March 31, 2020
Middlemore unsuitable for COVID cases says disability advocate
A Māori advocate for the disabled is questioning a decision to designate Middlemore Hospital for COVID-19 cases.
Huhana Hickey says south Auckland isn’t where the cases are because most involve Pākehā who have been travelling in the United States or Europe.
She says Middlemore needs major work because of the state of its buildings, and it is better used to keep the rest of the health system functioning.
"We actually need a hospital that is able to take up some of the surgeries that have nothing to do with COVID because we still need to have urgent surgeries, urgent treatments and treatments that are life-saving for some of us and we're not getting that at the moment. Everything is being cancelled and this is quite dangerous in cases like mine where I rely on a system that is running smoothly if I am to stay alive and stay well," Dr Hickey says.
She says the Health Ministry and district health boards aren’t doing enough to keep some of the most vulnerable people safe, which would include supplying personal equipment to people looking after the disabled in the community.
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