News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Ministry of Health Seeks Details from Hospitals

Ministry of Health Seeks Details of Hospital Inquiries

The Ministry of Health will seek details of inquiries in three New Zealand hospitals who employed an anaesthetist found to be re-using syringes in certain circumstances in Australia.

The doctor worked in Whangarei Hospital, and two private Whangarei hospitals - Mercy Hospital and Prime Care Day Stay Theatre - prior to working in Australia.

"I have asked these hospitals to provide me with a copy of reports from their investigations into anaesthetic procedures so we can properly assess safety concerns," said Director General of Health, Dr Karen Poutasi.

"Following consultation with the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and New Zealand Society of Anaesthetists, the Ministry of Health is also writing to all surgical hospitals to reiterate standard procedure is not to re-use syringes in any circumstances."

In Australia, it's claimed the doctor was re-using plastic syringes with a one-way valve that minimised, but did not eliminate, the risk of a backflow of blood. From what the Ministry understands, it should be made clear that the doctor was not re-using needles.

"While the valve the doctor used in Australia is not in use in Whangarei, similar types of valves are used in New Zealand. However, the accepted practice in New Zealand is that syringes are only used once to eliminate any risk of transferring infections to other patients," said Dr Poutasi.

Standards of anaesthesia are set by the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and apply in both countries. The practice that was reported in Australia is unacceptable in both countries.

The Ministry of Health is seeking a full report of the inquiry by Australian authorities, and working with the Health Funding Authority on the matter.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Making History

Jock Phillips is a pioneering public historian who has sought new ways to communicate history to a wide audience. His autobiographical memoir is a fascinating account of how perceptions of history have changed through his career. More>>

New Budget Arts Funding: Fairer Wage For Grant Artists, Creatives In Schools

The vital contribution and huge value the creative sector brings to New Zealand is recognised in this year’s Budget with $11.157 million over four years for two new initiatives, the Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern said today. More>>


Auckland Region MMR Change: Children To Be Vaccinated For Measles At 12 Months

The first measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination has been brought forward to 12 months from 15 months in Auckland because of the region’s measles outbreak. More>>


Tapu Te Ranga: Fire Destroys Main Building At Island Bay Marae

There was a large fire at the Tapu Te Ranga Marae in Island Bay early Sunday morning. Firefighters saved the meeting house, but the main building collapsed in the blaze and other surrounding buildings were compromised. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland