Doctors’ patience wearing thin
10 October 2019
The patience of senior doctors at Midcentral District Health Board is wearing thin as they sound serious warnings around inadequate and failing hospital infrastructure, says Angela Belich, Acting Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).
A letter sent on behalf of 80 senior doctors at Palmerston North Hospital says there is a crisis arising from delays in building new facilities which is affecting their ability to meet the surgical and health needs of the people in Manawatu. RNZ’s Morning Report reported this story today: https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018717052/replacement-hospital-block-a-decade-away-says-midcentral-dhb
It cites insufficient and poor quality operating theatre space, an outdated ICU, and an emergency department designed for 17,000 presentations per year. However over the past year it has had 48,000 presentations.
“Senior doctors have been juggling growing need with outdated and cramped facilities, and frustrations are now clearly boiling over,” Ms Belich says.
“On top of that, they’re trying to do their best in the face of ongoing staff shortages which add to the pressures in providing proper patient care.”
ASMS is about to conduct a specialist staffing survey at MidCentral District Health Board, but its last survey there, in 2016, revealed an estimated specialist shortfall of 27%.
Ms Belich says hospitals are on the edge across New Zealand.
“The doctors in Palmerston North say the DHB has now agreed to a plan and a timetable for action – let’s hope it delivers”.