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Health commissioner asked to investigate Ascot

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The Health and Disability Commissioner Robyn Stent has been asked to investigate the contract for orthopaedic surgery awarded to Auckland's Ascot Hospital.

Labour health spokesperson Annette King said the Commissioner should look at wider issues than those covered by the private hospital's internal inquiry into how a public patient had the wrong hip removed.

"I am seeking a full investigation into the Health Funding Authority's awarding of a contract for orthopaedic surgery to Ascot and how that contract is being fulfilled.

"The HFA is charged with ensuring that only competent providers perform surgery with public money. In the case of Ascot, a contract for 170 hip and knee replacement procedures was awarded before the facility had opened.

"This raises serious questions about the safety and quality criteria used by the HFA.

"I have asked the Commissioner to investigate whether appropriate steps were taken by the HFA before handing the contract to an unknown, unopened private provider.

Present and future patients need to be assured that sufficient steps are being taken to protect their safety. This type of event must not happen again," Annette King said.

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