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‘A game of Russian roulette’: Victoria’s Alfred hospital expects 15% staff absent at Covid peak

Staff warned in email to prepare for rising patient demand just as the available workforce is decreasing

One of Victoria’s largest public hospitals, the Alfred, predicts as many as 15% of its staff may be unavailable because of Covid with the Omicron wave expected to last for up to another eight weeks.

Staff at the hospital, which includes Australia’s largest intensive care unit, were told in an email on Friday from the chief executive, Andrew Way, to prepare for rising demand just as the available workforce was decreasing. The Alfred now has more than 50 patients in ICU, or about twice the next largest hospital in Victoria.

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