The Australian Bushfires update – 6 January

While the cooler weather in many parts of Victoria today comes as a relief, we are all acutely aware that bushfires continue across Australia and there are many weeks ahead not only for this bushfire crisis but for the recovery which will continue for months.

I have a few updates but, firstly, please remember that the best place for information about the fire emergency is through Vic Emergency. I encourage you to download the app so you have this resource to hand.

We continue to work closely with the Department of Health & Human Services

Since the update on Friday we have remained in regular contact with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and other health services.

One of the important messages from the Department and the Premier Daniel Andrews is that both government and non-government agencies have received an extraordinary response with donations of goods and offers to help. At this point, the request now to support those in need is through a financial donation to the bushfire appeal. If you would like to make a donation, you can here.

Some of you have asked me about donating supplies to help the many animals that have been injured. The Australian veterinary association is working with DHHS and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to ensure vets have supplies to care for injured animals. We are also assisting as we can through provision of part-used theatre stock that would otherwise be discarded.

Smoke and air quality

As we all experienced today, the air quality across much of the state is currently poor and this is expected to continue over the following days and weeks. Our Engineering team are working hard to minimise the impact within our buildings.  You can help by ensuring all external doors are closed securely and minimise use of external doors.

You can keep up to date with air quality on the EPA website.

If you are at work and experience wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing, please seek assistance immediately by following the local Code protocols. If you or someone you know is outside Monash Health and experiences wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing, call Triple Zero (000).

Staying safe when it gets hot

A reminder that we have enacted our Working in Adverse Weather Policy to ensure our employees can continue to care for patients and remain safe. This policy will remain in place over the coming weeks.

Army Reservists and those requiring special leave

If you are an Army Reservist and have been called up or you need to be supported with special leave, please speak with your manager so we can assist. ​

Monash Health Community team members

Community team members and others who work off-site, please stay informed of conditions, follow the correct protocol to ensure you are communicating your visits and make sure that MePACS® (Mobile duress alarms) are utilised. If you have any concerns, please speak with your manager.

Staying informed and supported

Below is a reminder of where you can go to get the most up-to-date information.

If the fires are impacting you and you need support, please talk with your manager. You can also call our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which is available 24/7 on – 1300 687 327.   EAP is confidential and provided at no cost. For more information, click here.

Finally, today I would like to again acknowledge the work you do. Sadly, this crisis will continue for many weeks and I thank you for your care of our community and each other.

Andrew Stripp
Chief Executive

Important links to stay up to date: