2 August 2022

ACT records four COVID-19 deaths, 754 cases; 74 per cent of nurses considered leaving job in past year

| Lottie Twyford
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Matthew Daniel outside the Legislative Assembly

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation ACT branch secretary Matthew Daniel: the union found 74 per cent of public sector health respondents had considered leaving their job in the past year. Photo: Lottie Twyford.

The ACT has recorded four COVID-19 deaths overnight – a man in his 70s, a woman in her 80s and two men in their 90s are the latest fatalities.

It’s the highest daily death count ever recorded in the Territory. The ACT’s pandemic death toll is now 96.

It comes as an additional 754 (369 PCR and 385 RAT) COVID-19 infections were recorded in the 24 hours to 8 pm last night and there are 158 people in hospital.

Three of these patients require intensive care and one is on a ventilator.

Nurses, midwives and their supporters intend to rally outside the ACT Legislative Assembly tomorrow morning.

It’s at least the third time they have conducted snap action in recent weeks and will coincide with the tabling of a petition signed by more than 2500 people calling on the ACT Government to develop a post-pandemic recovery plan for hiring healthcare staff and improving workplace culture.

Greens spokesperson for health Johnathan Davis will table the petition in the Assembly tomorrow.

A recent survey conducted by the union found 74 per cent of public sector health respondents had considered leaving their job in the past year.

READ ALSO Barr hints at better bottom line ahead of ACT Budget; health and housing the big winners

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation ACT branch president Matthew Daniel said nurses and midwives want more than recognition.

“[They] are taking a stand for a better health system now and into the future,” he said.

“In the absence of proper workforce planning, the union is not convinced that the ACT Government knows what is required. It can’t detail what the demand is for nurses and midwives now or over the next few years, so how will it know if its budget initiatives will hit the mark?”

The government previously rejected calls from the nurses’ union for a $3000 pandemic bonus payment. Similar schemes were rolled out in NSW and Victoria.

It’s been announced that today’s 2022-23 Budget will include major investments in the Territory’s healthcare system, including $820 million for health infrastructure, of which $91 million will go to the Canberra Hospital expansion.

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A further $140 million will go towards treatment services for alcohol and other drugs, funding for hiring more healthcare staff, and improving staff safety and clinical services at the hospital.

Almost $40 million in the budget will be allocated to mental health support. This includes services specifically designed for young people and families.

There are now 4625 known active infections in the Territory and a total of 192,138 COVID-19 cases have been recorded since the pandemic began.

Yesterday, the ACT reported 616 cases and 165 people in hospital with the virus.

ACT Health is providing weekly vaccination updates.

READ ALSO Budget makes major health commitments as nurses, doctors call for pandemic recovery plan

Interstate, NSW has reported 47 deaths overnight and 10,702 new cases of COVID-19.

NSW Health says this death toll includes 20 deaths notified through the NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.

There are now 2289 people in hospital with the virus and 76 people in ICUs around the state.

Victoria has reported 13 deaths overnight and 10,709 cases of COVID-19.

There are now 802 people hospitalised with the virus and 44 patients are in the state’s intensive care units.

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