Letter from Sir Ray Avery to the PM

A reader sent me a copy of this:

Dear Prime Minister,

Forgive me for not writing a formal letter but given the urgency of our Hospitals lack of readiness to deal with a significant Covid community outbreak I thought E mail correspondence would be more prudent.

In Singapore eighty-one per cent of the entire population is fully vaccinated – excluding under-12s, it is 90%.

Despite the best possible Covid vaccination rates Singapore reported its highest one-day Covid case total in more than a year, with 837 cases recorded last Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, a total of 809 people were hospitalized .Of these, 75 were seriously ill and required oxygen.

The majority of seriously ill patients were older than 66.

It is therefore clear that vaccinations alone may not prevent our under resourced and neglected Hospitals from becoming overwhelmed with Covid patients.

So can you please advise ,as a matter of urgently priority ,the Governments Hospital Covid mitigation plan and timelines to ensure that Covid Infected New Zealanders receive timely, quality clinical care to not only reduce preventable Covid mortality rates in our Hospitals but also to ensure our precious frontline medical staff have the correct equipment for their personal safety and the treatment of their patients.

Also since every ICU bed needs around five to six nurses to keep it operational 24/7, we have a shortfall of at least 100 ICU nurses.

Our country is critically short of doctors and nurses yet according to Immigration New Zealand, 901 registered nurses and 235 doctors are already in New Zealand waiting on the Government for residency approvals so they may work.

The Ministry of Health has advised that “an estimated 81,500 in the public system stand in line for surgeries, procedures and appointments delayed due to the Delta outbreak.”

Can you please advise the remedial actions and timelines for increasing our critical Hospital HR resource levels not only to address our urgent Covid Hospital needs but also so that our general population has access to timely lifesaving quality healthcare.

In the interests in the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders I look forward to a timely and incisive response to these questions.

Yours Sincerely Sir Ray Avery GNZM

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