Manufacturers say ‘make Australia make again’ as experts warn of flaws in nation’s supply chain
Experts have warned of potentially deadly flaws in Australia’s medical supply chain as a group of manufacturers rush to build more than 2,000 much-needed ventilators.
A consortium of 30 manufacturers have come together to produce the components and assemble the ventilators by the end of July, issuing a plea to politicians: “make Australia make again”.
The new ventilators will be exempt from the usual safety and performance testing procedures as government’s rush to get the life-saving equipment in hospitals before the coronavirus pandemic leads to a rush on ICU admissions.
A professor of medicine at Melbourne University, Rinaldo Bellomo, told SBS News that if Australia couldn’t find a way to manufacture protective equipment, masks and ventilators onshore the country would “be in a lot of trouble”.
“We need to have a national medical stockpile much greater than we’ve had, in multiple locations, in every state, ready for this to happen again,” he said. “I think it’s really important for our country to be independent in being able to respond to this.”
Victorian business Grey Innovation is leading the group of manufacturers, swapping their usual production of automotive parts for medical supplies.
Executive chairman Jefferson Harcourt said the plan was to “divide and conquer” the production, allowing the machines to be ready in a matter of weeks – not years.