Media Releases

AMA (WA) | WAs nurses and doctors

WA’s nurses and doctors join forces on safety

Thursday November 12, 2020

The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) and the Australian Medical Association (WA) are working together to bring a COVID-safe workplace and a COVID-ready workforce to the top of the WA Government’s agenda. The reopening of the WA borders, along with the recent arrival of multiple COVID-19 infected cargo ships, with some crew being allowed directly into the community, and others visiting hospitals, are timely reminders of the daily risk for WA’s COVID-19 bubble.

AMA (WA) President Andrew Miller said there were many initiatives available to the Government to make sure we are fully prepared for a second wave of COVID-19.

The two top health organisations are using their current EBA negotiations to lock in improvements in safety, as well as changes to workforce arrangements.

ANF Secretary Mark Olson said he did not want to see a repeat of the disastrous situation in Victoria, where thousands of healthcare staff became infected at work and public hospitals beds were taken by aged-care residents simply because aged-care facilities had no staff.

Other matters both organisations want to see addressed include:

  • high-quality personal protective equipment (PPE), training and fit testing of masks for all clinical staff
  • permanent medical workforce
  • detailed plans for aged-care outbreaks, where residents are cared for in facilities and not in hospitals
  • proper COVID-19 ready break rooms, bathrooms, laundry facilities
  • procedures for patient flow that are well practised.

“We already have a workplace shortage of nurses and doctors, with a resultant increase in stress and burnout, which can lead to a downward spiral in workforce numbers and an impact on safety,” Dr Miller said.

ENDS

Please contact AMA (WA) Media on 0407 986 308 or media@amawa.com.au for further information on this issue.