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Answers sought on emergency department debacle

Jo Goodhew MP National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman

8 July 2008

Answers sought on emergency department debacle

National Party Associate Health spokeswoman Jo Goodhew says Health Minister David Cunliffe should order immediate answers into the botched handling of a patient treated at Christchurch Hospital emergency department.

"In March this year, this car crash victim was diagnosed with a broken collar bone following scans and x-rays. She was sent home with her arm in a sling, and a pamphlet about fractures.

"Having spent the weekend suffering from memory loss and confusion, this young woman was ordered back to the emergency department by her doctor on the Monday. At that point she was diagnosed with a fractured pelvis, broken ribs and a significant fracture at the base of the skull.

"But that's not where this ends.

"Concerns about her treatment appear initially fell on deaf ears and it took ten weeks for the family to receive a response to a formal complaint.

"The family involved has laid another complaint with the Health and Disability Commissioner.

"Surely, the public deserve to know how this could happen. Furthermore, we deserve to know why the hospital has stonewalled for months on any explanation."

Mrs Goodhew says emergency departments are barometers of how well a hospital is doing, and the public must be able to have confidence in the treatment they receive there.

"In this case, serious injuries appear to have been missed.

"Health Minister David Cunliffe should demand some answers on behalf of the New Zealand public."

  • Goodhew letter
  • ENDS

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