South-west Victorian hospital staff report 'abusive' behaviour

Hospital staff abused over COVID-19 tests

South-west Victorian medical staff have reported an increase in "abusive" and aggressive behaviour as a spike in coronavirus cases has seen a surge in people wanting to be tested across the state.

Portland District Health chief executive Chris Giles said staff this week have seen instances of people being "verbally abusive and pressuring" to get tested ahead of others.

"I would like to remind everyone to be patient, we are very stretched with our clinical resources balancing many new demands at once whilst being mindful to keep our staff, patients and community safe," she said.

A new COVID-19 drive-through clinic has been opened up in Portland.

PDH has extra staff manning phone lines and have restarted elective surgeries back up to 75 per cent capacity.

Ms Giles said there had been a large increase in the numbers of people with viral infection symptoms in the community, with more than 150 calls from people with symptoms over the last two days.

South West Healthcare has now screened 4574 people for coronavirus to date.

533 of those were in the last week alone.

Chief executive Craig Fraser said most people had been well-behaved towards staff.

"We've experienced similar to what Melbourne has, an increased demand and would just remind people to be patient because when there is more testing it increases the time to get your tests back."

In the first three days of this week, 93 people have presented at the Hamilton Base Hospital drive-thru clinic and emergency department to be tested.

The Port of Portland. Picture: Anthony Brady

The Port of Portland. Picture: Anthony Brady

This story Hospital staff abused over COVID-19 tests first appeared on The Standard.