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Hospital crisis demands mandates on health care professionals be dropped

24 June 2022

by Chris Leitch, Leader

In the face of the greatest health crisis the country has ever faced more than 3000 health care professionals are sitting at home twiddling their thumbs.

Hospitals are paying GPs ridiculous amounts to moonlight for emergency departments to cope with patients camping out for more than 8 hours waiting to be attended to and already one death has occurred.

Those mandate regulations should end now – before more deaths eventuate.

As the Prime Minister admitted when she announced the dropping of mandates for the majority of the population “mandates were undoubtedly required to get 95 percent of the eligible population vaccinated”.

They were about threatening to take away people’s jobs, income, social contact and access to leisure activities, to force them to be vaccinated, never about the risks those who chose not to be jabbed posed to those who did get jabbed.

The science on that is now patently clear.

Triple jabbed nurses and doctors are catching Covid, despite not mixing with their unjabbed colleagues, and that is putting even more pressure on hospitals.

The potential for a health crisis has been obvious to most New Zealanders for years, so having so many health care professionals locked out of the system right when they’re desperately needed makes no sense.

Continuing with them is simply persecution of doctors and nurses who had the ‘temerity’ to say no to the government’s Pfizer jab programme and belies the ‘politics of kindness’ face the government likes to put on.

It has now also become persecution of doctors, nurses, and patients in impossible situations in hospital emergency departments.

The Prime Minister is ignoring the hospital crisis at home as she leaves to parade herself again on the world stage, this time in front of NATO heads to talk about the crisis in Ukraine.

She can have little influence on that crisis, but she can influence the crisis at home in the health system.

She should instruct Health Minister Andrew Little drop those mandates immediately, before the health system collapses.

He should announce that they will go this week so that willing doctors and nurses can get back to work.