'Completely unacceptable' - Healthcare workers verbally abused, attacked at Covid-19 testing stations

Dr Ashley Bloomfield has slammed abuse of medical professionals at testing stations as "completely unacceptable".

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The Director-General of Health thanked medical professionals working at sites in Auckland and around the country. Source: 1 NEWS

"We've had reports of healthcare workers who are doing their best particularly to provide testing to people being verbally abused and even attacked," the Director-General of Health told media today.

"This is completely unacceptable, I'm sure you will agree, and please remember that all healthcare workers are doing their best to help not just you, but all New Zealanders.

"I know how hard they are working both in Auckland and around the country and I want to take a moment to sincerely thank them all."

Yesterday, a record number of tests for a single day were recorded - 15,703. In total, there has been more than 524,400 tests carried out.

Dr Bloomfield said demand had been high, particularly in Auckland where there are now 16 mobile testing stations, as well as tests at GPs available. People with Covid-19-like symptoms are advised to be tested.

"This is an incredibly difficult situation for all of those working on the frontline wherever they're working, whether they're working on the frontline, whether it's the police working at the road blocks, whether it's our staff working at the airports, including at the domestic airports where they're under a lot of pressure as well, whether it's people working in medical facilities, hospitals, those that are on phones, those who are doing the testing," Health Minister Chris Hipkins said.

"Please be patient, please be kind. These people are working exceptionally hard to provide New Zealanders with the care and support that they deserve.

"There are no grounds under any circumstances to be abusing those people."

Dr Bloomfield also said when he was a DHB chief executive he found it "inexplicable" anyone would abuse or attack staff.

He said it "wasn't helpful" to provide exact details on recent incidents though.