Doctors, nurses and other frontline staff attached to the Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) will soon have additional peace of mind that their jobs aren’t putting their own family’s health at risk, following the announcement of a temporary accommodation funding package from the NSW Government.
On April 7, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a $104M funding boost for NSW health services, with $58M of that package allocated to securing free accommodation for frontline health workers.
According to the Premier, the funding will give health workers the option of taking up temporary accommodation during the pandemic as a preventative measure to stop them from potentially infecting their loved ones, should they contract COVID-19 whilst on the job.
“Nobody should go to work and worry that it will put their families at risk, especially when they are working so hard to protect us.
“This funding is the least we can do to keep healthcare workers and their families safe,” Berejiklian said.
“Our health professionals are among the best in the world and we must do everything we can to help them, not just now, but also in the weeks and months ahead as we battle this virus,” she added.
NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, said it would be up to local health districts to work with their staff to ensure that accommodation was suitable, close to their workplaces and met individual needs.
In a statement, a spokesperson for CCLHD said the District welcomed the NSW Government’s decision to provide this funding and confirmed management had begun preparations to make accommodation available to its frontline workers.
“The District has been actively working to identify appropriate local accommodation to support our staff at this time.
“This free accommodation will help our staff feel reassured that their loved ones are protected while they continue to care for our community.
“We will keep our staff informed as we finalise the process to ensure that their needs are met.
“FCM Travel Solutions (FCM) has been engaged by NSW Treasury to assist in the procurement of accommodation, including a booking service to meet emergency accommodation needs.
“These services include sourcing the accommodation, negotiating rates and managing room bookings to meet the unique needs of NSW Health during this period,” the spokesperson said.
Hazzard said no stone would be left unturned when it came to supporting the health system, with the remaining funds from the package to be channelled into finding a vaccine and its subsequent rollout.
The funding breakdown is as follows: $25M for medical research and vaccine trials; $11M for commercialisation of research products; and $10M for industry partnerships to boost the domestic supply chain of critical medical goods and equipment such as ventilators.
Press release, Apr 7
Office of Gladys Berejiklian
Media statement, Apr 15
Central Coast Health
Reporter: Dilon Luke