Lack of vouchers affect patient referrals and face increase risks of catching COVID while in NZ quarantine

The director of the health department, Dr. Eddie Akauola says that they are struggling to send their referral patients to New Zealand because of the lack of vouchers for the quarantine facilities there.

Dr. Akauola was on Radio Sunshine this morning with the Director-General of the Social Services Gaylene Tasmania and Chief of Police Tim Wilson talking about home quarantine and Quarantine free travel.

There were seven referral patients booked to leave on the last passenger flight on Monday this week, but all of them were not confirmed to travel until late into Sunday night.

Dr. Akauola said the Health department is grateful to the New Zealand High Commission and their counterparts in New Zealand for helping them to ensure the patients were allocated vouchers. All the patients were on the flight and will be able to make their appointments in Auckland.

However, this is not the only issue for the Niue health department, as according to Dr. Akauola, they are also very concerned when the referred patients arrive in New Zealand they are being quarantined in facilities along with passengers from other countries with large numbers of community cases.

Patients from Niue risk exposure to the virus at these quarantine facilities because of the passengers flying in from countries with a high number of COVID cases like the USA, Asia, and European countries.

BCN news understands that there are no specific accommodation or quarantine facility dedicated for passengers from COVID free Pacific countries like Niue.

Dr. Akauola says that since the pandemic in March this year, the usual visits of specialists to Niue were suspended.

While the rest of the island is worried about COVID 19 coronavirus, the medical practitioners on the island like Dr. Eddie Akauola are very concerned for the welfare of their patients showing symptoms for other diseases like cancer and to make sure that these patients are referred to New Zealand.

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