Nurse death threats amid hospital COVID crisis

 

Nurses have been subject to death threats during the Princess Alexandra Hospital lockdown, their union says.

Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union secretary Beth Mohle described verbal abuse of her members as "deplorable" and urged them to report cases to police.

"Members have been yelled at and had their lives threatened in the last 24 hours," Ms Mohle said.

"Anyone seeking to intimidate or threaten nurses, midwives or any frontline staff who dedicate their working lives to helping others should face the full weight of the law.

Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union (QNMU) Secretary Beth Mohle. Photo: Supplied.
Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union (QNMU) Secretary Beth Mohle. Photo: Supplied.

"As we did during the peak of COVID-19 last year, we again call on Queenslanders to remain calm and courteous during this stressful time."

The threats come after two separate COVID-19 virus clusters emerged from the Princess Alexandra Hospital's Ward 5D in March.

The ward has been closed for thorough cleaning and last night, any staff who had entered the ward between 8pm on March 23 and midday March 26 were directed to go into quarantine for 14 days, even if they had not had patient contact.

The latest cluster of 11 people, includes two Ward 5D nurses.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has praised the first nurse identified in the outbreak for getting tested as soon as she became unwell.

"The nurse was fantastic. She really needs to be commended," Dr Young said.

"She developed symptoms at 11 o'clock on Sunday morning, immediately came forward and got tested."

 

Writing on Facebook last night, Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath, who herself was tested for COVID-19 yesterday after developing a sore throat, said she was upset to hear some of the state's health workers had been subject to threats and abuse.

"This is unacceptable," Ms D'Ath said.

"I know that people are concerned, but that doesn't mean that threatening or abusing frontline health workers or any worker in our health system is acceptable. Because it is not.

"Queensland has been kept safe through these unpredictable times because we have come together as a community, and followed the health advice."

Ms Mohle said Queensland's frontline nurses, midwives and all health workers continued to do their best to protect the community.

"They do so in the face of the pandemic, population growth and increased emergency department presentations and other increasing demands on our public health system."

Originally published as Nurse death threats amid hospital COVID crisis

 



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