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Urgent efforts needed to restore confidence

The head of the senior doctors’ union has commended hospital specialists at Canterbury District Health Board for drawing attention to significant problems with Christchurch Hospital’s planning process.

“It’s another example of hospital specialists speaking out about their serious concerns regarding the impact on hospital facilities of the effects of sustained and continued periods of under-funding,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

He was commenting on reports that heads of department and other hospital specialists at Canterbury District Health Board had expressed no confidence in hospital planning in a letter to the DHB’s Board, and that the process had failed the people of Canterbury (

“The design and planning of public hospital facilities should always be based on the advice of those with the relevant clinical expertise,” says Mr Powell.

“That includes front line health professionals such as hospital specialists, who are treating and operating on patients every day and therefore know what is required to provide the best possible clinical care.”

He says the Ministry of Health needs to restore confidence in the hospital’s master-planning process.

“We’ll also be looking to Health Minister David Clark to provide some leadership on this issue, as it should not be taken lightly when some of the most senior and experienced people in the hospital raise concerns of this nature.”

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