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First Specialist Medical Assessments Vital

“Preventing Patients From Getting First Specialist Assessments Dangerous And Risky”

“Preventing patients from getting their first specialist assessments is dangerous and risky,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was referred to the expectation that the Canterbury District Health Board would soon send about 2,000 patients back to their GPs who had requested a first specialist assessment.

“GPs request first specialist assessments for their patients because they need further help and may be unsure what sort of treatment their sick patients require. Denying these patients an assessment by a specialist increases the uncertainty, stress and health risks for patients.”

“Health bureaucrats in Wellington are expecting specialists to do some form of diagnosis based on the GP’s referral letter rather than actually seeing and examining the patient.

This is risky and potentially dangerous in many cases.”

“All this trauma is being caused by the fact that our public hospitals are being put under the financial squeeze from bureaucrats who do not have to live with the daily pressures of their actions. Whether it is 2000 patients being culled a year or 40 each month, the result is the same for patients

Specialists regularly agonise over this appalling situation knowing that there are many patients out in the community facing uncertainty and at risk, but who could be helped.”

“New Zealand needs a strategy based on the advice of health professionals to overcome this increasing risk of unmet health need,” concluded Mr Powell.


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