SA fears lack of intensive care medicos

Kathryn Bermingham

Medical interns who have completed intensive care placements could be invited to return as South Australian authorities look to address staff shortages.

But the state's premier insists there will be enough beds at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

A third virus patient was admitted to intensive care on Thursday, after two others were moved into intensive care beds earlier this week.

The three are men aged 50, 68 and 76 and are all in a stable condition, however authorities say it's inevitable more people will need critical care.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said deputy chief public heath officer Dr Evan Everest had addressed staffing concerns in a recent briefing.

"The challenge we have in South Australia in relation to ICU capacity is actually the workforce to provide the services to man those facilities," he told reporters on Thursday.

"Dr Everest, in partnership with a range of professional leads within SA Health, is working actively to both expand the workforce and also upskill the workforce."

Mr Wade said options being considered included inviting back medical interns who had done ICU placements.

"They may not be going to specialise in intensive care going forward but, at times like these, it would be great to have some of those people come back to help us," he said.

Earlier, Premier Steven Marshall said the state would "massively exceed" goals set by the national cabinet to prepare for the peak of the crisis.

"We are more than doubling what our original capacity was in South Australia so it's a very significant increase," he said.

"I'm absolutely convinced that we're doing everything we can.

"We've got a strong plan, we're rolling it out day by day so that when we hit that peak we're in the best position possible."