We are now experiencing the expected significant increase of Covid-19 in our community with over 1000 positive cases in our CMDHB and eight COVID-19 patients in Middlemore Hospital this Thursday morning.
The number of Covid-19 cases in our DHB is significantly higher than other areas of Aotearoa but the modelling predicts other regions will experience increases in case numbers over the next few weeks.
The hospital and our services are also very busy with normal patient services and presentations. Our systems are under pressure, our Emergency Department is busy, and our hospital capacity has been at or over capacity this last week. We are grateful for the professionalism and commitment of our workforce who are working under some very challenging circumstances.
It is important we all remain diligent in our mask wearing, hand washing and physical distancing. To protect ourselves against serious illness it is crucial we are not just fully vaccinated with two doses, but, if eligible we have a booster dose, as soon as possible. The Ministry of Health has published some useful information of how to safely isolate at home, and if you haven’t already please put a plan in place for when COVID-19 finds you.
This is my last week as Chief Medical Officer before I move into the Acting Chief Executive role of Counties Manukau Health following our announcement in December of the appointment of Margie Apa as CEO of Health New Zealand. We have celebrated her appointment in our farewell from Counties Manukau Health this week and look forward to supporting Margie in the implementation of reforms to ensure every New Zealander has access to a responsive and equitable health care system.
We are extremely fortunate to have Dr Andrew Connolly, General Surgeon, return to Counties Manukau Health after a year of secondment to the Ministry of Health as their Chief Medical Officer. Andrew is replacing me as CMO as I move into the CEO role.
Whatever my role or title might be, my commitment to equity of access to health services and quality outcomes for all New Zealanders while upholding and honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi will always remain the core value that I strive to achieve every day. I look forward to leading the sensationally amazing team of nearly 9,000 people who work at Counties Manukau Health.
Manaaki to hauora. Keep safe and well.
Dr Pete Watson, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Medical Officer
Counties Manukau Health