A stern warning from the Gold Coast University Hospital’s Head of Infectious Diseases, as Queensland prepares to open the borders in December.
Recent modelling by QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute shows that we could be dealing with around 1,200 a case by August next year.
Chief Health Officer Doctor Jeanette Young says she’s confident our health system will be able to deal with that, by sharing the load of covid cases between hospitals around the state.
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On the Gold Coast, our health sector is projecting between 4,000 and 16,000 symptomatic cases in the first wave, which could be within weeks of the border reopening in December.
Head of Infectious Diseases at the Gold Coast University Hospital, Doctor John Gerrard, has told Nine’s ‘A Current Affair’, that it’s the non-vaccinated that will cause huge stress on the health system.
“We know that it’s the vaccine-hesitant, the people who aren’t getting vaccinated now, who will have a big impact on other people who are trying to access hospital services in the coming weeks and months,” Dr Gerrard told Nine.
“So, (there’s) the complete ratbags who believe in conspiracy theories and … I just don’t know what to do about them.
“The other group … are those that are hesitant.
“These are people that have tied themselves in knots reading everything they can on the internet, everything that’s published, until they’ve got themselves confused and they don’t know how to interpret the information,” Doctor Gerrard said.
While Doctor Gerrard says the health sector is concerned about the slowdown in vaccination rates, they also know that the only way to go is forward.
“We cannot stop the country functioning, we cannot keep the borders closed forever, so it’s time for us to move on and we are prepared to do that even though it will have a major impact on the hospitals,” Doctor Gerrard said.
Most alarmingly, when Doctor Gerrard was asked what the future looks like for Australia, he said he couldn’t even see it for the unvaccinated.
“For vaccinated Australians, life is going to return to normal – pretty well normal – within the next few months,” Doctor Gerrard told A Current Affair.
“There might be minor impositions on their life and there may be some forms of Covid passports etc, but by and large for vaccinated Australians, life will return to normal.
“For health care workers, the impact of Covid-19 will last for some time and we’re only just about to feel the full impact of it.
“That will probably last for months, possibly even years, for health care workers.
“And for non-vaccinated Australians, I cannot see the future.
“I do not see what will happen for them in the future, I think this will impact them until such time as they are vaccinated.
“There really is no future in being unvaccinated in Australia, just go out now and get vaccinated,” Doctor Gerrard said.