Loss of accreditation highlights years of under-funding
28 October 2015
Loss of accreditation highlights years of under-funding for hospitals
The loss and threatened loss of training accreditation at some of New Zealand’s biggest hospitals is a consequence of years of under-investment in our public health service, says Angela Belich, Deputy Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).
“The reality is that public hospitals have been running on the smell of an oily rag for years now and we’re seeing some of the results. If you don’t give hospitals the money and other resources they need, then there comes a point when they can no longer make do.”
She was responding to comments by Deborah Powell of the Resident Doctors Association that an unprecedented number of hospital departments had either lost or were facing the loss of their accreditation to train doctors over the past year, a sign that clinical standards were being eroded (http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201776354/loss-of-training-accreditation-at-hospital-departments). Ms Powell highlighted problems with accreditation at Auckland, Southern and Waikato DHBs.
Angela Belich says this highlights long-standing shortages of senior doctors, due to a lack of proper investment in the medical workforce as well as the under-funding of public hospitals.
“Hospitals have to have enough experienced, trained senior doctors to supervise and mentor the new doctors coming up through the ranks,” she says.
“It’s about providing the proper foundations for the next generation of hospital specialists, the people who will provide the care for us and our families in the years ahead. This cannot be done by sacrificing clinical excellence, so the loss of training accreditation in some services should be a real wake-up call for the Government that there is a problem of funding and resourcing here that needs to be fixed.”