Hon Andrew LittleMinister of Health
· $300 million boost to Pharmac to buy new medicines to treat COVID-19
· Care in the Community approach will see most cases receive initial contact from a healthcare provider wiithin 24 hours
· Support pack provided within 48 hours
· Regular health checks throughout recovery
The Government is increasing the support for New Zealanders who test positive for COVID-19 through the rollout of the
COVID Care in the Community model and a $300 million funding boost to Pharmac to purchase new medicines to treat the
virus, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today.
“Delta is here so we are changing our strategy for how we deal with the virus. Supported recovery at home and greater
access to medicines to stop people getting very sick are the cornerstones of the Care in the Community model,” Andrew
“As we move to the Traffic Light System, reduce restrictions, and remove the Auckland boundary, people will be
travelling around the country in the months to come and we will see more cases across the country.
“The vast majority of people who get COVID will have mild to moderate symptoms and won’t require hospital care, but we
need to make sure those recovering at home have the support and medicine they need to recover safely, and that others in
the household are safe as well,” Andrew Little said.
The COVID Care in the Community model provides the framework for how the end-to-end community support will be provided
as cases increase throughout the country, and sets out the expectations of health and welfare providers.
For someone with COVID-19 who can isolate at home, Care in the Community will include:
· An initial contact from a healthcare provider within 24 hours of a positive result notification, to discuss any
health, accommodation and wellbeing requirements. Household contacts will also need to isolate, they’ll be supported
with health advice and getting tested as well.
· A designated point of contact, most likely from a local healthcare provider, who will be responsible for looking out
for the person’s health and wellbeing needs, including making a plan for checking in regularly while the person is
· A health pack tailored to the individual’s health needs delivered within 48 hours to help the person manage recovery.
· Ongoing clinical monitoring over the duration of the isolation period to make sure the person is coping with symptoms
and is safe to continue being cared for in the community.
· A health assessment at Day 10 to determine whether the person can safely end time in isolation.
At this point, household contacts will need to stay at home for at least 10 days, to make sure they remain free from the
virus. The households’ dedicated health contact will continue to check in on them during this time.
Everyone can also do their bit now to help themselves and their loved ones by using the Readiness Checklist to plan and
COVID-19 MEDICINES FUNDING
As part of the shift to Care in the Community, the Government is providing $300 million for the national drug-buying
agency Pharmac to buy more new medicines to treat COVID-19.
“Medicines are being rapidly developed and can stop most people getting so sick they need to go to hospital,” Andrew
“Vaccinations are still the first and best line of defence against the virus, but we want to make sure people who do
contract COVID-19 have access to new treatments as soon as possible.
“New Zealand is at the front of the queue for these medicines. We were one of the first countries in the world to secure
supplies of the new anti-viral drug molnupiravir for treating people with mild-to-medium COVID infections, and Pharmac
is talking to other pharmaceutical companies about their medicines.
“Cabinet has agreed to provide an extra $300 million so the purchase of COVID drugs doesn’t affect Pharmac’s ability to
keep buying medications and treatments for other conditions.”