In the immediate term, Australia’s healthcare services and government policies are geared towards slowing the rate of infection and flattening the curve while also managing the economic and societal implications.
As our clients and government respond to the rapidly evolving pandemic, we have been there every step of the way, providing management and technical support services across our full multi-disciplinary firm.
What Do We Know About Australia’s Healthcare Response?
At the time of publishing this article, the daily rate of infection is starting to slow in Australia thanks to tight isolation measures taken by the government. However, our healthcare system is continuing to up their control measures to support the 5,750+ confirmed cases and rising.
While ideas for new healthcare initiatives are being reported in the media daily, in Australia we’ve already seen:
- Retrofitting current hospital facilities to make way for growing Intensive Care Units (ICU).
- The introduction of pop-up testing facilities around the country and outside hospitals.
- An agreement between the federal government and the private health system to open their 657 hospitals to the public including access to an extra 30,000 beds and 105,000 strong workforce.
- Calls for retired or skilled healthcare workers to re-enter the workforce and for fast-tracking graduates.
- The creation of modular isolation rooms.
We have also seen the introduction of the government’s Telehealth to ease the burden on our healthcare system.
A Global Team Ready to Help
As the pandemic evolves in different regions at varying stages, WSP is fortunate to have a strong global network to gain insights from. Our teams around the world have already assisted clients with quick and innovative responses to the challenges being faced in Australia, Hong Kong, the UK, USA and Canada.
These initiatives include:
- Off-site modular isolation facilities ready for use as needed for increased ICU capabilities.
- Creating new temporary facilities for the purpose of quarantining people re-entering the country.
- Adapting existing facilities into negative pressure isolation rooms, for the purpose of containing airborne contaminants.
- Feasibility assessments to convert hotels and stadiums into hospital spaces.
- Fast-tracking of existing hospital projects, to enable extra beds to become habitable quicker.
“We work closely with our global colleagues, who are industry leaders at responding quickly to the needs and challenges of healthcare clients,” says Jonathan Ramajoo, National Health Sector Lead. “By adapting their methods to suit our specific needs, our local response team can mobilise staff quickly and help our clients with delivering solutions for Australia’s healthcare response.”
In addition to these services, our national Occupational Health and Hygiene team can help design comprehensive health and safety management plans that help facilitate these projects in a way that reduces the risk of front-line workers coming into contact with the virus.
Specialised COVID-19 Related Healthcare and Environmental Safety Services
Our national network of health and safety experts in 50 offices around Australia and New Zealand are establishing a global best-practice guideline for technical and management procedures in pandemic and disaster management. Specialised services include:
- Repurposing existing hospital spaces into isolation wards
- Building Systems and MEP Engineering
- HVAC Operations and Containment Planning
- Air Filtration and Gas Systems
- Medical and Laboratory Systems
- Health and Safety, Task Risk and Business Continuity Management
- Hygiene and Re-occupation Advice
- Biohazard Assessments
- Employer Communication Advisory Services
Implications Beyond Healthcare
The flow on effect of a global pandemic has resulted in a structural shift in the way societies operate. Many questions surrounding the climate emergency which peaked during the Australian summer, the future of the workplace, infrastructure projects and even the advancements of digital networks remain unanswered. However, when the country eventually begins its recovery phase, we will be ready to service our clients in whatever capacity they need.
For more information on our healthcare offering, please click here or to speak to one of our healthcare experts, please contact Jonathan Ramajoo here.
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