The pandemic has highlighted the need for reform of Victoria’s healthcare system. There is a critical need for policies that focus on recruiting health care workers, providing more hospital beds and ensuring our emergency response teams have the resources they need.
In particular, I am concerned about the severe work shortages experienced throughout the health sector and the impact this has on retaining existing frontline workers. Unfortunately, shortages do not just mean that our healthcare system can provide less services but it also means that Victoria’s nurses, midwives, mental health workers, doctors and more are experiencing immense burnout.
We need more policies in place that acknowledge the important work of our healthcare workers and reward them for their commitment to the community.
COVID-19 has also taught us an important lesson when it comes to public health, which is preparation. We need to ensure that we have public health units that are adequately funded and public health workers who can be mobilised in another pandemic or emergency.