Standing With Our Doctors And Nurses Against Racism

27 February 2020

The Andrews Labor Government is calling for respect towards our hardworking healthcare workers and patients in Victoria hospitals, after concerning reports of racial profiling in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos today joined Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton at the Royal Children’s Hospital, where reports have surfaced that some parents at the hospital are refusing to let doctors and nurses of ‘Asian appearance’ treat their children, or sitting away from other patients because of fear of COVID-19.

This not only flies in the face of expert medical advice, it shows complete disrespect for Victoria’s hardworking healthcare workers.

While the outbreak in mainland China is of concern, the risk of exposure to coronavirus in Victoria currently remains very low, and certainly has nothing to do with a nurse, doctor or patient’s ethnicity.

The Labor Government recently launched the 休戚与共 campaign (“Stronger Together”) to combat some of the challenges arising from the COVID-19 outbreak and to urge Victorians to come together in support.

The Victorian Multicultural Commission and Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia are also urging people to not tolerate racism and anti-Asian language or behaviours in the wake of COVID-19.

Victorian’s response to COVID-19 is guided by expert medical advice and is aimed at containing the spread of this virus.

If you have friends, family or colleagues who are unsure about COVID-19, or are worried about the risks, they can go to this website for a wide range of important updates and advice:

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos

“Suggesting the spread of this virus has anything to do with ethnicity is wrong and shows complete disrespect for our hardworking healthcare workers – who devote each and every day to treating sick children and saving lives.”

“It is crucial we act with compassion, respect and consideration of each other – not division and mistrust. We're always stronger when we work together.

“We stand with our hard-working doctors here and across Victoria who do an amazing job every single day caring for patients when we need them most.”

Quotes attributable to Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton

“The Victorian Government and our health system are working around the clock to keep the Victorian community safe.”

“Victorians can be reassured that our actions are aimed at containing the spread of this virus. We have a world-class health system that can scale up and adjust to help deal with this outbreak as needed.”

“We are preparing for all possible scenarios. We urge Victorians to act on expert health advice in challenging times, not fear.

Reviewed 30 July 2020

Was this page helpful?