Regions buckle under COVID pressures 

  

13 January  2022

Regional and rural health services are facing breaking point due to the high number of COVID-19 infections in the area.

The regions are facing staff shortages because nurses, midwives and personal care workers are infected, or are close contacts of people infected with the virus. 

The ANMF (SA Branch) has been critical of the Marshall Government for not addressing significant failures to the health system in South Australia prior to the borders opening last year. 

“There are very serious concerns in relation to the availability of staff in those rural and regional areas,” ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adjunct Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM told ABC radio on Thursday. 

“The pressure that we have been talking about for years now has in our view not been addressed well before COVID and in the lead up to COVID.

“And it is something we have been very critical of to the government, because they had 24 months to prepare leading up to this,” said Ms Dabars.

There was additional pressure to the regions health system when Kingston Hospital had to shut down for days for deep cleaning due to COVID positive patients who have since been transferred to the RAH. Even though the hospital is up and running again, this additional pressure on the regions highlights to failures of the State Government in not addressing these concerns earlier.

Enrolled nurses and registered nurses in the aged care are also hit hard by the failures of both levels of Government to fix the broken system.

On enrolled nurse who works in aged care in the regions said that due to positive cases in the facility, management have decided that only nursing staff are allowed on the floor. This means the nurses now must deliver meals, serve food, attend to laundry all this on top of their caring for the resident’s clinical needs.