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Other Public Hospitals May Have To Follow Rotorua

ATTENTION: HEALTH REPORTER NO. OF PAGES: 1

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
TUESDAY 11 DECEMBER 2001

“Other Public Hospitals May Have To Follow Rotorua Example"

“Serious staff shortages may mean that other public hospitals may have to follow the example of Rotorua Hospital and not admit patients with acute medical conditions requiring hospital admission,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was commenting on the decision by the Lakes District Health Board, which is responsible for Rotorua and Taupo public hospitals.

“Our experience is that Rotorua is the tip of the iceberg. We receive constant reports of senior doctors struggling to maintain safe standards of care that are compromised because of serious staffing shortages of both junior and senior doctors. Senior doctors are currently facing enormous workload pressures and stress. Many are working in conditions that are currently or potentially unsafe for their patients and themselves.”

“This is a direct result of sustained under-funding of public hospitals over several years and the failure to adequately plan for workforce needs over the past decade because it did not fit in with the flawed ‘free market’ ideology of the 1990s. These serious errors meant that public hospitals were poorly equipped to cope with the widespread international shortages of doctors that now prevail.”

“The action taken by Rotorua Hospital is harsh but necessary because it is simply unsafe to admit these patients,” concluded Mr Powell.


Ian Powell
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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