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Government & Health Bosses Should Listen To Advice

“Government And Health Bosses Should Listen To Advice Of Visiting Specialist”

“The government and its bosses running district health boards should listen to the sensible and practical advice of visiting Swedish cardiologist Dr Lars Eklund,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

Dr Eklund is completing a 10-month temporary position at Wairau Hospital in Blenheim and has recommended an increase in the number of senior doctors and a reduction of the time spent on after-hours call rosters.

“Dr Eklund’s independent assessment is most welcome. He commends the high quality work undertaken by senior doctors at Blenheim working facing serious difficulties of staff shortages and onerous working conditions. The situation he describes in Blenheim is also applicable in the rest of New Zealand, especially provincial hospitals. He is well placed to make useful international comparisons.”

“He is absolutely correct in highlighting the onerousness of working on high frequency after-hours emergency call rosters that are so stressful and dangerous for senior doctors who have no option but to work them. He is also correct in noting the shortage of senior doctors, no doubt drawing upon his experience in his home country of Sweden.”

“New Zealand needs more senior doctors covering a full range of high quality specialist services. To achieve this we need a far greater improvement in workforce planning and in monitoring onerous workloads and the buck for this stops with the government and its district health boards,” concluded Mr Powell.

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