These are not minor surgeries; they are often major surgeries, and they are often surgeries that are helping people who are in considerable pain to be able to continue managing their activities of daily living.- MP Roma Britnell
Former nurse Roma Britnell has questioned why the state government has not accepted her offer to roll her up sleeves during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ms Britnell said she was concerned about the 80,000 people on public health waiting lists for vital elective surgeries.
On Friday, she told The Standard she was concerned there were thousands of other people who had put off elective surgery during the pandemic.
She said she feared there would be a surge in preventable diseases in the coming years.
Ms Britnell said she was concerned about the high number of people who were living with with while waiting for elective surgery.
"These are not minor surgeries; they are often major surgeries, and they are often surgeries that are helping people who are in considerable pain to be able to continue managing their activities of daily living, like walking, showering and being able to manage at home alone, and not be dependent on others," Ms Britnell said.
She said she felt for people working in health in Victoria.
"Now I know nurses are exhausted, clearly. I speak to nurses a lot, and I know they have done an amazing job and they have had 12 hours out in PPE in hot conditions swabbing," Ms Britnell said.
" And I know girls who have been called into the COVID symptom management hotline, and they are trying to diagnose patients' oxygen saturations by talking to them over the phone-really tough stuff-and making calls where they are not sure whether the person will be okay tomorrow.
"I know it is serious, but I also believe they are exhausted because of mismanagement, because I also hear from nurses who have been on the nurse bank for three months and have not had a shift."
Ms Britnell said she believed thousands of people had put up their hand to offer to help.
She said she was surprised she had not been contacted to help.
"I could have stepped in," she said.
"I reckon I would have needed about half a day of training to show me the procedures of where to document, how to get the cars through, but no-one would have had to show me how to swab."
Ms Britnell said she was not looking for a job, but she was available to help.
"I have got a role," she said.
"I have not been looking for a job for a long time. This is a role to me. But I am ready to step up and help, like many others are."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.