We should have been better prepared
Nurse Lynne Saville reckons that Australia should have been better prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic – but under-resourcing and politics got in the way.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has named 2020 the ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’. As the world faces the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, communities around the world increasingly acknowledge the commitment, knowledge and skills required, and the values and ethics integral to the role of nurses.
In Australia, nurses are well trained, dedicated and place high value on their significant work, yet many have experienced decades of relatively low salaries, high rates of work-related injuries, poor work conditions, and are frequently faced with extremely stressful and challenging situations. This is now compounded by inadequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) – essential for their important work in a pandemic.
The WHO has long warned of future pandemics, so I wonder why our governments did not effectively resource our hospitals, and particularly our nurses and healthcare workers?’