Following a decision by National Cabinet in July to cease a program of pharmacies providing free RATs to Health card holders, state governments agreed to take carriage of the distribution Premier Rockliff then announced that Service Tasmania centres would become collection points for RATs. Unfortunately, in what is becoming usual practice for the new Premier, there was no consultation with affected workers and their health and safety was ignored.
The Department of Health have been running a program providing free RATs to symptomatic and close contact members of the community since the beginning of the pandemic response. The CPSU is advised that over 2000 RATs are currently given out each day from four clinics around Tasmania. They also post and deliver RATs to people who can’t physically get to a clinic.
The key difference for the program being delivered from Service Tasmania shops is that these tests RATs will be available for eligible concession card holders only. This is to ensure this more vulnerable group in our community have a ready supply of RATs on hand should they become unwell in the future.
Members of the public who are unwell should use the usual public health collection venues, not Service Tasmania shops.
Work in Service Tasmania? Please contact your Organiser Jess Greene firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re seeing unwell customers in shops or experiencing workload overload due to this program. We will escalate these concerns directly to management.
On day 1 of of distribution through Service Tasmania 327 people collected 1618 RATs – far more than expected. On day 2 these figures were exceeded. The CPSU is in contact with Service Tasmania management to ensure adequate staff are available to handle this additional work.
At this stage, the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPAC) is unable to advise how long this scheme will run for. Service Tasmania management anticipate urban shops will see an increase in foot traffic and will continue to monitor the impact this has on service delivery and staff.
In addition to the program for concession card holders, RATs are now available for Service Tasmania staff from your Team Leader. We encourage you to have a supply at home, and wear a mask for your own protection, and of course, following directions from Public Health.