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CCDHB under Govt watch since May

Tony Ryall MP
National Party Health Spokesman

9 December 2007

CCDHB under Govt watch since May

National Party Health spokesman Tony Ryall says Wellington’s troubled Capital and Coast District Health Board has been under Labour’s crisis watch since May.

“For six months, the Government has known about the crisis developing in Wellington. The Minister has had Capital Coast under the most intensive monitoring regime he has for half the year. Wellingtonians won't be convinced that the appointment of another Board monitor will make any difference.”

Mr Ryall says the detail is contained in briefing papers to the incoming Minister released on Friday.

The paper says: ‘The ministry has a Monitoring and Intervention Framework (MIF) whereby individual DHBs’ service and financial performance are closely analysed. Each DHB is designated a level of monitoring which is reflective of the DHBs’ overall performance. The Ministry placed Capital and Coast DHB on intensive monitoring on the Monitoring and Intervention Framework in May 2007 as a result of its deteriorating service and financial situation. The Ministry has instigated monthly monitoring meetings with the DHB’.

Mr Ryall says National understands that the crisis is so bad that a quarter of all Capital and Coast nurses resigned in the past year compared to a 14% turnover three years ago.

“Some wards have 20% nursing vacancies, on top of staff shortages in child oncology and midwifery. And there is also difficulty recruiting junior doctors.

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“When a quarter of the nurses flee from a hospital in one year, you'd think someone would realise the place is in trouble.

"Labour should adopt National’s plan to re-engage health professionals in the running of the health system. Bureaucrats should be supporting doctors and nurses, not standing over them.”

Mr Ryall says it is shameful that it has taken a blaze of negative publicity to get Labour to finally act on what were obviously serious concerns.

“None of this will be news to the Government. They’ve had watchdogs on the case for six months. It's clear they barked but the Government didn't want to listen.”

Ends

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