Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Health Minister Dithered For Five Months Before Arranging MIQ Spots To Critical Health Workers

It is unforgivable that Health Minister Andrew Little took five months to act before arranging priority MIQ spots for critical health workers, say National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford and Covid Response spokesperson Chris Bishop.

“The Health Minister admitted via written questions to Chris Bishop and myself that he knew in June this year about the problems with MIQ settings not supporting the entry of critical health workers into New Zealand,” says Stanford.

“The Minister knew Delta was on our doorstep, he knew our health system was critically short-staffed, and he knew that offshore healthcare workers were unable to get MIQ spaces.

“Somehow, he still dithered for five full months before announcing MIQ spots would be allocated to critical health workers.

“National has been calling for priority MIQ spots for critical healthcare workers for months. It is utter madness that, in the midst of a global pandemic, the Health Minister knew about the problem and yet took so long to act.

“Any competent Minister would have moved with urgency to demand that MIQ spaces be set aside for healthcare workers earlier this year, when it was clear Delta was coming. Yet the Health Minister seemed to think a five-month delay was acceptable, as we saw him release a self-congratulatory press release on October 20 telling everyone he had fixed the problem.”

The Minister must be held accountable for his failures, says Bishop.

“He failed to ensure we increased our ICU capacity. And now he’s failed to act with any sort of urgency to ensure desperately needed health workers could get into New Zealand.

“Had he acted five months ago, when he knew about the problem, we would have at least 1200 critical health workers already here today to support our Covid response.

“Because the Minister is asleep at the wheel, these workers won’t even be able to start arriving until the end of November, only to then spend two weeks in quarantine. For those nurses that also need to complete their pre-registration course, it won’t be until March 2022 until they can even begin work.

“The Government’s health response has been woeful. They have squandered the valuable time that we gained through the long and hard lockdowns in 2020.

“The Government clearly has no plan when it comes to our Covid response. National’s ‘Opening Up’ plan covers what needs to be done in detail.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Elusive Charms Of Christopher Luxon

Well, the first 36 hours of viewing the Christopher Luxon selfie were always going to be the best, before the repetitions set in. We get it, already. He’s an extroverted/big ego/high achieving/God fearing/country music lovin’/family man who is not at all averse to mansplaining to little ladies like RNZ’s Kathryn Ryan what “technical” words like “productivity” actually mean. But wait, there’s more. National is back! Mind you, that’s not the Bad National of recent experience, but the Good National of days gone by... More>>


Luxon: A New National For New Zealand
National Party Leader Christopher Luxon has today announced a new National for New Zealand – a fresh, energised alternative government ready to deliver for Kiwis in 2023... More>>

Cancer Society: Hopes Final Pharmac Report Is Stronger

Today the delayed Interim Report was released by the Pharmac Review Panel. The performance of Pharmac and access to cancer drugs is a major concern for the Cancer Society... More>>

Defence: New Zealand Response To Assist Peace And Stability In Solomon Islands
The New Zealand government has announced that it will deploy Defence Force and Police personnel to Honiara to help restore peace and stability. “New Zealand is committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.... More>>

CPAG: Child Poverty Monitor 2021 Highlights Persistent Inequities In Rates Of Child Poverty
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) welcomes the release of the Child Poverty Monitor today, which shows that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, poverty reduction targets were largely on track for Pākehā children, however significant inequities remained for tamariki Māori, Pacific and disabled children... More>>

National Party: Bridges Appointed Finance & Infrastructure Spokesperson

Hon Simon Bridges is the National Party’s new Finance and Infrastructure spokesperson, National Leader Christopher Luxon announced today. “Simon has prodigious skills, incredible talent and the intellectual heft needed to excel as National’s Finance spokesperson,” Mr Luxon says.... More>>

Waitangi National Trust: Waitangi Week
The Waitangi National Trust has decided there will be no in-person events at Waitangi Treaty Grounds during Waitangi Week 2022. Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework it would be practically impossible to safely proceed with the usual events of Waitangi commemorations... More>>




InfoPages News Channels