Support: Queensland Nurses and Midwives reach out to those working in North West Tasmania

“To our ANMF Tasmanian Branch Friends and Colleagues

I am writing on behalf of the members of the Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU) who were so shocked to learn about the closure of Burnie’s North West Regional Hospital and North West Private Hospital over Easter because of a COVID 19 outbreak.

Around 1,200 staff and their families are now in mandatory quarantine for 14 days and health staff from the ADF and AusMat are being called in to provide emergency health services for the community of north west Tasmania.

These are unprecedented steps. QNMU members can only imagine how shell shocked and stressed the affected nurses, midwives and other health workers and their families and friends are feeling right now. Health workers are at greater risk of contracting COVID 19 because they are exposed to the virus as they care for those with the illness. Nurses and midwives are particularly exposed given  their close ongoing contact with these patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are only too aware of the additional risk this poses and brings into such sharp relief the critical importance of ongoing adequate provision of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers. PPE is life saving and its provision to health workers must be the number one priority of government.

You are all in our thoughts at this difficult time.  Words seem so inadequate to provide comfort, but it is important to know that many others are thinking of you and hoping that the outbreak in north west Tasmania, such a beautiful part of the world, is quickly brought under control by these measures.  The coming weeks will be challenging for you we know, but this isolation is such an important act of social solidarity. By doing this, you are helping to stop the spread of this contagious virus in your community.

Take care and be sustained knowing that you are in our thoughts. We hope that the collective well wishes of  the more than 62,000 QNMU members provides some consolation. As  part of the global nursing and midwifery and health worker collective effort against the spread of COVID 19 and must reflect on the importance of our work in these unprecedented times.

Stay safe.

In solidarity.”

Beth Mohle, Secretary
Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union



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