Shadow Minister for Health, Bill Yan, says the scathing open letter from peak Indigenous medical bodies and the Central Land Council (CLC), which slams the Gunner Government for neglecting the bush, is a damning assessment of Labor’s failure to manage the Territory’s COVID response.
“We support the best medical advice but we question whether the Gunner Labor Government is implementing the best health advice when well-respected medical organisations including the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) and the Central Australia Aboriginal Congress is calling out the “significant failure by government agencies… to put into practice the plans agreed with your government”.
“Labor claims current measures are being implemented to protect vulnerable Territorians, yet this incompetent Gunner Government isn’t listening to the organisations that represent those same Territorians. The list of failures put forward in the letter are numerous, and concerning.
“The slow and inadequate Test, Trace, Isolate and Quarantine (TTIQ) response in vulnerable communities, and failure to remove positive cases from overcrowded houses seem to contradict the “best health advice” that the Government has been spruiking.
“Is it the best health advice, or simply the actions of an overwhelmed Government in a desperate attempt to appear to be doing something? In just the past twelve months Territorians have witnessed:
- A bungled remote vaccine rollout, despite concerns raised by the CLP more than six months ago, with many communities still below target;
- Four Code Yellow critical staff and bed shortages at Royal Darwin Hospital;
- The closure of multiple remote health clinics;
- A Health Minister who does not know her own staff shortages;
- Failures to notify Territorians of exposure sites for 10 days;
- A Chief Minister whose hysterical rants are unhelpful and divisive;
- Government’s failure to disclose key data, including vaccines rates; and
- Constant rule changes, with the burden of implementation squarely on the shoulders of Territory businesses.
“These blunders are symptoms of a Labor Government and Health Minister who are completely out of their depth and have failed to adequately manage and resource the Territory’s overburdened health system, prior to and throughout the COVID state of emergency,” said Mr Yan.