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Safeguards In Place At Christchurch Hospital

MEDIA RELEASE

Hon Wyatt Creech
Minister of Health
23 July 1999

SAFEGUARDS IN PLACE AT CHRISTCHURCH HOSPITAL

"I am reassured by the findings in the Ministry of Health report. Clearly endoscopy patients were protected by numerous safeguards in the cleaning of equipment at Christchurch Hospital," Minister of Health Wyatt Creech said today.

The Ministry of Health's investigation into compliance with Regulation 19 of the Hospital Regulations has been released today.

"As Minister of Health, I expect our hospitals and health services to take every step possible to ensure they are providing clinically safe services.

"I am pleased that the head of Christchurch Hospital has accepted the recommendations and undertaken to implement them. I urge the hospital management, staff and clinicians to work together to put the recommendations in place.

"The public wants and needs confidence about the services they receive. Hospitals have to deliver and need to have the systems in place to ensure patient safety.

"They only way to get improvements and to raise standards is to do work on the ground to make the practical improvements. I am concerned that there seems to be a tendency to play these issues out in the media instead of getting constructive solutions in place.

"There are lessons to be learned from this case. The Ministry's review highlights those relating to ensuring equipment is safe. It will be fed into the work the Health and Disability Commissioner is doing on the endoscopy cleaning malfunction.

"In the health sector we need to be vigilant about ensuring patient and clinical safety. This is another reminder to us, and I am writing to all hospitals reminding them of their responsibilities and obligations to ensure safe and clinically sound practices," Mr Creech said.

ENDS


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