NZ Government extends funding for another 18 months to elbow COVID-19 out

Chris Hipkins, Minister for COVID-19 vaccine, stated that the NZ government had set aside some extra funding to support the system’s coronavirus response and maintain quarantine facilities up to June 2022.  

He also stated that while there had been new developments on the vaccine and travel fronts, health systems of the country also required enough capability and assistance to keep adequate levels of contact tracing and testing.

The healthcare systems also need controlled isolation and quarantine accommodations to get fully resourced for NZ’s elimination strategy to operate effectively, Mr Hipkins noted. This would require cash infusions for the Ministry of Health, DHBs, and agencies employed at the quarantine facilities, to deliver funding assurance.

Cabinet’s funding arrangement, which will pay for a range of coronavirus-related health facilities up to June 2022, include:

  • Conducting nearly 7000 tests a day, including cleaning and laboratory services
  • PPE supplies, contact tracing and supporting technology
  • Extra support for the Ministry and DHBs as per requirement

The $1.12-billion extra investment would contribute to the $251-million infusion given to health in October.

An extra $1.74 billion in additional funding, split around the agencies participating, would also ensure that the MIQ operational model is adequately resourced till June 2022, covering housing, travel, food safety and health, and well-being facilities expenses.

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