Doctors: Australia’s Response To The Ebola Crisis Is Chaotic

A health worker checks people for Ebola symptoms at a checkpoint. Photo: Getty Images

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says the Australia’s response to the Ebola crisis has been chaotic.

The doctors also want Australia to send medical to West Africa to help with relief efforts. The Federal Government, however, says it won’t end people without a solid evacuation plan for those who get sick.

Professor Brian Owler, the president of the medical association, says coherent plan is needed for the crisis in West Africa and at home.

“If you want to deal with a contagion and a disease which is deadly and spreads very rapidly, you’re better off dealing with it early,” he says.

“While it remains unlikely we will get a case here, I don’t think we can be too complacent.”

He says he’s been told there are 16 or so personnel trained and ready to go to Wet Africa.

“That was news that seemed to come out of the blue,” he says.

Professor Owler says neither the AMA nor the chief health officer know who these people are or what sort of training they have been given.

“Who are these people?” he says. “If anything is going to be irresponsible it would be a last-minute announcement about people who are ill-equipped or ill-trained to go and do this dangerous work”.

Professor Owler says people should be reassured that the risk of transmission of that infection is very low but obviously it is a concern.

Almost 5,000 people have died in West Africa from Ebola.