The Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union has welcomed the Palaszczuk Government's plan to expand the state's stockpile of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) announced this week.
Health Minister Steven Miles unveiled the Queensland Government Critical Supply Reserve (QGCSR) Strategy this week which includes plans to build a new PPE distribution hub in Rockhampton and expand warehouse space in Townville to store a reserve of PPE and other essential medical supplies.
QNMU Secretary Beth Mohle said the strategy gave nurses, midwives and other frontline health staff peace of mind, knowing they will have access to the supplies they need to stay safe now and into the future.
"We've been vocal advocates for our members throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure they are protected with the best and most suitable PPE available," Ms Mohle said.
"Nurses, midwives and other health workers deserve secure supply, they are already working under pressure, the last thing they should ever have to worry about is if they can lay their hands on the right mask when they need it."
"This strategy gives further surety to frontline health staff that even during times of global or local uncertainty, they will have access to the critical tools they need to give the best quality care to their patients."
Ms Mohle also hoped the extra stocks of PPE and other medical supplies could be manufactured in Queensland.
"We know the COVID-19 pandemic put significant pressure on PPE stocks across the globe, including here in Australia," she said.
"So, it would certainly be beneficial to manufacture and distribute supply locally, so in times of crisis we are not reliant on overseas supply chains."
"And of course, creating more jobs and delivering infrastructure would also assist our state's post-pandemic economic recovery."