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Wellington Hospital Horror Story Gets Worse

Wellington Hospital Horror Story Gets Worse

Tariana Turia, Health Spokesperson for the Maori Party

Wednesday 5 December 2007

Health spokesperson for the Maori Party, Tariana Turia, has today spoken of her horror at the latest revelations of hospital failures afflicting the Capital Health and Coast District Health Board.

“Twenty three reports of serious or fatal incidents in a space of two years has to be seen as extremely damaging for the reputation of this hospital, and indeed healthcare in this region” said Mrs Turia.

“Now that the heartbreaking roll-call of serious and fatal incidents is out there, we must all turn to solutions” said Mrs Turia.

“We support the call of Green MP Sue Kedgley for standardised, mandatory reporting and publication of all adverse events in New Zealand hospitals” said Mrs Turia. “Research indicates that Maori patients have a far higher risk of preventable adverse events in hospital” said Mrs Turia.

“Accountable public health care is urgently needed – we should not have to wait for the daily papers to expose the systemic and chronic failure of this hospital, leading, tragically, to some sixteen deaths”.

“While we recognise that CEO Margot Mains has taken the ultimate responsibility by putting forward her resignation, clearly the government needs to step up to the mark and take action - rather than offering yet more helpless hand-wringing and words of regret” said Mrs Turia.

“Calls to ‘sack the board’ are just plain silly” said Mrs Turia. “The new board, just elected in the recent local government elections, is poised to sit on Monday. They must be given immediate and intensive training, in order to ensure that all people accessing healthcare at the Wellington Hospital receive the highest quality of service”.

“While the Minister of Health admitted in the House (8 November) that the Ministry of Health had elevated the level of its supervision of the board to ‘intensive monitoring’, a far more effective and comprehensive strategy must be put in place if this Hospital can ever address its problems” said Mrs Turia.

“It is less than a month since the Telarc Audit report was released, reporting widespread systemic problems, a culture of distrust between clinicians and management, and an environment characterised by dysfunction, mistrust, disconnection and rock-bottom morale” said Mrs Turia.

“The relationship between clinicians, managers, district health boards and government will be the key to resolving the crisis” said Mrs Turia. “We can not afford any more mistakes, any more damaging headlines, any more preventable deaths”.


The world's leading independent general medical journal, The Lancet, published an article in June 2006, confirming that from a sample of 6579 patients admitted to thirteen hospitals, Maori were more likely to receive sub-optimal care than patients of non-Maori, non-Pacific origin.


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