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Health Minister must address A & E crisis

Health Minister must address A & E crisis

The National Party says the standard of the country's accident and emergency departments needs investigating after reports of several deaths following wrongly diagnosed cases or prolonged waits.

National's Health spokesperson, Dr Lynda Scott, says the Health Minister must assure the public that hospitals will be properly resourced with staff and able to respond within maximum response times.

This follows reports of several people, some with meningococcal disease, waiting at A and E departments for several hours.

"It is not a matter of blame, it is a matter of finding the problems and fixing them. That is the Health Minister's job," says Dr Scott.

"The Ministry of Health is responsible for ensuring that we have safe accident and emergency services in place. With two deaths at Tauranga Hospital, one plus a misdiagnosis at Southland Hospital, and the recent case at Wellington Hospital, it's obvious our A and E's are struggling under the pressure.

"For all the deaths, there are many more people waiting hours and hours for assessment, worsening their illness and recovery chances. What is needed is more triage services to refer people for further attention rather than leaving them waiting for hours.

"Labour has prescribed a run-down health service that can't cope and this is the result. The Government has to resource hospitals properly," says Dr Scott.

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