web analytics

Is this woman being coerced into unsafe healthcare by the DHB’s handling of covid testing?

Written By: - Date published: 1:21 pm, October 8th, 2020 - 13 comments
Categories: covid-19, health - Tags: , , , ,

Radio NZ are carrying the story of a woman in isolation who is being denied an appropriate covid test by the local DHB.

A woman who suffers from extreme nose bleeds may be forced to stay an extra week in managed isolation because health officials are refusing to let her have a Covid-19 throat swab.

Karolina Jordan has been told she must have a nasal test despite the potential for her to haemorrhage from it.

Her husband, Warwick Jordan, said she was happy to have as many throat swabs as needed and had even had one before she left Europe to be cautious.

She was becoming increasingly distressed at being labelled a test dodger, he said.

Toi Te Ora, the DHB is saying that the throat swab is less accurate therefore she needs the nasal swab or longer isolation. However,

… government information given to all guests at the Ibis in Rotorua said though the more sensitive nasal swab was preferred, a throat swab was an option for those who could not tolerate one.

It only mentioned people needing to stay longer if they could not, or would not, have either a throat or nose test.

The problem I have here is not that a longer isolation time might be needed, but that there appears to be no taking into account her medical condition despite information saying that it can be. It’s possibly this is just poor communication/reporting, or maybe it is actual coercion and bullying.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health appears to be saying that DHBs can make their own decisions on this,

In a statement to RNZ, a Ministry of Health spokesperson said the ultimate decision was Te Toi Ora’s.

This is extraordinary. We need nationwide standards for both testing and communication with people in a stressful situation where health care is involved.

We have legislation in place to protect patients, the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (regulations via the Health and Disability Commissioner Act).

Some of the pertinent parts of that here,

  • Right to be treated with respect
  • Right to freedom from discrimination, coercion, harassment, and exploitation
  • Right to effective communication
  • Right to be fully informed
  • Right to make an informed choice and give informed consent

There’s no way to know from that short RNZ piece what is actually going on, but the Code says,

The onus is on the provider to prove it took reasonable actions.

so the ball is firmly in the DHB and MoH’s court here.

At the least the MoH needs to front up and explain national policy, where there is discretion and why, and what kind of situations a throat swab is deemed acceptable, including for children and people with specific disabilities. They also need to sort out the discrepancies between information being given to patients and practice. A sound bit response to MSM is entirely inadequate.

Questions for the DBH to answer are why is the throat test being refused? Is it a general policy? ie they will never let anyone have a throat swab? Or is it assessed on a case by case basis, and if so, what are the criteria? Is any of this being explained to the patients affected?

Maybe the MoH and the DHB need to talk to each and make sure that their patient information matches what is happening in practice.

13 comments on “Is this woman being coerced into unsafe healthcare by the DHB’s handling of covid testing? ”

  1. Grafton Gully 1

    Zero evidence that someone who "suffers from extreme nosebleeds" would be harmed by a nasal swab. So we abandon evidence based practice and put the wider population at risk by doing a more likely false negative throat swab ?

    • weka 1.1

      fortunately she doesn't have to rely on someone who went to the Grafton Gully Med School and instead has a certificate from her GP who went to an actual med school, learnt how to assess the evidence, graduated and then went into practice.

  2. Rosemary McDonald 2

    Zero evidence that someone who "suffers from extreme nosebleeds" would be harmed by a nasal swab.

    Tell that to the poor buggers who have been harmed.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7308627/

    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology/fullarticle/2771362

    and…https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-08-31/covid-tests-with-saliva-are-comparable-to-nasal-swab-tests

  3. Stan 3

    Hi – don't normally comment here. A history of nosebleeds does not prevent safely doing a nasal swab.

    It's rubbish to demand a throat swab instead. The accuracy rates of a postnasal swab are generally well documented but that of a throat swab for COVID testing is less clear.

    The swab itself may go through the nose but it's small and easily fits in. The sample is taken from the postnasal space (very back of the nose, above the back of the throat) which is well away from any danger areas for nosebleeds. If there was any concern, then a paediatric (much smaller) swab could be used and for extra safety a check of the nostrils for any potential bleeding area could be done, as well as moistening the swab to let it pass with less trauma.

    Declaration of interest: a frequent swab-taker.

    • Tabletennis 3.1

      rather than your expertise as swab taker (and I'm glad I haven't come across you…)
      don't you think that what is relevant in this story is " a throat swab was an option for those who could not tolerate one [a nasal swab]" and this is clearly being refused. And if this couple has the energy left, a formal complaint to the Consumers Rights Act is an option for them to consider.

  4. gsays 4

    I hear what you are saying weka, I also hear the pain coming from other regular commenters here on TS, the arrogance, bureaucracy and inflexibility of MoH.

    I heard the husband on RNZ and he did his wife no favours. What I heard was a person who didn't want to take the test. The use of the words epistaxis, haemorrhage, (as opposed to nose bleed and bleed), the image of military uniforms coming to the room…

    It is possible there is a case of entitlitis at play too.

    Not that we will the other, there are two sides to every story.

  5. Lucy 5

    Am getting sick of the "why we need special treatment" stories. This is a killer disease that the population of NZ needs protection from. My parents had TB and they were move between hospitals and were required to talk to family through windows for two years! They were compulsory used as test subjects for all kinds of cures including cutting away bits of lung, experimental drug therapies, cigarette smoking to kill bits of the lung, inflating lung with ping pong balls. My dad said he went along with the crazy because he was dying anyway! We have had a health crisis were infected people lost all rights, this one infected people are treated with dignity and still complain about the food, not getting exercise, the testing regime – everything that the country is doing for them.

    • weka 5.1

      according to the information given to people in isolation, it's not special treatment.

    • Tabletennis 5.2

      No special treatment at all – its an option for swab taking and that's being refused. More like refusing to give medical assistance.

  6. Treetop 6

    For me this case is straight forward as the lady does not need to consent to a nasal swab, she has to consent to an extra week in isolation to insure she will not set off community transmission of Covid – 19 because of not having a nasal swab.

    • Shanreagh 6.1

      Yes Treetop I cannot see what the problem is either. No nasal swab then extra week in isolation. It seems that throat & nasal swabs are not created equal and perhaps once again the paper work has not kept up with the practice. The practice being that having a nasal swab is preferable. But there is an alternative and that is to stay the extra week. so we are completely sure.

      Thanks to Stan for a voice from the swabbers. Just as blood test takers will work around any unusual situations (& I have experience in this) I am sure that swab takers will be well versed, as you seem to be, in minimising anything happening amiss in such a situation.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago