Australian Healthcare Workers demand safe Personal Protective Equipment for COVID-19

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Healthcare workers' lives are at risk as they work around the clock to protect the community during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. We are healthcare workers being handed personal protective equipment (PPE) that isn’t fully protecting us, as supplies run dangerously low.

We’re calling on all Australians to stand with hardworking healthcare workers. We need sufficient supplies of adequate PPE and we need it now, before the system collapses. Please, read our open letter, sign and share this petition and help protect the healthcare workers who are protecting us all.

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To The Honorable Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia; The Honorable Greg Hunt, Federal Minister for Health; The Hon Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology.

The COVID-19 pandemic is here in Australia and we are simply ignoring the difficult lessons learned by our colleagues in Italy, China, and elsewhere.

Australia is facing a significant shortage of N95/P2 respirators with the coronavirus pandemic building momentum around the world, and our southern hemisphere winter fast approaching. We know there are supply chain issues. The health minister admitted it in Parliament. We need to start manufacturing PPE here in Australia and stop relying on overseas manufacturers.

We are in a war and this calls for wartime measures. The global economic downturn triggered by the virus has left thousands of Australians without work. We have the people-power, the tenacity, and the sense of mateship and community to do what we can and must for our fellow Australians. The Australian Government needs to mobilise this new workforce and redirect the manufacturing industry to the production of personal protective equipment for our own medical stockpiles and to trade with our international partners.

Whether we are nurses, paramedics, physiotherapists, doctors, anaesthetic technicians, or other allied health, we are the frontline. We are the most equipped with the skills and expertise to care for the ill and fight further spread of the virus. If we become sick ourselves, we are of no benefit to patients and instead become vectors ourselves.

The Honorable Prime Minister, Minister for Health and Minister for Industry, heed our pleas. We are at the precipice of a months-long battle against a virus that has taken a stronghold over the world. Redirect resources, take the unpopular but necessary emergency measures, and help us fight for the 25 million Australians whose lives depend on it.

Yours truly,

The Healthcare Workers of Australia

Elements of this petition were modelled off an open letter, adapted from a US Change.org petition by Dr. Milla Kviatkovsky.