Saturday, December 4

Southern DHB debating ways to minimize Delta’s worst impact

A new model shows that doctors are planning close to 900 Covid-19 cases a week in Otago and Southland at worst.

A medical staff member wearing a mask and protective gear holds test tubes of coronavirus nasal swabs at the test point in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

It is crucial to prepare to live with Covid-19 in the southern region, says the head of DHB.
Photo: 123RF

The Southern District Board of Health will discuss the model and its preparations at a board meeting on Tuesday.

In the worst case, about 40 people were expected in the hospital each week, and up to four of them in intensive care.

In a report, CEO Chris Fleming said the level of hospitalization would be challenging in such a scenario, although at least 95 percent of all cases would be managed in the community by primary care providers.

Chris Fleming, Executive Director of the Southern District Board of Health

Chris fleming
Photo: Supplied / Southern DHB

It was crucial to prepare to live with Covid-19 in the southern region and understand the impact it could have on public health, primary care, Maori kaupapa providers and other supporting agencies, he said.

“It is therefore vital that while robust hospital plans must be implemented, primary and community settings, transportation arrangements, and psychosocial / wellness arrangements are critically important.”

He confirmed that planning had begun, that it was led by the Director of Quality and Clinical Governance Solutions, Dr. Hywel Lloyd, and that it was now being coordinated at the local, regional and national levels.

“A nationwide model has been made with various levels of vaccination rate being considered, however now that the government has indicated a move towards the new traffic light system when New Zealand reaches a vaccination level double of 90 per cent. cent, this is a good indicator of the scenarios to consider, “Fleming said.

“The numbers are worrying and we must plan for the worst case scenario.”

Positive community cases have been confirmed in Blenheim and Christchurch in recent days, and parts of the Macraes mine in East Otago were closed for deep clean-up earlier this week after a site contractor’s partner was identified as a contact. near.

A steering group and governance group were being created to address the issue and would meet regularly.

“This is the biggest individual risk for both our organization and our community.

“If the endemic disease is not managed effectively, the health system will come under increasing pressure and access to planned care will be jeopardized.”

“It is important to recognize that while people view planned care as deferrable, when it is deferred it has a direct impact on many people’s quality of life, pain reduction, and long-term health prognosis.

“We cannot just cancel this activity to manage it; we must optimize the way Covid patients are cared for and maximize routine operation, including planned and preventive care.”

Fleming considered it vitally important to ensure that every part of the southern community had the highest possible vaccination rates.

“Despite our astonishing results, the Maori, the Pacific Islanders and the lower socio-economic sectors of our society continue to lag behind.

“The vaccination team is redoubling its efforts and working in partnership with people within the community to ensure that all avenues are explored and creative ways to obtain the vaccine are sought.”

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