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Dangerous Precedent Threatens Hospital Workforce

ATTENTION: HEALTH REPORTER

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
FRIDAY 15 MARCH 2013

“Dangerous Precedent Threatens Vulnerable Hospital Specialist Workforce”

“The New Zealand Medical Association is right to criticise the decision of the High Court to overturn the Coroner and remove name suppression in a case where the Coroner found no fault with individual health professionals. It sets a dangerous precedent which threatens an already vulnerable public hospital specialist workforce,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“This was a tragic case where there were systems rather than individual clinical faults. But this important distinction can get lost in the public arena. Being named in this situation does no good and does not improve the quality of patient care. It just serves to intimidate innocent hospital specialists and nurses who are only guilty of doing their best for their patients.”

“New Zealand public hospitals function on the basis of entrenched specialist shortages being the norm. Throwing a precedent that has the unintended effect of intimidation is the last thing we need.”

“Tragedies are not a good basis for determining policies or setting precedents because they are more likely to create unintended consequences,” concluded Mr Powell.

ENDS


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