Thursday, 20 August 2020

ACT’s wellbeing response to Covid-19


“ACT has today announced its Covid-19 Response Policy which has a focus on wellbeing”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The Government has had a strategy for dealing with Covid-19 under its nose all along. A wellbeing approach weighs up all of the costs and benefits of human welfare on each choice the Government makes.

“Being free of Covid-19 is one dimension of wellbeing. We also have to think about a generation of students’ one shot at life-defining exams, the mental health of small business owners run ragged, and non-Covid healthcare such as missed elective surgeries.

“Then there are financial costs. If we take one estimate from a major bank, a Level 3 lockdown in Auckland costs $440 million a week. 16 days is a $1 billion. That’s Pharmac’s entire budget for all taxpayer-funded medicine for a year.

ACT’s approach includes:

  • A multi-disciplinary Epidemic Response Centre
  • Government as referee, not player: allow alternative isolation where safe and be electronically monitored; strict punishment for rule-breakers
  • A risk-weighted response: treat different countries and travellers with different levels of caution
  • A technology-driven response: use innovations such as the COVID Card, GPS locatable cell phones and Datamine’s ëlarm.

“If we want to enhance New Zealanders’ overall wellbeing, then we must get a lot smarter. The steps above would make us more like Taiwan so that we can eat our cake and be safe from Covid, too.”

A link to the policy can be found here.