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Inquiries Into Canterbury Health

Inquiries Into Canterbury Health Cleaning Malfunction

MEDIA RELEASE

Hon Wyatt Creech

Minister of Health

13 July 1999

The Minister of Health today announced the Director General of Health was to investigate aspects of Canterbury Health's use of medical equipment following a malfunction with its endoscopy cleaning machine.

"The Director General of Health will inquire into compliance with Regulation 19 of the Hospital Regulations.

"This regulation states that hospitals will not permit any equipment that may have become infected during the treatment of any patient to be used in the treatment of any other patient until it has been disinfected," Mr Creech said.

"The Health and Disability Commissioner is also to investigate compliance with the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights.

"As Minister of Health my first responsibility is to ensure people have confidence in their health services. I expect those responsible for running our hospitals to ensure patients receive clinically safe treatment.

"The two inquiries involving the cleaning malfunction at Canterbury Health will complement each other and ensure all questions and concerns are answered.

"I want all efforts to be made to find out what has happened, how well the problem was addressed and what lessons we might learn for the future.

"The Ministry of Health's Safety and Regulation Chief Advisor Doctor Bob Boyd will carry out the investigation on behalf of the Director General and will look at whether the appropriate safeguards were in place in the use of the equipment to prevent the transfer of infection between patients.

"This initial work from the Ministry of Health is expected to be completed in about a week."

ENDS

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