More on the testing fiasco

The ODT reports:

Southern GPs say they want greater clarity around a probable increased level of testing for the Covid-19 coronavirus, and qualifying criteria for patients.

GPs contacted by the Otago Daily Times yesterday said changing governmental criteria defining who could be tested had led to troubling confusion including material being refused. This was because up to 50% of swabs were being rejected by laboratories for failing to meet the latest guidelines.

New testing criteria were released late on Wednesday, meaning those with symptoms but no connection to overseas travel or another coronavirus case could be tested.

North Medical Centre GP Dr Daniel Pettigrew said although he understood shifting criteria, changes led to a waste of resources.

“We’ve probably had about 50% of our swabs declined by the lab, because they didn’t fit governmental case-definition criteria at that time.

“The problem seems to be a disconnect between the information provided at public briefings, and whatever’s filtering down to the labs.

“Having taken the swab, it seems pointless not to it if the capacity is there.”

It is simply that the Government keeps saying we are only testing at 50% of our capacity and that we want to test, test, yet 50% the Southern DHB lab is refusing to test 50% of swabs.

Imagine how disheartening this is for GPs at the front line. They have made a clinical assessment that a patient should be tested for Covid-19, they have taken a swab, but the government owned laboratory refuses to their patients despite having capacity to do so.

This is why the Minister of should be in Wellington. He should be angry. He should be threatening to fire people unless this is sorted.

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