COVID-19 Concerns Increase

12 November 2021

Media Doorstop 

Who: Emily Shepherd, ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary
When: 1:00pm, Friday 12 November
Where: ANMF Office, 19 Brisbane Street, Launceston 

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Tasmanian Branch (ANMF) has raised concerns with the Department of Health Secretary and Health Minister following member concerns surrounding a lack of transparency and communication regarding the state’s COVID-19 escalation plan in line with the borders opening on 15 December 2021. 

Members have experienced COVID-19 preparations and dealt with the illness in varying degrees over the last 18 months, however given the expectation that COVID-19 will enter Tasmania after 15 December and the projections of hospitalisations and ICU care from the Kirby Modelling, many members remain unclear about what additional measures will be implemented to deal with such an increase in cases requiring hospital and ICU care. 

The ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary, Emily Shepherd stated today, “many members are extremely concerned about how an already challenged healthcare system will cope with an influx in acutely unwell COVID-19 patients after 15 December, especially from a staffing and patient perspective. 

“The Health Minister has stated on multiple occasions that the health system is prepared as it can be and if this is the case then this information on the escalation policy, the at-home COVID-19 plan and how staffing will be managed throughout this period must be shared immediately with all healthcare staff,” Ms Shepherd said. 

The ANMF has been invited to a union consultation meeting on Monday 15 November 2021, which has been scheduled for half an hour.

“A half hour meeting on COVID-19 preparations is manifestly inadequate, when many members are completely in the dark about how the health system will respond. Many members are concerned about the ability to socially distance patients in Emergency Departments, how infected staff and close contacts of infected staff will be managed and also when the government will enact lockdowns if the health system is or looks to become overwhelmed,” Ms Shepherd said. 

With only a month to go before borders re-open, the ANMF has called for more than an opening date to be shared with members and the broader community. Details on how COVID-19 will be managed once community transmission must occur now to allow everyone ample time to prepare. 


Media contact:
Emily Shepherd, ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary
Mobile: 0400 884 021