Australia News & Commentary

State Government Accused of ‘Falsifying Data’ After Admitting They ‘Skewed’ Hospitalisation Numbers

"If you were 22 years of age, you had Covid three weeks ago, you recovered from that, fell off your bicycle, broke your arm, and came to hospital, we would count you as a Covid admission."

The New South Wales Government has been accused of ‘falsifying’ Covid hospitalisation figures to deliberately induce public “fear and panic.”

The state government admitted last week to ‘skewing’ data by recording as a “Covid hospitalisation” everyone who had tested positive for the virus up to four weeks prior to admission, even if they had fully recovered.

During a February 11 press conference, NSW Health deputy secretary Susan Pearce said an expert clinical panel review found the state’s practice of ‘back capturing’ patients up to 28 days before admission meant that “in our numbers, we were getting a skewing of our data.”

“For example,” she said, “if you were 22 years of age, you had Covid three weeks ago, you recovered from that, fell off your bicycle, broke your arm, and came to hospital, we would count you as a Covid admission.”

Pearce said, following the review, the ‘back capture’ will be reduced to 14 days to provide a “more realistic picture” of Covid hospitalisation numbers.

LNP Senator for Queensland, Gerard Rennick, posted a clip from the press conference to his Facebook page today describing it as an admission of ‘falsifying data.’

“Effectively anyone who had Covid in the 28 days prior to entering hospital, even if they had recovered, was counted as a Covid case,” he said.

“This so called back capturing (doublespeak for deliberately trying to induce fear and panic) has now been reduced to 14 days.

“The lie has now been halved but not halted of course just in case they need wiggle room later on to ramp up the fear again,” he said.

“And they wonder why people don’t trust governments,” Senator Rennick added.

In January, The Daily Telegraph revealed a “significant portion” of patients counted as Covid-19 hospitalisations in NSW were admitted for other medical issues.

Government data obtained by the outlet showed the state’s daily Covid-19 hospitalisation number was inflated by including patients who tested positive for the virus after being admitted to hospital for other reasons, such as broken bones, labour pains, and mental health issues.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard admitted that up to half of those listed as having been “hospitalised” for the virus simply tested positive after routine checks following admission for non-Covid reasons.

“A reasonable proportion of cases being classified as Covid hospitalisations are actually people with other reasons for admission,” Hazzard said at the time.

“Heart attacks, births, falls, none of that stops just because there is Covid. They come into hospital, they have a swab taken and it confirms Covid.”

Hazzard said at the time that this shows the virus is out in the community, but admitted we’re not necessarily seeing Covid as the primary reason for all of the admissions.