Following a review into operations, the Catholic health and aged care sector is calling on government to create clear lines of communication to avoid a repeat of the confusion at the height of the COVID pandemic. Source: CHA.
Multiple data requests, junior staff in the bureaucracy as contacts and a surge workforce that was untrained and unprepared to work with COVID-affected patients were also some of the challenges facing the operators, according to the report, Lessons Learnt from COVID-19.
The report was compiled by Catholic Health Australia in conjunction with Australian Catholic University, and surveyed executives from four major providers in Victoria: Mercy Health, St John of God Healthcare, St Vincent’s Health Australia and Villa Maria Catholic Homes.
It found that while Australia's medical system and governments could claim credit for beating COVID-19, the operators and bureaucracies could learn valuable lessons from the experience, which saw them forced to adapt quickly from planned but ultimately inaccurate scenarios.
Unlike in Europe and other countries around the world, the vast majority of COVID cases and deaths in Australia occurred in aged care facilities, particularly in Victoria, and not in hospitals, which were expecting their intensive care units to be inundated with cases.
The report outlines areas Catholic facilities performed well in during the different waves that hit Australia.
Catholic Health Australia chief Pat Garcia said the review’s findings would serve as a template for what to do, and what not to do, in future pandemics.