12 Oct 2021

Can hospitals cope with more Covid-19 patients? Surgeon and Chief Medical Officer Andrew Connolly

From Nine To Noon, 9:09 am on 12 October 2021
Medical equipment in an ICU ward.

Photo: 123rf

How will our hospitals cope with an increase in patients with Covid-19?  And how quickly could they become overwhelmed? 

One hundred extra ICU or high dependency units have been added in the past year, and all health care workers will have to be fully vaccinated by the first of December.

But a survey of Emergency Department specialists has revealed their concerns for hospitals' ability to cope with Delta patients.

Health Minister Andrew Little says work is "underway" to prepare the primary care and hospital system, which he says needs to absorb "what the virus throws at us, once we relax restrictions." 

Auckland surgeon, Associate Professor of Health and Chief Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health Andrew Connolly speaks with Kathryn Ryan.