Big mistake Premier is making with virus
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been election grandstanding throughout the COVID-19 pandemic instead of offering more of a helping hand to other states, one of the nation's top infectious disease experts claims.
"The fight against the virus requires collaboration and a combining of expertise. Queensland has been blessed by amazing good luck throughout the pandemic and of course, a premier should look after her people but Annastacia Palaszczuk's approach seems more like a re-election campaign," Professor Robert Booy told The Courier-Mail.
Prof Booy has been a go-to expert throughout the pandemic and is considered a top authority in the respiratory virus field.
He has worked at the University of Sydney in the fields of vaccinology, epidemiology and infectious diseases and from 2005 to 2019 held the position of Head of Clinical Research at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance at Westmead Children's Hospital, and remains an affiliate of the NCIRS.
"The Queensland Premier has been obsessed with talking about her own people and her own success, but she should be sharing more of her state's medical expertise with other states," he said.
"There should be more effort put into the transfer of Queensland's highly qualified workforce.
"They could make a massive difference in nursing homes in other states."
The University of Queensland graduate questioned the Sunshine State's commitment to the "we are all in this together" message.
"Also, some of the Premier's decisions do not make sense. It doesn't add up that middle-aged or older people cannot visit sick or dying relatives in the state or attend funerals of family members yet there are less stringent rules for footballers who are young and often poorly behaved and offer more risk in the spread of the virus," Prof Booy said.
Ms Palaszczuk has also been slammed this week for saying that Queensland hospitals were for "our people only" when questioned why a woman pregnant with twins who lives 30km from the Queensland border was forced to fly to Sydney for emergency surgery.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard labelled her response "astonishing" and urged a review of border arrangements to ensure patients received the care they needed.
A Queensland Government spokesman said yesterday: "The Premier said only (on Thursday) the national approach should be on helping Victoria. Queensland has sent two dozen nurses to Victoria and our Deputy Chief Health Officer also travelled to Melbourne.
"The Premier's decisions are always based on advice from Queensland's Chief Health Officer, who is probably Australia's leading authority on pandemics.
"Queensland's management of the pandemic has been… according to the best health advice and the same world's best practice used to deal with cyclones, floods and fires."
Originally published as Big mistake Premier is making with virus