The Institute is campaigning for changes to better protect the health and safety of healthcare workers during this pandemic – not just in Victoria, but in other states and territories. You can help by getting behind this campaign.
We want to draw attention to the unacceptably high number of healthcare workers in Victoria who have contracted COVID-19 at work, and what this means for all states and Territories if they follow the same flawed approach to Workplace Health and Safety n these settings if and when COVID outbreaks occur.
We want all governments to understand that it is unacceptable for any worker to go to work and contract COVID-19. We want it known that infection control standards do not reflect good health and safety practice.
The health and safety profession knows that there are reasonable, practical things that can be done to reduce transmission rates in healthcare workplaces.
We are calling for:
- Immediate changes in the Australian healthcare sector to protect workers from COVID.
- Health and safety experts and regulators need a voice government COVID advisory panels across the country.
- Commonwealth and State regulators must take a leadership role to control the outbreak in healthcare, providing advice and taking action on breaches, rather than leaving the issue to the healthcare infection control people.
- Changes to be made to the recommended state and federal infection control guidelines and standards for health and safety controls in healthcare.
- Hospitals and aged care centres must immediately upgrade their work health and safety strategies, management plans and practices to the appropriate standard, working from a prevention based, risk-based approach rather than a minimum standards approach.
What you can do
- Write to your State or Territory Health Minister. Just send this email to your Minister demanding change.
- Spread the message. Share on social media
- Tell us your story. Do you work in a healthcare setting? Tell us about what is happening on the ground. Participate in our confidential survey telling us about the COVID practices in your workplace.
Media releases from the AIHS
- 26 August: Victorian healthcare sector changes welcome, but it’s not enough
- 6 August: Health care standards failing to protect frontline health care workers
- 7 September: QLD healthcare sector needs changes now to stop the spread
Statements from experts
- 20 August: Article from David Clake, CEO AIHS. Our biggest blind spot: Infection control does NOT properly protect worker health and safety
- 31 August: LinkedIn Article from Sue Bottrell, Chair of the Ethics Committee. Let’s ensure we prevent another Frankston hospital
- 8 September: LinkedIn Article from Naomi Kemp, Chair AIHS Board. Are OHS Professionals in the Healthcare sector being marginalised?
AIHS media coverage
- 26 August: News.com.au, Healthcare sector changes aren’t enough peak body warns
- 26 August: The Australian, Healthcare sector changes aren’t enough peak body warns
- 21 August: NewsGP, Why are so many Victorian healthcare workers contracting COVID-19?
- 8 August: AAP, Doctors hit out at expert advice on masks
- 7 August: The Guardian, Victoria reports 911 healthcare workers have Covid-19, after daily rise of 101
- 7 August: 2GB, Interview with Naomi Kemp. Health care standards failing to protect frontline health care workers
- 6 August: Canberra Times, States could repeat Vic health 'failures'
- 6 August: Port Macquarie News, States could repeat Vic health 'failures'
- 6 August: Warrnambool Standard, Doctors hit out at expert advice on masks