Surge Workforce Survey
The Victorian Allied Health Professionals Association (VAHPA) is working with the Department of Health and Human Services to build a pool of displaced Allied Health Professionals (AHPs).
If you are in the unfortunate situation of facing stand-downs or of losing your job, we invite you to register your interest through our survey. Please let as many AHPs know as you can.
Allied Health Professionals being treated poorly
Journalists, politicians and even healthcare professionals appear to have embraced the use of war-time metaphors and military vernacular to frame the discussion around the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In many ways, this is a legitimate approach. Healthcare workers are on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19. Those in the trenches have good reason to be scared: 20% of all people who contracted SARS during the 2002 outbreak were healthcare workers. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is also much more contagious than its antecedent.
Of course, AHPs take infection control seriously. We do all we can to protect ourselves, our families and our patients. Despite taking every precaution, health workers are going to contract COVID-19. AHPs make the decision to put themselves in danger every single day. We make this decision because we understand the importance of community and believe that good health is a fundamental human right.
Despite this, and in midst of this public health crisis, AHPs are being pressured to take pay cuts and to reduce their hours of work. Others are being stood down for weeks at a time without pay or are simply being made redundant by their employer. These sorts of responses are being applied right across the sector, including disability & NDIS providers, community health centres, private radiology, and providers of physiotherapy, to name but a few. There is simply no excuse for treating workers in this way.
VAHPA is gravely concerned about wholescale shifts within the Victorian public hospital system that may well see swathes of AHPs stood down to create space for the establishment of what are, in effect, COVID-specific hospitals. (NB: VAHPA’s position on this is speculative at this stage. Members will be provided with all relevant information the moment it comes to hand.)
This workforce shift and inevitable sickness and quarantine implications will almost certainly create demand for frontline troops (AHPs) in specific vocational areas. On top of this, we expect to see workforce shortages as staff contract COVID-19 or face self-quarantine due to exposure.
VAHPA is helping to lessen the impact in both areas by identifying those AHPs who are out of work but who have skills which are in demand and by matching these workers with employers desperate to maintain their critical services.
This is a vital time for all of us. We must come together as Allied Health Professionals with common purpose and solidarity.
Please look after each other and stay safe.