AMA WA president Andrew Miller has been lobbying for tough restrictions. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

WA preparing well: AMA

Western Australia is one of the best places in the world to be during the COVID-19 pandemic, AMA WA president Andrew Miller said today, after weeks of passionately advocating tightening restrictions.

Dr Miller had been highly critical in late March that the state government had not taken action to close Western Australia’s borders, and rectify a lack of protective equipment in hospitals.

Borders between WA and other states were closed at midnight on Sunday, about three weeks after Tasmania made a similar move.

With the number of fresh cases in WA now slowing, Dr Miller said he was grateful to Western Australians for getting onboard with social distancing measures.

“Premier Mark McGowan and his government are to be unreservedly congratulated for implementing strong social and border controls and making WA one of the best places in the world to be during this pandemic,” he said.

“These measures have people working from home, and school and university students learning from home. 

“While it has been very difficult, it’s been undertaken in a very short space of time.

“We have enormous gratitude for the government and while we have had our bumps along the way, and a few bruises were inevitable, we really appreciate you locking things down as much as you have. 

“This is particularly important for our vulnerable communities in the regions.”

Protective equipment stocks and training had improved in public hospitals, particularly thanks to the work of Minderoo Foundation sourcing new supplies.

“Although there are still shortages around personal protection equipment, we have some green shoots and confidence that we will be able to improve on that by the time the big caseloads hit,” Dr Miller said. 

“The first load of (protective equipment) that arrived in Perth is being delivered to public hospital facilities by the state government. 

“The Australian Medical Association WA is also involved in helping to get out supplies to the non-hospital sector so that we can provide some reassurance to aged care, general practice, other specialists who don’t work in hospitals.”

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