The Ministry of Health wasn’t told about the typhoid outbreak until 11 days after three people from the same church were admitted to hospital, says Labour’s spokesperson for Health David Clark.
“It is no longer credible for the Minister to claim that he knows nothing about this outbreak and continue to blame his own officials in Auckland.
“He and his Ministry are responsible for the Auckland Regional Public Health Service and its funding, and he must take immediate action to give people confidence.
“While the Minister has told me this morning that he is seeking urgent advice from these officials, this afternoon in the House he was still in a state of ignorance.
“Jonathan Coleman needs to get across this issue. His role and responsibility demands this.
“He is washing his hands of his wider responsibility to make sure New Zealanders are safe from serious infectious diseases.
“The big question now is what would happen if we had an even more serious epidemic, would it still be out of touch Jonathan?” says David Clark.