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“DHB Shifting Risk To Patients”

“DHB Shifting Risk To Patients”

“The Nelson Marlborough District Health Board is shifting the risk of bad clinical outcomes from itself to patients,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

Mr Powell was commenting on the decision of the DHB to strike 137 patients off its waiting list for eye conditions and general surgery.

This decision also affects hundreds of other patients who are to be denied a hospital specialist assessment despite being referred by a general practitioner. “This clinical risk shifting, which also happens in other DHBs, is justified on the false expectation that they will be actively monitored by GPs.

But this is an illusion. These patients have already been assessed by their GP and require either hospital treatment or a specialist assessment.”

“It is a sad irony that the best thing that can happen for many of these patients is that their health continues to deteriorate until it is sufficiently bad for them to be re-assessed and treated. As well as causing unfair stress and suffering, it will also be more expensive.”

“This debacle is further evidence of the under-resourcing of our public hospitals,” concluded Mr Powell.

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