Premier leaves health workers in dark

Tasmanian Labor
  • Peter Gutwein refuses to answer questions on PPE for frontline workers
  • Health workers must wait to learn if they’ll have adequate supplies
  • No word from government on number of ICU beds and ventilators
  • Peter Gutwein is leaving our vital health care workers in the dark over what steps will be taken to ensure the health system is equipped to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

    Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said the Liberals’ failure to answer clear questions on the provision of personal protection equipment for health workers and availability of ICU beds and ventilators is inexcusable.

    “Peter Gutwein was asked in Parliament this morning about the appropriate steps being taken to ensure health workers will have adequate supplies of PPE,” Ms Lovell said.

    “But rather than provide a clear answer and much-needed reassurance to our frontline workers, Peter Gutwein refused to say what will be done to ensure enough supplies of gowns, masks and gloves, instead referring to his ministerial statement, to be delivered four hours later.

    “On top of that, Sarah Courtney had no information at all about how many ventilators and ICU beds are available. Not only that but she failed to give a firm commitment as to when she might know.

    “It’s disappointing that rather than taking the opportunity to create an atmosphere of cooperation, the Premier seemed more interested in the media strategy around his statement this afternoon.

    “We rely on Tasmania’s health and emergency workers to care for community members at this difficult time, but we must look after them too.

    “We are already hearing from those on the frontline that there is a shortage of gowns, masks and gloves – the very things they need to keep treating patients safely in our hospitals and all health care settings across the state.

    “As well, they are also concerned over a lack of training time to learn how to use equipment properly.

    “We can’t risk our health workers’ safety by having them reuse, or go without, vital supplies. They should not have to wait to find out what steps are being taken to protect them.”

    Sarah Lovell

    Shadow Minister for Health

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