By Dr Yousuf Ahmad – Chair, RWAV Board
The RWAV Board extends our deepest condolences to bushfire affected communities across Australia. Our thoughts are with them during this very difficult time.
We thank the firefighters, emergency services, the Australian Defence Force, rural health professionals and community members who have been working tirelessly to keep everyone safe and healthy during this crisis.
RWAV Chair Dr Yousuf Ahmad said health professionals living and working in rural Victoria will be an important part of the recovery. “The resilience of our rural communities has been inspirational. These fires have been devastating and we know health impacts will be long term.”
RWAV has been working in partnership with local health services and peak bodies as part of our coordinating role for health workforce relief in fire-affected communities. In the last week, RWAV has placed 22 health professionals including General Practitioners, Enrolled Nurses, Endorsed Enrolled Nurses, and Registered Nurses for shifts in Bairnsdale, Beechworth, Corryong, Omeo, and Tallangatta.
RWAV has received an amazing response from health professionals – with more than 450 professionals registering interest to work in bushfire-affected communities. Thankyou to everyone who has put up their hand to provide care in these communities.
The work of the RWAV team has been exceptional. RWAV staff have been working around the clock to listen to these communities and match them with skilled health professionals that meet their needs.
The RWAV leadership team has been working with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and the federal government, stakeholders and health professionals from within the communities affected by the fire and delivering results by placing healthcare staff based on community needs.
RWAV is dedicated to providing support to health services during the current bushfire crisis. We intend to support communities throughout the recovery.
The workforce needs in these communities is changing week to week as they move from emergency status to ongoing recovery needs. Because of the long term nature of the recovery effort, RWAV is committed to placing health professionals into these communities for as long as it takes.