CHO, new DHHS boss to front Vic inquiry

Benita Kolovos
·1-min read

Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton is set to appear before a parliamentary inquiry into the state's contact tracing system.

Professor Sutton will be among the Department of Health and Human Services witnesses called before the Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee on Monday.

The new DHHS secretary Euan Wallace will also appear, along with testing commander Jeroen Weimar and former deputy chief health officer Annaliese van Diemen.

It comes after Australia's chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel told the inquiry on Wednesday that Victoria's contact tracing system was easily overwhelmed at the height of the pandemic.

"It all comes to preparation and there's no question the Victorian system was overwhelmed," he said.

"Cases weren't being managed end to end, some were lost, duplications occurred - it was difficult."

The Victorian government has since recruited tech giant Salesforce to create a digitised system covering the whole contact tracing process. It will be fully integrated by December.

Six local contact tracing hubs have also been set up across the state.

Dr Finkel said the new system was "more efficient and less error-prone".

The inquiry, headed by Reason Party MP Fiona Patten, is investigating whether the contact tracing system as it stands can handle future coronavirus outbreaks.