The Nurses Professional Association of Queensland (NPAQ) has filed a complaint alleging vilification by the state’s political leaders on the behalf of the nurse embroiled in the COVID scare at the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre earlier this year.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured above), Health Minister Steven Miles, Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga, have been referred to the state’s Human Rights Commission over their treatment of the nurse.
The NPAQ alleges the nurse, who was later cleared of any wrongdoing, has been shamed and vilified by the state’s leaders, which they say has taken a toll on her mental health.
“It was such poor treatment that us in the NPAQ and our legal team, who do quite a lot of this work, said that they reckon this would justify inhumane treatment,” NPAQ assistant secretary Jack McGuire told the ABC.
“(It was) that bad – it cannot be that a government can treat people like that and get away with it.”
“We saw, for well over a week, the Premier, Steven Miles, we saw Jeannette Young constantly berate her almost daily.”
“This matter was in the news… it was insinuated she was responsible for the death of Nathan Turner – it was really quite awful.”
But Health Minister Steven Miles wasn’t having a bar of it, accusing the NAPQ of using the nurse as a publicity stunt.
“That’s a shame, I think. What I’ve said very consistently is that it is absolutely imperative we do not undermine the public health messaging which is, if you are sick get tested, do not go to work until you have the result of that test,” he said.
“Now that’s incredibly important for everybody – all Queenslanders – but especially if you work in aged care or you work for Queensland Health, and in this case, it was an individual who worked for Queensland Health and in aged care.”