Aussie Health Workers Say Hospitals Aren’t Coping With Omicron, Despite What The Pollies Reckon

Hospitals aren't coping with Omicron

Hospitals around the country aren’t coping with the Omicron wave, and don’t just take it from us — nurses, doctors and epidemiologists in NSW and Victoria are saying so.

The positivity rate for COVID in NSW PCR swabs has reached 27.74 per cent, which is well above what the World Health Organisation has defined as a controlled outbreak — 5 per cent.

In Victoria the positive rate is 23 per cent and it’s 34 per cent in Tasmania. Oof.

Did I also mention that testing centres are being closed in NSW? Well now that I have, that should paint a fairly clear picture for you.

The COVID situation isn’t going so great at the moment. By the way, there were 23,131 cases in NSW today and 14,020 in Victoria.

Hospitalisations are rising, too. NSW was up from 1204 to 1344 from Monday to Tuesday and Victoria went from 491 to 516 in the same period.

Experts expect that 60 per cent of Aussies could be infected in three weeks at the current rate.

The Sydney Morning Herald today published an op-ed written by general secretary of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association Brett Holmes, where he outlines the struggle healthcare staff in the state are going through.

Here’s a little taste: “Nurses and midwives have described feelings of despair as they battle through the short-staffing crisis that is plaguing our hospitals … Across the state, intensive care unit nurses are once again working excessive hours of double shifts and overtime.”

Some nurses are reported as saying they’re “falling like flies” and bemoaned a lack of preparation for this wave, two years into the pandemic.

The piece also raised that emergency departments are struggling to get to patients, which sounds pretty bad if you ask me!

And guess what? The same thing is happening in Victoria, according to the Age.

“I’ve got real trepidations about what next week will look like,” senior emergency doctor Stephen Parnis told the paper. “Our resources are under challenge in a different way to all the previous waves of coronavirus.”

Politicians have repeatedly said that the health systems are coping, and have already been called out (anonymously) by health care workers. We’ll see if they change their tune in the coming days.

This is all in the context of insufficient testing capacity, long test turnarounds and a huge scarcity of rapid antigen tests. If only our governments had seen this coming and adequately prepared.