11 October 2014: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has today called for an investigation into the Government’s handling of a suspected Ebola case, in light of media reports that the Cairns nurse feared to have contracted the deadly virus was treated in the Cairns emergency department, rather than in an isolated medical ward.

Mr Katter is angered at the cavalier attitude of authorities, amid media reports that Cairns Hospital senior doctors were outraged at the handling of the case and stated authorities planned to keep the nurse with suspected Ebola in the busiest part of the hospital for days, rather than in an isolation ward.

“Keeping a suspected Ebola patient in a public emergency ward is beyond comprehension,” Mr Katter said.

“We are calling for a full investigation into the way the Ebola issue has been handled by authorities following allegations printed in the Courier Mail today. The reassurances provided by authorities are at kindest, misleading and in light of media reports today, fall well short of proper responsible disclosure,” Mr Katter said.

Mr Katter is calling on the Federal Government to immediately implement a 21 day mandatory isolated quarantine period for our health worker ‘saints’ returning from Ebola effected countries, instead of the current ‘self-regulated’ home quarantine.

Mr Katter’s comments follows Queensland Health’s announcement yesterday confirming the Cairns nurse suspected of contracting Ebola has returned a negative result for the virus.

“The reassurances given by authorities never reassured me, they scared the hell out of me. To put out a statement one day that it is all clear and she does not have Ebola; and then the next day to say we will be keeping her in for two days to ‘make sure’ – destroys the credibility of the Queensland Health Department,” Mr Katter said.

Mr Katter has praised the courage of doctors at the Cairns Hospital for speaking out.

“The Health Department is an empire of fear. The Patel case is just the tip of the iceberg. The attitudes endemic in this department would have been very at home with the communist countries.

“I congratulate the enormous courage and sense of moral responsibility the doctors at the Cairns Hospital have shown to protect their own nurses, staff and patients,” Mr Katter said.

Mr Katter has warned of the potential impact to North Queensland’s economy and vital tourism industry as a result of authorities’ handling of the case.

“To say no one has been hurt is positively deceitful. In just two hours in Cairns yesterday, I learnt of five people that were told by their families they had to leave Cairns because there was Ebola,” Mr Katter said.

“There would be no hysteria, panic or damage to the economy if the authorities had done their job and isolated these people for three weeks.

“Equine influenza was managed infinitely better, than what has happened with Ebola. They quarantine horses, but we won’t quarantine humans for a disease that is deadly to humans,” Mr Katter said. ## ENDS ##

For information on Bob Katter’s role in the 43rd Parliament click here: