Hospitals and urgent care facilities are under pressure, from influenza, Covid-19 and other respiratory illnesses. As of today, there are 383 cases of Covid-19 in hospitals across NZ. Hospitalisation rates for severe acute respiratory infections are exceeding rates for this time of year over the previous seven years. A Waikato DHB staffer spoke to Stuff, under conditions of anonymity, saying hospitals are not coping.
They said the key issues causing stress to the health system were inadequate staffing numbers and underfunding from successive governments.
They also said staff were not immune to Covid and the flu, which was exacerbating the staffing shortages.
Yesterday the government announced expansion of funded access to the flu vaccine, to cover people with specific mental health conditions and/or additions issues as well as children ages 3 – 12. Epidemiologist and University of Otago (Wellington) Professor Michael Baker praises the government’s move to expand free flu vaccine access but is asking ‘why not make it free for everyone?’
Workplace flu vaccination programs are one of the most common forms of employee wellbeing assistance. It is often covered by health insurance or is an action that is rewarded by systems such as AIA Vitality. Employers running wellbeing programs for staff report to us that it is one of the best value interventions. Estimates at effectiveness range from 30% to 60% in terms of preventing infection.
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