Controversial Labor candidate Michelle Ananda-Rajah has apologised for using the suicide of a junior doctor to criticise the Prime Minister on Twitter.

The tweet, which Ananda-Rajah has now deleted, read: “A junior doctor took their own life in Sydney in the past few days. You can’t rule in or out the impact of working in an overwhelmed health system. Why overwhelmed? Due to the incompetence of Morrison et al who failed at 2 critical jobs & now denies help to hospitals.”

11 hours later, the Labor candidate for Higgins posted an apology after intense backlash. “I have removed a tweet I made about the tragic loss of a colleague. I regret and apologise for any hurt caused” she wrote in response to complaints that she had politicised a person’s death.

“I remain an active, practicing healthcare worker and I have always sought to stand up for my colleagues. I will continue to advocate for all levels of Government and society to do more to support and fund our healthcare system.”

Earlier this year, Ananda-Rajah deleted tweets that questioned Australia’s use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, following scrutiny of her comments about vaccination.

Ananda-Rajah, who will contest the marginal Liberal seat of Higgins at the next federal election, denigrated the AstraZeneca vaccine during an episode of Q+A in February. She has since claimed that her comments were “entirely in line” with the evidence available at the time.

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