Cracks are starting to show in our health response to Covid-19, and I’m worried.
For eight days I’ve been in managed isolation at an Auckland hotel, after returning from Sydney for family reasons. The lockdown is the right decision to prevent the spread of the virus, and I’m grateful.
But a lack of oversight was raised when Healthline phoned me, not just once, but on three separate occasions to say it’s lost my information. It did not know when I had arrived in New Zealand, where I’d come from, what hotel I was in or how much longer I’d be here for.
I had already filled in detailed forms when I landed, including my health status. Each of the three health line operators said that my profile was blank, despite relaying the information every time.
I’m just one person, but how many others are arriving back in Aotearoa who are not being properly tracked?
National’s health spokesman is calling for an investigation.
Homecare Medical, who operate Healthline, including welfare checks, said it experienced a “technical issue when making calls to people with international numbers”.
Andrew Slater, CEO of the National Telehealth Service, which includes Healthline, said the team making the calls weren’t able to see the information on their screens.
"Our early investigation shows that a small number of people may also have been called multiple times as well," he said.
Homecare Medical is promising to do a full audit of its systems to ensure the issue doesn’t happen again, and has apologised.
I just hope that this is a one off to ensure New Zealand’s response to Covid-19 remains world class.