“Health Minister Andrew Little’s promise of a hundred million dollars for more ICU beds has resulted in just three additional beds,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“In December last year Andrew Little released the following statement. “Cabinet has earmarked $100 million of capital funding from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to accelerate these ICU projects. And there is another $544 million of operational funding available to fund ongoing costs like staffing.”

“In August last year, there were 336 ICU beds. There were 293 beds on the date of the Beehive statement. 296 beds on the 29th July.

“Andrew Little loves to blame the previous Government for the state of our health system. The reality is, Labour has been in Government for five years and things are getting worse.

“It’s been eight months since this funding was announced. It’s unbelievable that in that time there has been next to no progress.

“The information was obtained through Written Parliamentary Questions, with Little’s office first taking far longer than Parliamentary rules allow and then giving us the run around with the information we asked for. It took a month and a half longer than it should have to receive this information.

“Andrew Little needs to explain why so little progress has taken place, what is he doing to ensure that more ICU beds are becoming available and when can we finally expect results? He is accountable to New Zealanders, he needs to stop passing the buck, answering the questions and taking responsibility.”

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Brooke van Velden