Australian Hospital Workers Demand COVID19 Protections

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Hospital Workers Demand COVID-19 Protections

The COVID-19 crisis has shown the lack of preparedness for crisis in many hospitals and health facilities across Australia. Despite having months to prepare, both the federal and all state governments have been calling for “business as usual” and calm. Now that the crisis is upon us, the lack of protections for clinical and other hospital staff, is negligent in the extreme. We are calling for increased support for all healthcare workers to manage this crisis safely.

We demand:

  • Increased transparency from state and federal government about the levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) available.
  • All parking fees around hospitals be waived so as to avoid staff having to travel on public transport thereby risking infection of themselves, other staff and all patients. 
  • All staff should be survey screened and have their temperature monitored prior to beginning work everyday.
  • Hire more cleaning staff and increase the frequency of the cleaning regime. 
  • Provide appropriate PPE for all hospital staff that could be exposed to COVID-19.
  • Equipment and resources should not transfer between wards and floors to limit the possible spread of Covid-19.
  • Dedicated COVID-19 leave should be accessible for all public and private, casual and permanent healthcare staff and should be accessible prior to exhausting one’s personal leave. This leave should also be extendable if required again due to illness in the family or child care complications.
  • Clinical staff should be consulted with planning the care of COVID-19 positive patients and the current pandemic plans in place for public and private hospitals. 
  • Staff who are potentially exposed to COVID-19 should be provided free accommodation if they are at risk of infecting at risk individuals who live at their home (young children, elderly, immunocompromised or those with comorbidities).
  • COVID-19 testing for staff that display flu-like symptoms and have been exposed to COVID-19 patients.