A chaotic picture has emerged around the response of Auckland public health officials to this year’s typhoid outbreak, says Aupito William Sio Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesman.
“Our Pacific community was left exposed by the Auckland Regional Public Health Services’ lack of resources. Their staff numbers were down and although two medical officers were drafted in, other public health units couldn’t help because they themselves were under pressure. This paints a dire picture of the state of public health services around the country.
“We deserve a lot better. Funding for public health services in Auckland has not kept pace with population growth. Funding increased by just over six and a half per cent while Auckland’s population increased by over 16 per cent over the same period.
“I am also worried that the ARPHS even now is still being strengthened after a round of recent resignations by health professionals in Auckland. It would appear public health services in Auckland is still not up to strength to manage a significant outbreak.
"We have once again seen a failure as we did in Havelock North, of the inability to get crucial communications out to the public during the weekend, in the midst of an infectious outbreak. How can the public have confidence in the resourcing of public health services if the Government fails to scale up the emergency response services after a crisis?
“All this shows that, after nine long years, our health system is stressed and we must start restoring National’s $2.3 billion funding shortfall,” says Aupito William Sio.