Helpers sought to ease burden for health workers

Calling all southern heroes.

Business South has teamed up with the Southern District Health Board to help support the healthcare workforce as it responds to rapidly increasing Covid-19 case numbers.

The new initiative, Southern Heroes, which was launched yesterday, provides a mechanism for businesses and community organisations to give time to help the SDHB and other health providers with non-clinical and non-contact tasks.

The helpers may be called in to fulfil a range of jobs, such as deliveries of food and supplies, supporting DHB staff child-care facilities and handling call centres.

The Wanaka, Queenstown and Southland Chambers of Commerce and Volunteer South have also got on board with the scheme.

While acknowledging businesses were also "under immense strain", Business South chief executive Mike Collins said the scheme’s organisers wanted to rally those that were able to help out in the South, to support the health system and those on the front lines in the outbreak.

Southern District Health Board people and capability executive director Tanya Basel and Business...
Southern District Health Board people and capability executive director Tanya Basel and Business South chief executive Mike Collins are calling on local businesses and community organisations to give time to help out the SDHB and other health providers. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON

"We’re asking that organisations spare even one person for one hour to help out and make a difference to our health workers and our local community.

"Any support you can provide, no matter how small, will be truly appreciated," Mr Collins said.

SDHB people and capability executive director Tanya Basel said the community support would help local health providers focus on what they did best.

"The southern health system is much more than just the DHB — it is also our general practices, rural hospitals, pharmacies, primary health providers and aged residential care facilities.

"Joining the Southern Heroes network will support these services as they continue to provide care to our whanau and friends," she said.

Businesses and community groups interested in becoming part of the network can sign up on Business South’s website.

riley.kennedy@odt.co.nz

 

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