Jobs at Bundaberg’s Mater Hospital look safe despite the Federal Government’s decision to stop elective surgeries.
Jobs at Bundaberg’s Mater Hospital look safe despite the Federal Government’s decision to stop elective surgeries.

Mater clinical staff look safe despite elective surgery halt

DESPITE the Federal Government's decision to stop elective surgeries in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus, Bundaberg's Mater Hospital is not expecting to lose clinical staff.

In a statement issued to the NewsMail today, a Mater spokeswoman said the organisation and the wider community were facing unprece­dented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are exploring every option to ensure that our organisation is prepared for and can sustain our response to this pandemic," she said.

"Mater does not anticipate the cessation of any clinical roles in private hospitals as a result of the COVID-19 decision made by the Federal Government.

"We are working with government to ensure a strong and secure clinical workforce in private hospitals and are looking forward to seeing the detail of the Government's sustainability packages for private hospitals."

More than 4000 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed across Australia by 6am today, with more than 650 of those in Queensland.

The Department of Health estimated more than 214,000 tests for the virus had been conducted across the country.

In a press conference last Friday, Australia's Chief ­Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, said the Government had advanced plans with states and territories and would work with private hospitals to keep clinicians in their jobs on the other side of the pandemic.

"Thirty-five per cent of our intensive care is in our private hospital sector," Prof Murphy said.

"They provide huge capacity, so they will have a key role in our outbreak, and we understand there are financial issues with elective surgery being reduced because of the PPE (personal protective equipment) issue."