Australia death toll hits 14, fourth fatality at Sydney aged-care facility.
Private hospital company Healthe Care has stood down 800 staff and is putting in doubt 8000 beds at 34 private hospitals across Australia after the federal government cancelled elective surgeries in response to the COVID-19 spread.
In a letter to staff, a copy seen by 9News, Healthe Care states the availability of private hospitals is at risk. It is now putting the pressure on state and federal governments for financial help.
“We have received no firm proposals,” the company’s letter to staff said. “Regrettably, this has driven us to these immediate actions.”
Other private hospitals are threatening to follow suit.
Health Minister Greg Hunt told 9News sacking nurses during this crisis “is an astonishing breach of faith”.
The national cabinet is expected to sign off on a deal regarding private hospital beds tomorrow.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has lashed out at the behaviour of beachgoers who continue to flaunt the state government’s strict COVID-19 measures.
Brett Sutton tonight vented his frustration on social media at the “really crap” behaviour of some in the state not adhering to its social distancing and “stay at home” calls.
Some of the behaviour today – when we’re asking people to stay home – has been really crap. It’s hard to change habits and it’s hard to see dangers that aren’t apparent yet. But with 3,000 cases of COVID in Australia this week, we’re headed to 100,000 in 2-3 weeks without change.
— Chief Health Officer, Victoria (@VictorianCHO) March 28, 2020
“Some of the behaviour today – when we’re asking people to stay home – has been really crap,” Dr Sutton tweeted.
“It’s hard to change habits and it’s hard to see dangers that aren’t apparent yet. But with 3000 cases of COVID-19 in Australia this week, we’re headed to 100,000 in 2-3 weeks without change.”