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“Charity hospital noble but sad indictment"

13 September 2004

“Proposed charity hospital noble but sad indictment”

“The proposed charity hospital in Christchurch is a noble but sad indictment of the lack of leadership in ensuring that public hospitals are adequately resourced to meet the reasonable health needs of the public,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“It is an extraordinarily noble gesture for doctors and nurses to offer their time free to provide health services, including surgery, for patients who need treatment.”

“But it is a sad indictment of the leadership of the health system that this is occurring because public hospitals can’t meet public need. Unmet patient need continues to grow as patients are being denied access to specialist assessments or bumped off waiting lists.”

“Attempts to better enable public hospitals to meet patients’ needs are sporadic and uncoordinated. There is no strategy or plan to ensure that public hospitals are resourced with the right number of doctors, nurses and facilities to provide treatment for those who need it when they need it.”

“We need systematic leadership based on effective engagement between government and health professionals if New Zealand is not to return to the 19th century idea of charity hospitals,” concluded Mr Powell.


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