Top Australian doctor slams plan for 16 health workers to do “dangerous work” with Ebola patients when may not be trained or equipped

Top Australian doctor slams plan for 16 health workers to do “dangerous work” with Ebola patients when may not be trained or equipped

October 25, 2014
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From The Guardian:

“Australia’s response to Ebola has been a shambles, says the head of the country’s medical association who’s calling on the government to develop and announce a plan to help deal with the crisis.

Apparently 16 health care workers have been trained to go to west Africa and do “dangerous work” with Ebola patients, Australian Medical Association president Brian Owler said.

But neither the AMA nor the chief medical officer know who the people are, what sort of training they’ve had and whether they’re properly prepared.

“It’s not the Ausmat [Australian Medical Assistance] teams that you would expect would be trained to do this work,” Owler told reporters in Sydney.

“Who are these people? If anything is going to be irresponsible it would be a last minute announcement about people who are ill-equipped or ill-trained to go and do this dangerous work”.

He’s called on the government to announce what it is going to do to help tackle the “humanitarian crisis” overseas and what the plans are if a potentially infected person arrives in Australian.

And Owler has “big questions” about mandatory quarantines at airports for people returning from affected areas, like those to be set up in the US.

He said the nurse in Cairns, who had quarantined herself after showing signs of fever, had followed the right procedures by avoiding contact with others and alerting authorities.”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/25/australia-ebola-response-shambles-ama

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