• Jason Regan

Maxwell calls for more RAT tests for Country Victoria

Member for Northern Victoria Tania Maxwell MP has written to the Victorian Health Minister, demanding assurance that rapid antigen test kits will be made readily available to already-vulnerable regional and rural communities.

Derryn Hinch's Justice Party MP Tania Maxwell (left) speaks in the Legislative Council at the Victoria State Parliament on December 2nd.

Maxwell wrote to Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley on Friday stating that, after two years of lockdown, restrictions and border closures, Northern Victorian businesses don't have the resilience to provide RAT kits to staff so they can keep their businesses open.

"I understand that limited supplies of RAT kits have been distributed to the four busiest Melbourne testing centres," Maxwell wrote.
"While this is understandable, it is critical that regional communities, with very little capacity in these very difficult times, are not left without these resources to help manage an escalating crisis".

READ THE FULL LETTER FROM MAXWELL TO MINISTER FOLEY BELOW

220107 Minister Foley re Omicron surge
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The call from Ms Maxwell came before the Victorian Health department confirmed that RAT results need to be treated as official results.


Vic Health took to Twitter this afternoon to confirm that if a person RAT confirms a positive result they must isolate immediately and follow the checklist.


Access to PCR testing in regional Victoria is a concern for local residents with Ms Maxwell saying there is no information about what people who cannot access testing should do to keep themselves and their families and colleagues safe.


Also included in Ms Maxwell's letter was a call for clear direction and updates during the Omicron surge.

"I therefore also ask the government urgently to put in place a public health information campaign that keeps people informed and safe," wrote Ms Maxwell.
"Akin to information regularly broadcast during emergencies such as bushfire".