New Zealand hospitals inundated, healthcare system “imploding”

Every day brings new reports of the worsening crisis in New Zealand’s public hospitals, as a result of the Labor Party-led government adopting the criminal COVID-19 policy of mass infection.

Hutt Valley Hospital Emergency Department (Source: Hutt Valley District Health Board Facebook)

The government has dropped any pretence of even trying to mitigate the pandemic, after abandoning its zero COVID policy last October. It has ditched vaccine mandates, loosened isolation requirements and made masks optional in schools. During her recent visit to the US, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern referred to the pandemic as a thing of the past, as she encouraged tourists to return to New Zealand.

More than 1.2 million people have been infected with the virus, more than one fifth of the population, according to official figures. The actual number is undoubtedly far higher. As of June 10, the ministry of health had recorded 1,303 COVID-related deaths, 95 percent of which occurred this year, after the reopening of nonessential businesses and schools as Omicron hit the country.

On June 8, the Otago Daily Times reported that the Southern District Health Board (DHB) canceled all surgeries at Dunedin Hospital “due to severe staff shortages.” Chief operating officer Hamish Brown blamed “high numbers of emergency department presentations, Covid-19, staff fatigue and illness.”

This situation is repeated across the country. At some DHBs, more than 20 percent of staff are sick with COVID or influenza or are isolating as a COVID contact. Meanwhile, St John Ambulance told the media this week that the number of call-outs now exceeds that during the Omicron surge in March–April. The service issued an emergency call for volunteers.

Emergency doctor John Bonning told the New Zealand Herald that Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland experienced its “biggest day ever” on June 7. The emergency department saw 420 patients in one night, well above the normal level of 300. The following day, according to a leaked email sent by management to staff, there were still “71 patients awaiting a bed.”

A Middlemore worker quoted by stuff said: “It is frightening, actually, working there at the moment. It feels like there are lives at risk because of the high volumes [of patients]… Staff are feeling enormous pressure—they’re stressed and tired.”

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