A paramedic outside St. Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne (Image: AAP/Luis Ascui)

The next wave of COVID is upon us. As of yesterday, there were almost 320,000 cases and more than 4500 hospital admissions. GPs are booked out, paramedics are run off their feet, and emergency departments are bursting.

Crikey spoke with doctors, nurses and ambulance personnel in Victoria and NSW about the chaos engulfing the industry. They were willing to share their experiences on condition of anonymity.

Pressure points differ from hospital to hospital and state to state, but there are widespread concerns that the nation's health system is not fit for purpose -- and not fit for COVID.