Leader of The Nationals WA Mia Davies MLA has called on the Labor Government to confirm the State’s health services are prepared for a potential COVID-10 outbreak ahead of changes to the WA’s border policy on November 14.
Ms Davies said the Government needed to assure all West Australians, but particularly those living in regional WA, that aged care, health and emergency services were appropriately resourced and prepared to respond to an outbreak.
The Nationals highlighted a number of issues that were cause for concern, including –
• ongoing doctor shortages
• workforce shortages in the aged care sector
• a spike in Royal Flying Doctor Service transfer rates
• ambulance ramping at Perth hospitals at record highs
• pressure on emergency departments due to an increase in mental health presentations and;
• questions in relation to the timing of the roll-out of upgraded contact tracing technology.
“While there is some excitement at the re-opening of the State border there is also a great deal of trepidation any COVID-19 outbreak can be successfully contained and people hit by the virus will get the help they will urgently require,” Ms Davies said.
“Our health system is under pressure, with record ambulance ramping, doctor shortages and stretched emergency services – and this is without a COVID-19 outbreak.
“In particular, regional West Australians who live many kilometres from our major tertiary hospitals want an assurance the Government has done everything it can to prepare for the relaxation of our borders.”
Instead of responding to the questions raised by The Nationals, the Minister for Health and the Premier went on the attack suggesting The Nationals were not supportive of frontline workers and their efforts during COVID-19.
“It’s disappointing the Premier and Minister for Health chose political spin over substance when all we were doing was representing the concerns of our community,” Ms Davies said.
“The Health Minister couldn’t even outline what provisions were in place to deal with outbreaks in regional aged care facilities should we face that horrible situation.
“It doesn’t leave the people of regional WA with much confidence the Government is prepared for an outbreak of COVID-19.
“Regional West Australians deserve better than political spin, they have a right to be told if their Government has resourced frontline health workers to respond efficiently in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.”