The rapid rise in Omicron cases may mean we are only days away from seeing higher hospitalisation and ICU admissions than during the peak of Delta…NSW recognises the overload of the hospital system and is already warning the community not to expect access to hospital care. One week ago, NSW Health advised people under 50 years to care for themselves at home, without access to Hospital in The Home. This week, they have revised the age cut off to anyone under 65 years. This is the ultimate in â€œpersonal responsibilityâ€ â€“ where citizens are left without access to healthcare and to sort out their own Covid care, as well as do their own contact tracing whilst sick with Covid-19. Consideration should be given to support for people found Covid-19 positive who are in caring roles.
The consequence of this policy is that people may die at home when their lives could have been saved by proper timely healthcare. Without the safety net of regular contact from medical services the unintended consequences are likely to be more ambulance callouts and emergency department presentations. OzSAGE tracked reported deaths at home in NSW during the Delta wave and found that there were a disturbingly high number of deaths of relatively young people with COVID-19 at home between July and October 2021…We remain deeply concerned that people with preventable and treatable complications of Covid-19 may die at home in NSW, without access to even the support of Hospital in The Home. If there is a wave of bed block, forced palliation in the home and the lack of any mass population planning for this means people who could have survived with hospital care may die of Covid at home, without any palliative care support to ease suffering.