Media Releases

Statement from AMA (WA) President Dr Andrew Miller on COVID-19

Friday March 20, 2020

I would like to address comments I made to the media yesterday about the speed of the State Government’s response to COVID-19. Several of these statements were made in a non-respectful way, which I should not have said and which I now regret. With regard to this, I issue a personal apology to the Premier and the government.

The AMA (WA) has always recommended that we should be taking ALL measures to flatten the curve of the spread outlined by the World Health Organization. This includes closing borders, slowing community spread and most importantly – being prepared.

There are few things more challenging than a truth that our members will die if their basic Occupational Health and Safety requirements as employees are ignored by their employer. The employer has no personal protection equipment (PPE). The member must work. Some will get sick and die.

Over the last weeks, our members and others at the health front line, like aged care providers, have been telling the government this.

GPs got some deliveries of two masks per practice again. Aged care homes in several places have no gloves left.

These are extreme circumstances.

Many of our members feel abandoned.

We are asking how do we best act now to draw attention to the inevitable deaths of doctors caused by lack of basic PPE when the priority is to keep businesses and the community open?

What we can assure you is that we will continue to work with the government and all agencies to provide the very best healthcare to all Western Australians.

We will also continue to stand up and be heard about what we think are the best measures to deal with COVID-19 in our community based on global advice; and to ensure our members and the health community are provided with the equipment and support they need to do their job.

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