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Minister Welcomes Gisborne Report

Health Minister Annette King welcomed the release of the Health and Disability Commissioner's report on services at Gisborne Hospital today.

"There were clearly a number of safety and quality concerns at Gisborne. I had asked for the Minisitry of Health to investigate, but I was pleased the Commissioner decided to do so instead," said Annette King. "I am thankful that through this report we have got to the bottom of those safety issues."

Mrs King said she had had to deal with a number of concerns at Gisborne Hospital last year, culminating in her decision to sack the board and appoint Wayne Brown as chair to help prepare the way for a new board. Since then a new chief executive has been appointed and a new deputy chair. Further appointments to the board will be made in due course.

"In response to the specific recommendation to me as Minister, I have called for a meeting with Commerce Minister Paul Swain to give immediate consideration to review the current regulatory framework concerning particularly the provision of laboratory services, to ensure people are adequately protected.

"I am pleased to see the Commissioner expresses confidence in the future of Gisborne Hospital under the new district health board model. I agree entirely that it is time for clinical staff and management to make a fresh start in the cooperative endeavour that should be at the heart of any hospital – safe and effective care for patients. That goes for all hospitals around the country.

"I am pleased also to hear that Tairawhiti District Health Board has either already implemented, or is in the process of implementing, many of the Commissioner's recommendations.

"The Ministry of Health will be monitoring Gisborne services closely to ensure the recommendations continue to be followed through, and I shall be seeking regular updates from the Ministry," said Annette King.


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