At a meeting yesterday to discuss nurses going to Victoria to help with the COVID-19 outbreak the Department of Health told us operating hours of the MCH emergency department will be reduced, once again, due to an inability to recruit and retain medical officers
The latest info is that hours of operation will be 8am – 6pm, so emergencies outside these hours from the wider area will have to be diverted to Burnie or Launceston, but we all know they have their own issues without additional demands, particularly on their emergency departments.
Tasmania’s only had a couple of COVID cases in the last 2 months and no outbreaks to manage, but things can change fast as we’ve seen interstate so it’s worrying that the capacity of the public health service to respond to day-to-day demand is being significantly reduced.
This may be a sound decision based on staff and patient safety, but the real issue is the government knew about the MCH medical staffing issue well before the pandemic and did nothing about it – and now they’ve been caught out.
What is the plan to manage an actual health crisis? What is the plan if there’s another COVID-19 outbreak?
HACSU members work hard every day to ensure patients get the best care and services they can and it’s time these ongoing, known issues are dealt with once and for all.
We continue to push the state government and THS for real answers about the future of the Mersey ED and the broader hospital. If any member notices an increase in work, or things are made worse because of additional presentations, please contact HACSUassist.
We'll update members as things progress.