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PPE For Front-Line Workers - New Zealand Health Group Media Statement

New Zealand Health Group response to the article posted on 24 April 2020 by E tū

Our COVID-19 Management Response Committee has been very proactive and doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of our staff and clients during this pandemic.

We fully support the need for our staff to access Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). As such, we have been working very closely with the District Health Boards (DHBs) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) to provide our staff with PPE under the MoH guidelines.

To that point, we have been immediately distributing any PPE supplies that we receive from the DHBs as they come to hand and following the directive from Dr Ashley Bloomfield on the appropriate guidelines for use when required. Without question, there has been no rationing from our organisation.

We believe that the supply of PPE is improving due to our continuous lobbying and commitment to work with the Ministry of Health, DHBs and the Unions. Collectively, we have been heard, and more PPE is on its way. However, currently in some regions, the DHBs have only been able to give us limited supply. We expect that this situation will improve over the next week.

We urge our staff to continue to use our most updated MoH-based guidelines that we have provided to them which will assist them, and in particular, what to do if they or their client have any concerns or queries.

We are fully committed to providing the support that our staff needs. New Zealand Health Group employs over 8,000 Support Workers in our home and community service, and not one of our staff has tested positive for COVID-19.

We are proud to stand beside all our staff and value the contribution that they are making to New Zealand. We cannot reiterate enough our commitment to continue to provide them with more PPE in the coming weeks as we receive it.

We have also been providing our staff and clients with the necessary information and regular updates and encouraging them to connect with us at all times if they have any concerns or queries so that we can work with them on a solution in keeping with the MoH guidelines.

--- Josephine Gagan, New Zealand Health Group Chief Executive,

(on behalf of Geneva Healthcare and HealthCare NZ)

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