New Zealand has 153 intensive care beds, according to survey

An official survey in response to Covid-19 shows there are 153 intensive care beds nationwide.

A file image a of a nurse in a negative pressure room - used for isolating patients with infectious diseases like COVID-19. Source: 1 NEWS

The Health Ministry survey shows there is space and equipment to look after another 80 patients in ICU.

Also, an additional 231 beds outside of intensive care are capable of looking after ventilated patients, plus another 99 beds could be repurposed in other places like wards, high dependency and gastroenterology units. It all adds up to 563 beds and 520 ventilators in public hospitals.

"ICU and ventilator capacity would be carefully managed to provide enough capacity for essential non Covid-19 patients with the rest available for Covid-19 patients," the ministry said.

In private hospitals and at other providers, the survey shows there are about 250 ventilators, though only 22 ICU beds.

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Dr Siouxsie Wiles joins Seven Sharp to discuss. Source: 1 NEWS

"Private hospitals, teaching universities, emergency services defence force and veterinary providers also have ventilators and anaesthetic machine ventilators.

"The number of these and their suitability is being assessed," the ministry said.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said every action was being taken "early and fast" to avoid a worst-case scenario where intensive care beds might have to be rationed in any way.

"The idea there is to not just be prepared but complement our measures we're putting in place to actually reduce the risk of that worst-case scenario," he said.