Australia today.

Given the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment for health workers and the shortage of test kits, Australia appears unprepared for Covid-19 to accelerate rapidly. Governments have a duty of care to take all necessary steps to prevent infection or face another catastrophe.  If the Australian government is not getting this advice, it is consulting the wrong people.  If Government is getting sound, evidence-based advice (including on the level of preparedness) and ignoring it, then that is a significant issue.  The advice of the Australian Medical Association should be heeded now.   Is this a re-run of the bushfire disaster?  I’m hopeful for a better response this time around.  Much is at stake.

Irrespective of official advice, organisations that run public events and employ staff should consider the legal implications for their organisations, including the potential personal liability of directors/officials, if their event or business acts as a host for the spread of Covid-19.  They should also consider their duty of care to participants, staff and the wider community, including the impact on local health systems and critical supply chains.  Risk management should be part of all organisations’ planning.  Thankfully, many are doing just this and are leading the way in responding to the crisis.  Organisations/companies should not expect governments to indemnify them for bad decisions taken, should they?

Without a vaccine, enough PPE, or test kits, social distancing appears to be the only practical option to buy more time.  This is not business as usual.  Now where have I heard that before?

There is no time to waste, Australians.  I went to my doctor for my pneumococcal vaccine last week. I overheard the receptionist talking on the phone about a potential Covid-19 patient who they had sent back to their car to wait to be triaged there. The office staff gave the distinct impression of rabbits caught in a spotlight.

UPDATE – I have been hearing from friends who work in the health system that our governments have been too slow to ban community gatherings.  Those are on the front line are asking citizens to voluntarily quarantine themselves right now.  NOT TOMORROW BUT TODAY.  Act now to prevent the transmission of this virus in the community.

We (governments and the community) must do everything possible to protect front line staff and if that means being overly cautious, so be it.  Be calm, but act.

How apt this video seems now.  Sorry about the political stuff tacked on the end of it though.  Let’s keep politics out of it and be guided by best practice.

Regards.
Tracy.

Further information:

https://ama.com.au/media/ama-federal-council-covid-19-national-public-health-emergency

28 thoughts on “Crisis Management

  1. I couldn’t agree more! My husband spends hours (more than I would like) following the journeys other countries are navigating through this crisis and we are convinced the Australian government, far from learning from other experiences, is simply emulating them. We are lucky enough to be later effected than many places (and perhaps the government should be credited for that at least). We should deal with it the best. But I can’t see that happening.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As usual our fake prez is leading the way in misleading the whole country. Don’t follow our example, Australia, we can’t be trusted to find our rears for the holes in the ground. At least, not those who follow the Orange Man. Take care, Tracy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The previous bushfire crisis left a dent in our national leader, so he won’t want to stuff this one up. We made a good start, but of late, there appears to be mismatch between the rhetoric of how ready we are, and how ready we actually are. Anyone who has tried to get timely public treatment for a chronic health condition has no delusions. Under normal circumstances, the feds palm these concerns off as a Australian state responsibility. But this is not normal. Hence, the trust factor is a huge issue.
      I hope this is not the crisis your prez needs, Sharon.
      I will take care, Sharon. You too. Please give me a sign every now and then that you’re okay.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We are OK. All schools have been cancelled, so all 4 grands are at home for at least 2 weeks. I’ll get to spend a little time with the older 2 as they live nearby, but haven’t seen the younger 2 since November. They live in Northern California. All the adults are distance working for a while. Maybe we can slow it down if we stay hunkered in our own bunkers. Thank you for asking.
        How have your eyes healed? Getting medical treatment, even follow ups and prescriptions, may be a bit tricky for a while. The medical community world wide is getting slammed – too many needing too much care. Maybe we could build a wall to keep out the virus? Wait, that doesn’t work at all….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bunker down, Sharon. 🙂 Every little bit helps. The US has moved quickly to tele-commuting. I’m impressed.
        My eye is going well. It will take six months before it is hopefully better than normal. I have a review appointment this Wednesday, but I am going to cancel that I think.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. We have the same problem. It certainly puts hospital and health care staff under a lot more pressure. A doctor I know said they will not be able to return home after work to visit their families, and many expect to die due to carrying a massive viral load. Frightening. The community can help by avoiding unnecessary contact. Easier said than done though.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like the mistakes are accumulating. I’ve heard there is a five day testing backlog so actual numbers are likely higher. The AMA press conference is informative. The PM makes a major announcement before the AMA meets with the deputy CMO (same person that the Cabinet didn’t have to go into quarantine). Can you imagine what would happen if the virus spread through Parliament House and the ACT community?
      Has any advice been given to you about limiting travel to remote areas to safeguard against spreading the virus to indigenous communities?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So far we haven’t been restricted and seeing folks who are coming into towns anyway. NT has restricted visiting remote communities.
        I expect we will follow suit. Troubling times ahead everywhere. If I had a choice, I’d rather be home for a month.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Most governments have been a bit slow in responding. In all fairness, all of us believed this won’t happen to us! We can all act maturely and not hoard essentials, avoid unnecessary social interactions and not panic. Take care, Tracy.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, Tracy. Dissemination of wrong information, government officials speaking in different voices and social media in overdrive make it seem like apocalypse is now!
        I am trying to remain sane and calm.

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  4. The SARS Outbreak hit Toronto in 2002 spreading to around 375 persons and killing 44. Ironically nearly 75% caught the disease while in hospital. Those stricken included medical personal. Many lessons were learned with the SARS Outbreak on how to equip a hospital and train medical personnel for a pandemic. Canada has a socialist medical system ready to treat all. Canada had the organization in place to react rapidly to the C 19 Virus and other future pandemics. If a doctor orders a test it is provided free. In Canada health care for all is a human right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That puts Canada way ahead of a lot of other countries, Sid. Australia has a dreadfully overwhelmed, under-funded public health system. Much money has been wasted on supporting the private health sector. Notably, many private hospitals do not have ICUs, but leave that to the public health system. Australians will pay the price for that.

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      1. Ironically the Province of Alberta in its recent budget proposed cuts to the health system but have decided to postpone these cuts with the spread of the C 19 virus to Alberta . The political ideology is deeply Conservative in Alberta. The Federal Government fights everyday to maintain a single payer and single tier health system. Heath care is a Provincial responsibility but the mandated single payer system is Federal Legislation. The Canadian system does not cover everything and some services provided by podiatrists the patient pays a fee. The main complaint made against Canada’s health system is some procedures have waiting times. Knee replacement, hip replacement for example. Supportive care for the elderly is in private facilities and cost is based on the ability to pay by the patient with the government providing per patient subsidies if required.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks to my readers, I am learning a lot about Canadian healthcare politics and policies. It sounds like the single payer system has delivered a very affordable system. My disease has shaped my politics from a very young age, so I probably have a very liberal view on health care funding.

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