COVID issues linger
Australian hospitals are facing criticism for their handling of COVID-19 infection controls.
Concerns have been raised by medical professionals and public health experts regarding the rollback of critical precautions, leading to an increased risk of patients contracting COVID-19 within these facilities.
Data has revealed a troubling trend, with over 5,600 suspected cases of hospital-acquired COVID-19 in Victoria alone between 2020 and April 2023, resulting in a death rate of more than 10 per cent.
Similarly, Queensland reported an average of 13 hospital-acquired COVID cases daily over 18 months, highlighting a widespread issue across the country.
Critics argue that the perception of COVID-19 as similar to a common cold has led to a dangerous underestimation of its impact, especially in hospital settings where vulnerable patients are at greater risk.
The Australian Medical Association has been calling for consistent and stringent infection control measures across hospitals.
Methods to minimise COVID-19 spread in hospitals include well-established infection control practices such as enhanced ventilation, air filtration, routine testing, and the use of N95 respirators.
However, the implementation of these measures has been inconsistent, with reports of masking and other protective protocols being relaxed in some hospitals, even during COVID surges.