Media Beat-Up Of Intensive Care Unit
MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
MONDAY 25 AUGUST 2003
Media Beat-Up Of Intensive Care Unit; Acting As Lobbyist For Private Hospital
“The media has beat-up the story about the cancellation of operations at Wellington Hospital because all its intensive care unit beds were full,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was responding to today’s report in the Dominion Post where the private Wakefield Hospital claimed it could have provided intensive care beds.
“There are significant differences between the intensive care units in Wellington, a major tertiary hospital, and Wakefield. Wellington Hospital has a Level 3 intensive care unit that provides full 24 hour cover, including by specialists, for its patients. In contrast, Wakefield Hospital has a Level 1 unit providing a much lower level of support. It is for this reason that most patient transfers between the two hospitals are from Wakefield to Wellington on clinical grounds rather than the other way around.”
“Senior doctors at Wellington Hospital did consider using Wakefield Hospital but decided not to on clinical grounds because of the differences in the level of medical and other support between the two hospitals. The key factor was patient safety and well-being.”
“The Dominion Post would do better in its health reporting if it was to cease acting as an advocate for a private hospital that has had some bad luck in the share market recently,” concluded Mr Powell.