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Your views: on quarantine and mental health

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on medi-hotels and a systemic strain on public hospitals.

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Commenting on the story: Quarantine overhaul call after SA medi-hotel breach

The medi-hotel quarantine farce in SA and around Australia continues, with disastrous personal and economic effects for all Australians living in Australia and abroad.

Quarantine facilities and their clients should be in locations isolated from the general population, and definitely major population centres. The cost for doing this would be far cheaper than the economic costs of several billions inflicted here in Australia to date, let alone the adverse social effects.

How to do this? As a geologist working on oil drilling rigs in remote areas, I would suggest from personal experience the following.

Establish, if not available, a dedicated quarantine facility with accommodation as per the Northern Territory Howard Springs facility. Incoming travellers would stay in the quarantine facilities accommodation for two weeks.

The quarantine facilities medical and service staff would live on site, in accommodation constructed for them. At the end of their two week work stint, they would then go into the quarantine facilities accommodation for two weeks. At the end of this total four week on-site period, they would then have four weeks off at home and be assured that they are not taking the Covid virus into the general population.

Quarantine facilities and service would be a four star, holiday camp experience. All quarantine facilities service personnel would be paid up to double normal wage.

This schedule would work. As a petroleum geologist working in remote areas in Australia and elsewhere, I have done a four week on, four week off roster without ill effect.

And to make sure there is a consistent approach, the quarantine system should be taken out of the hands of the states and their autocratic premiers and run by the federal government.

The cost of the proposal above would be far less than the billions of dollars of cost incurred to date by Australia and its taxpayers. – John Kopcheff

I can see this is an inadequately designed quarantine system, but exactly what was ‘breached’? Which rules were breached/broken and by whom?

If rules were broken then deal with the offenders but if it’s poor design then fix it. These are two separate issues and it’s important to differentiate if we’re to prevent this recurring. – Alan Strickland

Commenting on the story: ‘Completely broke me’: Three days of mental health crisis in an emergency department

This situation is deplorable. Busy ED departments are not the place for vulnerable mental health patients for longer than a quick transit.

Clearly there are funding issues to mental health when patients have to wait three days to be transferred.

To subject people who are already overwhelmed with the stress of their own lives to these kinds of situations is a serious breach of ‘duty of care’. We need to find better solutions for people in acute mental health crisis. Solving this problem would free up our EDs to deal more efficiently with other cases.

Our current health system in South Australia is like a teetering pack of cards. We have backlogs in EDs and ramping ambulances – and Covid has not even arrived yet. You do not need a crystal ball to see what will unfold when it does finally arrive.

There is no excuse. The window of opportunity here is closing fast. As for this young woman, the health system failed her last week. – Katrina Jenkins-Baker

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