The Australian people understand why it is crucial Australia joins our friends and allies in West Africa fighting the Ebola outbreak at its source, and so too do our health workers.
Just this week, the head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response also called on the Abbott Government to support sending specialised medical personnel to West Africa.
This follows last week’s Senate Estimates revelations the UK and US Governments made specific requests a month ago for Australia to send personnel to help fight the Ebola crisis.
The time is now long overdue for the Abbott Government to heed the call of the UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, the UN Security Council, Mdecins Sans Frontires, the International Crisis Group, the President of Sierra Leone, Oxfam, the Australian Medical Association, and the Public Health Association of Australia.
We know going to help fight Ebola in West Africa would not be without risk which is why it’s important safety protocols are in place to support Australian personnel who volunteer to serve.
But it is unacceptable that the Abbott Government has failed to make arrangements and act.
A special snap Morgan poll over the last two nights found a clear majority of Australians (70 per cent) support Labor’s position that Australia should support doctors and nurses going to West Africa to fight the Ebola epidemic.
The poll found Australians reject the Abbott Government’s uninterested and chaotic response to the Ebola crisis, and back Labor’s position on the best way to tackle the crisis.
“When asked why Australians supported the idea respondents said it was important for Australia to help out the less fortunate, that it was a global issue we all needed to help out with, that it’s better to treat the epidemic over there before it comes to Australia and that Australia is well-known for helping out around the world and we need to do so again.”
Roy Morgan – Australia response to Ebola – 30 October 2014.
We now also have proof many Australian health workers are ready, willing, and able to assist and that the Australian people want their government to act.
A separate poll of its members released today by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation has found more than 350 Australian nurses and midwives are willing to travel to West Africa to volunteer in the fight against the Ebola crisis.
“We now have proof that more than 350 Australian nurses are ready, willing and able to help in the fight against Ebola. We have been overwhelmed by the response from our members, who continue to be deeply concerned by the Government’s reluctance to join the international effort to fight what is rapidly becoming a devastating humanitarian crisis.”
ANMF Federal Secretary Lee Thomas – Media Release – 30 October 2014
Australians are overwhelmingly demanding their government tackle the Ebola crisis by sending specialised medical personnel to West Africa.
It’s time for the Abbott Government to act.