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Too little change in four years

Media Release :29 November 2007

Too little change in four years

Too little has changed since stroke treatment best practice guidelines were adopted four years ago by the Ministry of Health, according to out going Stroke Foundation President, Dr Jonathan Baskett.

Speaking at this week’s national AGM in Wellington, Dr Baskett said there was no good reason for the slow adoption of the guidelines and many hundreds of lives were needlessly put at risk, and taxpayer funds could be used much more fruitfully.

“Radical improvements in stroke care have been within our reach nationally thanks to our recommendations accepted by the Ministry of Health in 2003. So why is it that only one DHB of the 21 nationwide has internationally acceptable stroke services four years later?

“I believe hundreds of New Zealanders have needlessly died and thousands have a life after stroke unacceptably compromised by inadequate stroke services nationally.”

This tragic situation will continue, he said, unless stroke gets the priority and investment it needs: “Canterbury has shown that when a DHB makes the effort to effect the Stroke Guidelines it works for everyone: stroke patients have better outcomes, hospitals achieve greater efficiencies and taxes are used more fruitfully. So why are we waiting?”./.


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