Catholic Health Australia CEO: third or fourth COVID wave inevitable

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Catholic Health Australia CEO Pat Garcia (pictured above) will shake the sector after stating a “third or fourth wave” of COVID-19 will hit Australia.

The head of the largest non-government provider grouping of health, community and aged care services in Australia spoke at the release of a review into operations, Lessons Learnt from COVID-19, by Catholic Health Australia and Australian Catholic University.

“It’s clear the health and aged care landscape has changed irrevocably with COVID-19. Our members were forced to adapt in very testing circumstances and they did so very well,“ he said.

“However, pandemics teach us there is no room for complacency, so this review has been a valuable exercise for us to take stock about what we did well and what could be done better.“

“Our members are willing and able to work with government on how we can be COVID prepared for the inevitable third or fourth wave that will hit these shores. We want to share these lessons with government to ensure that next time we are on the right footing.”

The review catalogues areas that proved a constant challenge to operators dealing with the intensity of the second wave that hit Victoria. It found:

  • Lack of senior expertise in public health units;
  • Absence of a pandemic plan;
  • Requests for data from multiple government agencies every day;
  • The ability to absorb multiple daily announcements by the State and Federal Governments;
  • Poor training of the surge workforce, and their accommodation at large distances from their allocated temporary workplace.

Each of these areas are government related, which is interesting when during COVID it was the operators who received the criticism.

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