National

Harsh critic to front Vic hotel inquiry

By AAP Newswire

A professor who derided Victoria's health system as poorly funded and dysfunctional will give evidence at the hotel quarantine inquiry.

Infectious diseases expert Lindsay Grayson is among three witnesses who will appear at the inquiry's first public hearing on Thursday.

Professor Grayson wrote a scathing comment piece earlier this month that appeared in The Age newspaper.

"It's time to discuss the reality - namely, that the Victorian Health Department is one of the worst-funded and dysfunctionally organised in the nation," he said.

He praised staff, singling out Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.

"But the system they work in is paper thin," Prof Grayson said.

He is the professor of infectious diseases at the University of Melbourne and the director of infectious diseases and microbiology at Austin Health.

Professor Ben Howden from the Doherty Institute and Dr Charles Alpren from the Department of Health and Human Services will also give evidence at Thursday's hearing.

The hearing will cover topics including infection control and contact tracing.

Hotel operators, private security companies and state government decision-makers will appear before the inquiry into the disastrous coronavirus quarantine program.

The state government launched the investigation, headed by retired judge Jennifer Coate, after new COVID-19 cases in late May and early June were linked to infection control breaches by security guards at quarantine hotels.