28/04/2020

An additional 1 million pieces of personal protective equipment have begun arriving in South Australia to protect our frontline health staff ahead of the recommencement of essential elective surgery this week.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential to ensure our health workers are safeguarded from the spread of the COVID-19.

“In the face of worldwide shortages of PPE, securing this PPE for our health networks is a vital step in our strong plan to prepare South Australia for the impacts of COVID-19”, Minister Wade said.

“Ensuring the safety of our staff as they care for patients is the highest priority of the Marshall Liberal Government. The effective and safe use of PPE is vital for clinicians during this global pandemic.

“The gradual recommencement of elective surgery was only possible because Australia has been expanding its stocks of PPE such that we can be confident that we can provide our hardworking clinicians with the right tools to keep them safe from the virus.

In line with national guidelines, a number of services are expected to be reinstated next week including life-saving screening services like Breast Screen SA, emergency dental services, IVF and essential elective surgeries.

“It's vital that we continue to look after those who look after us and South Australia is well placed to ensure there is PPE available for all staff as elective surgery gradually recommences”, Minister Wade said.

“This is another part of the State Government’s strong plan to protect all South Australians from the spread of COVID-19.”

The 1 million Level 3 face masks, which have been sourced from outside the national stockpile, will complement the production of 45 million face masks through local company, Detmold, at their Brompton manufacturing plant.

The Department for Health and Wellbeing’s Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, Dr Michael Cusack, said that the delivery of PPE is essential in ensuring that our clinicians have the right tools and feel safe while treating patients.

“It is extremely important for our clinicians to have access to the right PPE. Our clinicians should feel confident that we have adequate supply available when and where they need it”, Dr Cusack said.

“We are well placed to recommence elective surgery with the recent delivery providing an additional 1 million pieces of PPE for our frontline clinicians.

“We know that PPE is a critical resource and in high demand across South Australia, as it is in health-care systems around the world, which is why we have taken immediate action to boost our supply.

“We are working hard to ensure that we continue to have the necessary supply of the PPE required to protect our staff and continue the delivery of a high standard of care to all South Australians.”