The hospital system will come under increasing stress as the current wave worsens, particularly in relation to higher levels of staff leave because of Covid-19 related illness.

Members are advised to contact VAHPA if there is any pressure to change work practices, including location of work, during this time prior to a proper consultation process as stipulated by your Enterprise Agreement.

Health Services must provide you with appropriate PPE and meaningfully consult with your respective workplace Health & Safety Representative around any OH&S concerns. This is particularly important in clinical spaces.

While the Health System Response does not directly change the PPE settings, the Department of Health current guidance (effective 10 May) prompts health services to implement masking (N95s) in all clinical areas during times of high Covid activity.

If you feel that your Health Service is not implementing appropriate measures to ensure the safety of all staff, please contact VAHPA immediately.

The fundamental issues of ongoing workforce pressures created by extended unfilled vacancies, staff off work sick, burnout and the ever-increasing demand on health services are still not being dealt with by the health employers or the federal and state governments.

Until there is proper resourcing of the health system, including making it more attractive and affordable to enter as students, preventative measures are put in place to protect health workers from becoming infected in the course of their work, and workload controls are implemented to make work safe and manageable, the system and employees will continue to endure untenable pressure.