‘Resourced’ ICU beds have no ventilators in three DHBs

Andrew Little needs to explain why some DHBs are counting ICU beds as “resourced” despite not having enough ventilators for those beds, says National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti.

“An ICU bed includes the ability to support breathing with a ventilator. But in at least three DHBs, Andrew Little is claiming ‘resourced’ ICU beds despite not enough ventilators for those beds.

“How can you have a ‘resourced’ ICU bed without a ventilator?

“Ventilators are especially important given Covid is a condition that mostly affects the lungs.

“South Canterbury, Tairāwhiti and Whanganui all have more ‘resourced’ ICU beds than they have ventilators and, just a few days ago, Whanganui reported it actually only had skilled nurses to operate three of their four ventilators.

“Last week, Andrew Little was hiding the real adult bed ICU numbers by mixing in paediatric beds. This week, he is pretending resourced ICU beds don’t need a ventilator. He is wrong, and way out of his depth on the ICU beds issue.

“Andrew Little failed to prepare the health system by building more ICU beds after the first outbreak last year. This has contributed to long lockdowns and 100,000 cancelled procedures.

“The Minister needs to redo the ICU inventory with actual ‘resourced’ ICU beds with a ventilator and 5.3 nurses per bed. When he does, that he will find the authors of a recent New Zealand Medical Journal article were correct in saying there are only 67 surge ICU beds, and not the hundreds he is claiming.” 

ICU beds without ventilators: