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Queensland health workers struggle amidst Omicron wave

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Acute workforce shortages are being experienced across the spectrum of Queensland health services, from general practice to hospital and residential aged care, with the worst of COVID-19’s Omicron wave still to come.

Today marks a month since Queensland’s interstate borders reopened to COVID-19 hotspots and, in just 31 days, the number of active cases of the virus has skyrocketed from 56 on December 13 to 130,947 yesterday.

The jump is probably much higher, given the latest case numbers are considered a gross underestimate due to the severe lack of easily accessible testing.

The state’s health system is already under immense pressure, with the peak of the Omicron wave not expected for another two to three weeks.

GP Sonu Haikerwal, the owner of Haan Respiratory Clinic on the Gold Coast, said the frontline of the health workforce was “very, very stretched”.

“The hospitals are inundated,” she said. “Yesterday, I even had the ambulance pull up for me to assess someone they couldn’t take to hospital because the hospitals are overwhelmed.

Original content from ABC News. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.

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