Doctors and nurses join forces to demand safety

29 Apr 2021

Dr Hau Tan

The Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation Queensland (ASMOFQ) and Australian Medical Association (AMA) Queensland have continued to fight for the safety of frontline health workers by supporting a Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union (QNMU) dispute before the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC).

The current QNMU case continues advocacy started by ASMOFQ last year that secured a commitment from Queensland Health to deliver a consistent program of fit-testing for personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline staff.

In April 2020, Queensland Health provided assurances to ASMOFQ, “…that there was a significant amount of training occurring right across the system right in donning and doffing of PPE and fit-testing for N95 masks.”

This week, Queensland Health presented an audit to the QIRC that revealed major inconsistencies and gaps in fit-testing being conducted by Hospital and Health Services (HHSs).

ASMOFQ President Dr Hau Tan said many doctors and nurses are still not fit-tested, and this places them at risk.

“The HHSs must roll-out a consistent program of fit-testing throughout the state.

“Sufficient supplies of the various mask sizes must also be available to health care workers so they have ready access to a mask that fits properly to ensure they have adequate protection. 

“Doctors and all health care workers have a right to a safe workplace, and we are advising our members to insist on fit-testing.

“We will continue to monitor this situation closely, and take any necessary steps to protect our members’ health and safety,” said Dr Tan. 

Published: 29 Apr 2021