Covid-19: Government announces $100m support package for health services

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 14 Jun 2020, 3:04PM
Health Minister David Clark. Photo / Pool
Health Minister David Clark. Photo / Pool

Covid-19: Government announces $100m support package for health services

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 14 Jun 2020, 3:04PM

Community midwives, who provided care to pregnant, birthing and postnatal women during lockdown, will get $2500 from the Government in recognition of the costs they incurred during the pandemic.

This is part of a new almost $100 million Covid-19 support package for health services across the country – details of which were announced today.

The funding was first unveiled in the Budget, but today's announcement from Health Minister David Clark provides more clarity on how that money will be spent.
It's split up into six different areas:

  • $37m for Covid-19 testing
    • $18m for 365 critical community pharmacies
    • $5.48m in funding for midwives
    • $10m for DHB ventilator and respiratory equipment
    • $7.33m to support hospices
    • $14.8m to support the National Telehealth Service

Clark said some of the money would be used for people in health services who were called on to go over and above to provide care during the Covid-19 outbreak.

"The funding for community midwives enables a one-off lump sum of $2500 each in recognition of the additional costs they incurred as they continued to provide essential care to pregnant, birthing and postnatal women during lockdown."

But the big-ticket item in the funding announcement was the $37m for Covid-19 testing.

Clark said this money would make sure our testing capability remains up to the task of detecting and quickly containing the disease if it re-emerges.

"Our first Covid-19 test was completed on February 1. We can now process 12,500 a day and have completed over 300,000 individual tests. That's an incredible achievement by those working in our medical labs."

He also confirmed CRRF support for midwives, hospices and pharmacies who maintained vital services for New Zealanders during the outbreak.

"Many pharmacists and our hospices continued their work to provide valuable services to New Zealanders in the challenging lockdown environment," Clark said.

Today's funding package includes money for DHBs to purchase new ventilators and other respiratory equipment.

"Our success in countering Covid-19 over the last three months has given our health services the chance to further strengthen their readiness for any future outbreak and the Government is backing them to do that.

"All of these services and their staff stepped up when we needed them to, and I believe all New Zealanders will want me to again acknowledge their vital work to protect and care for us," Clark said.