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The Australian Defence Force (ADF) and an Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT) have concluded their support at North West Regional Hospital (NWRH), Burnie.

Support was extended to the hospital following an outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic amongst its staff.

The two Australian teams ensured the Emergency Department of the hospital remained open at all times.

Essential health services were provided to more than 400 patients by 50 ADF personnel and seven AUSMAT health professionals.

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By GlobalData

The services were provided by ADF medical doctors, emergency nurses, a pharmacist, a radiographer, an environmental health officer and a small group of general support personnel.

Earlier this week, the process of handing over of NWRH hospital to its staff commenced online. This was followed by a physical induction and the final handover took place after that.

Australia Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said: “This was the first time the ADF had been called on to help operate a domestic hospital. Within just a matter of hours of being tasked, the team was heading to Tasmania to assist.

“For more than two weeks, they provided support to the people of North West Tasmania including enhanced infection control, primary care, acute resuscitation, minor procedures, and consulting care.

“Just like we saw through Operation Bushfire Assist, the ADF’s support under Operation Covid-19 Assist is a testament to the professionalism of the ADF.”

Defence forces of the country continued to co-ordinate and support the state and regional governments as per the needs.

The ADF and the AUSMAT were rapidly deployed to North West Tasmania as a response measure amid the pandemic.