We should always defend doctors & other HCW’s right to not be pushed into unsafe practice, esp when little PPE. If patients have a safer accessible alternative, it must be used first.

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It is an odd experience to be publicly thanked by the Federal Health Minister and then chastised by the State Health Minister for the same actions.

Defending patients and doctors and staff from unsafe outcomes. No doctor or nurse should treat covid patients without proper PPE, fit testing, and team based training.

‘The AMA (WA) maintains that those hospitals and health care workers best trained and equipped to deal with COVID-19 positive patients should be the first to receive them. In Western Australia that was clearly not the private hospitals originally suggested to treat sick Artani cruise ship passengers and crew. Training in COVID-19 care has not even begun for the vast majority of staff there, and relevant equipment is negligible.

The Federal Government saw, and acknowledged, the good sense suggestion, supported by an overwhelming chorus of  the front line doctors, which was to treat those people at the much better prepared Joondalup Health Campus – and Minister Hunt praised the AMA (WA)’s role in helping to coordinate this.

Using a hospital already fully equipped to deal with COVID-19 cases, with trained and experienced staff, was something the AMA (WA) advocated in the best interests of those sick people and the Doctors and other health staff called on to treat them. Around the world healthcare workers are dying in catastrophic numbers as a result of workplace acquired infection, when they are only trying to help others. The least we can do here, in their honour, is heed that warning and give our doctors and nurses and patients their best chance of survival.

It is my job to represent the interests of Doctors and the community, and to ensure that health, and facts, form the basis of the COVID-19 response.’


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