Source: Association of Salaried Medical Specialists – Press Release/Statement:
Headline: Priority MIQ for essential health workers applauded
The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Toi Mata Hauora is welcoming the Government’s announcement to guarantee 300 Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) spaces a month for much-needed health professionals.
Border closures have exacerbated problems in an already stretched health system. ASMS understood that 100 of the 250 requests made by DHBs in recent months to prioritise health staff had been rejected.
ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton says not being able to get desperately-needed health staff into the country has been a frustration.
“We were hearing how broken the MIQ system was for health professionals, and it was something we had repeatedly raised. We are thrilled the Government has listened and taken action.”
Even without Covid, hospitals and health services have been struggling with significant staffing shortages.
“Services are crying out for skilled staff. The number of vacancies is putting senior clinicians under immense pressure and is a major cause of burnout. It didn’t make sense to have people stranded overseas,” she says.
Earlier this month the head of Southland Hospital’s Obstetrics and Gynaecology service, Dr Jim Faherty, made headlines when he couldn’t get a spot in MIQ and his absence forced the hospital to consider downgrading its maternity unit.
Sarah Dalton says that illustrates just how fragile the staffing situation and system is.
“Endemic Covid will stretch resources further and highlights the need for proper workforce supply planning,” she says.
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