- Public healthcare workers to receive 20 free Rapid Antigen Tests
- McGowan Government supplying employers with tests to provide to healthcare workers in recognition of their high testing needs
- This initiative comes on top of WA's Free RAT Program being distributed to each household
The McGowan Government has announced today that every healthcare worker across the public health system will receive 20 free rapid antigen tests (RATs).
The tests will be distributed over the next three weeks to staff at all public hospitals and hospitals operated under a public-private partnership.
There are about 70,000 staff across the public health system in Western Australia, including public-private hospitals, so a total of approximately 1.4 million RATs will be provided valued at about $7 million.
The tests will be given to any employee of the public health system whether they are in a clinical role or other position, this includes hospital volunteers and university students on full time placements at hospitals.
The provision of these additional free RATs acknowledges that healthcare staff are at high risk of being exposed to COVID-19 while at work, and helps ensure their families have access to RATs by reducing the cost burden on these households.
Healthcare workers are already being provided with RATs that they need in order to meet their workplace testing requirements.
This initiative is on top of the 15 free RATs being provided to every Western Australian household and in addition to the 500,000 tests being handed out at pop-up distribution points.
All positive RATs must be reported to the Department of Health by visiting, https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/ratregister
Comments attributed to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
"These 20 additional free RATs for healthcare workers is in addition to the 15 tests already being provided to every household in the state and is an important way we are supporting our dedicated healthcare workers as they face the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are already providing healthcare workers with the Rapid Antigen Tests they need to meet workplace requirements, but these additional tests mean they will also have an at-home supply to use as needed at no cost to themselves.
"Healthcare workers are at high risk of encountering COVID-19 in the course of their duties and these 20 free RATs recognises that they and their loved ones might need to undertake testing more frequently.
"Healthcare workers are crucial to our pandemic response and we thank them for their invaluable efforts."
Minister's office - 6552 5900