MIQ priority for essential health workers applauded
The Association of Salaried Specialist Physicians Toi Mata Hauora welcomes the government’s announcement to guarantee 300 Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) places per month for much-needed health professionals.
Border closures have exacerbated problems in an already strained healthcare system. The ASMS understood that 100 of the 250 requests made by DHBs in recent months to prioritize health personnel had been rejected.
ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton said it was frustrating not to be able to bring in desperately needed health workers into the country.
âWe heard how broken the MIQ system was for healthcare professionals, and that was something we had brought up a number of times. We are delighted that the government has listened and taken action. “
Even without Covid, hospitals and health services face significant staff shortages.
âThe services require qualified personnel. The number of vacant positions puts enormous pressure on staff and is a major cause of burnout. It made no sense to have people stranded abroad, âshe said.
Earlier this month, Southland Hospital’s chief of obstetrics and gynecology, Dr Jim Faherty, made headlines when he was unable to secure a place at MIQ and her absence forced the hospital to consider downgrading her maternity ward.
Sarah Dalton says this illustrates how fragile the situation and the staffing system are.
âEndemic Covid will further stretch resources and underscore the need for good planning of labor supply,â she said.
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