won’t all be needed, but these machines will ensure that our hospitals are well equipped to withstand future surges in intensive care cases.”
Grey Innovation’s Executive Chairman Jefferson Harcourt said he was grateful to the local consortium partners and the Grey Innovation team for pulling out all stops to produce the NOTUS emergency ventilator in just a few months.
“We’ve got regulatory approval and now we’re manufacturing at speed,” Mr Harcourt said.
“It’s incredibly gratifying to see the first of the 2,000 ventilators ordered being loaded onto the pallet for delivery to the national stockpile. We’re very proud to support the Government’s efforts to increase Australia’s ventilator capacity in the fight against COVID-19.”
The National Medical Stockpile is providing states and territories with personal protective equipment (PPE) and other essential medical items to supplement their supplies and support their health systems through the pandemic.
The NOTUS ventilators are being manufactured in Victoria under a contract with the Department of Health. Victoria, like all states and territories, has access to the National Medical Stockpile, including ventilators, should they need them.