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Kaitaia Hospital Safety Concerns

27 June 2002

Health Ministry To Meet With Northland District Health Board Over Kaitaia Hospital Safety Concerns

Health Minister Annette King says she has asked the Ministry of Health’s Deputy-Director General of Clinical Services Colin Feek to convene a meeting with Kaitaia and Whangarei clinicians next weeks, to discuss clinical credentialing issues affecting the Far North.

Ms King said today that Dr Feek would also ask Northland District Health Board members and management to attend the meeting next Monday afternoon.

“The Government is absolutely committed to restoring a seven-day a week, 24-hour a day service in Kaitaia as soon as possible.

“We simply cannot ask people in the Far North to travel two or more hours to Whangarei for hospital services.

“It is, however, also essential that these services are provided safely, and credentialing is an important part of that,” Ms King said. “I want Dr Feek to discuss these credentialing issues.

“The National Party showed little or no interest in maintaining rural hospital services in the 1990s, and now claim that Kaitaia is a money issue.

“That is absolute nonsense. The DHB has confirmed this. A salary of up to $200,000 a year is available for an anaesthetist, for example.

“The only issues are safety and the recruitment and retention of suitable clinical staff. They are not political issues as far as I’m aware.

“We need a safe hospital. That’s what I want Northland District Health Board to ensure happens again as soon as possible.”


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