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Limitations On West Coast Paediatric Services


Limitations On West Coast Paediatric Services Has National Lessons

''The decision of the West Coast District Health Board to restrict paediatric services on the advice of its senior doctors has important lessons for health services in other parts of New Zealand,'' said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“Unfortunately there are times when senior doctors have to draw the line and say no to providing some services because of unreasonable risk to patients and to themselves. Saying no is very difficult for senior doctors and it takes an enormous amount of concern before they do this. Saying no can be for various reasons such as working outside one’s area of training (such as the West Coast), under-resourcing, and workload fatigue and stress.”

“The West Coast does not have a monopoly on these problems. They exist in other parts of New Zealand and I would not be surprised to see similar actions occurring in the future. The solution lies in areas such as more effective national recruitment and retention strategies and employment conditions for senior doctors and stronger better resourced clinical alliances between DHBs.”

“The West Coast DHB is to be commended for supporting its senior doctors in their clinical judgments and for taking the measures that it has. We hope that other DHBs will also support their senior doctors if they too have to say no,” concluded Mr Powell.

Ian Powell


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