More than $275 million will be spend on bolstering New Zealand's health response to Covid-19, including a lot more funding for personal protective equipment.
Pharmac will also be getting more money so it can buy essential medicines and close to $30 million will be provided to rest homes "to keep Covid-19 at bay".
That's according to Health Minister David Clark, who said the funding would provide immediate support to ensure aged-care providers can continue to take the necessary steps to respond to the virus.
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The majority of New Zealand's Covid-19 related deaths have been at rest homes.
Seven of the 11 deaths have been from the group of Rosewood Rest Home residents who were moved to Burwood Hospital.
The flagship item in the Government's new spending package is the $200 million earmarked for buying more personal protective equipment (PPE).
"Our frontline health staff do incredibly important work caring for New Zealanders. They need and deserve our support," Clark said. "A key part of that is keeping health staff safe by providing appropriate personal protective equipment."
This week, the Government moved to a national distribution system for face masks, with the supply of other PPE items to follow, Clark said.
It already has roughly 20 million masks, 9.4 million pairs of gloves, 1.2 million aprons and other items of PPE in stock.
"But we know we will need more in coming months."
Some $200 will be spent on new PPE supply – of that, $140 million has already been spent on new orders.
Clark said that in the next eight weeks, the Government expected 75 million items of PPE to be delivered into New Zealand.
That included 17 million masks, more than 2 million gowns and coveralls and 13.8 million gloves.
Clark also announced that Pharmac will receive an additional $35 million to cover the increased cost of some medicines, and the broadening of access to a number of medicines (including nine cancer treatments).
A further $15 million will be used to continue the Unite Against Covid-19 public information campaign until October.
"Responding to Covid-19 is a marathon not a sprint. We will continue to work with our health providers as they grapple with the impact of Covid-19," Clark said.
What the new funding will be spent on:
• $200 million to purchase personal protective equipment
• $26 million to support residential aged-care providers to keep Covid-19 at bay
• Boost of $35 million to Pharmac's budget for essential medicines
• $15 million to continue the Unite Against Covid-19 public health campaign