House debates

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Statements by Members

Bass Electorate: COVID-19

1:50 pm

Photo of Bridget ArcherBridget Archer (Bass, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Today I rise to express my special thanks to our healthcare workers. When COVID first found its way to Tasmania the response was very swift. A COVID-19 screening clinic was set up outside the Launceston General Hospital, using a converted old bus that had recently had a fit-out thanks to $100,000 in federal government funding. A dedicated COVID-19 ward was also prepared in order to care for patients with the virus who do not require intensive care or the help of a ventilator. High-risk patients who present to the emergency department are immediately screened. For months on end, hospital staff on the COVID ward have donned full PPE to treat patients as they were admitted, an incredibly high-stress situation for the workers, who've shown up for every shift with the utmost professionalism.

During this time, when an outbreak occurred in north-west Tasmania, the ward cared for more than half the state's hospitalised positive cases. Staff consistently went above and beyond in difficult circumstances, and some negative media at that time left them feeling pretty flat. I put a call out to our local community, asking for their positive comments of support. There was an overwhelming response, leading to the creation of a book of thanks, including a personal letter to the staff from Minister Hunt, which I presented to the LGH staff last month, including nursing unit manager Robyn Hayes; Matt Carswell, who's a nurse; and Jenny Wood, a senior pharmacist at the Acute Medical Unit. On behalf of the Northern Tasmania community, I say thank you.