Public health services in crisis require urgent Govt fix

Press Release – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists

Public health services in crisis require urgent fix from Government

28 MAY 2018 • MEDIA RELEASE – ASMS

“The Government must fix the crisis with patient care at Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital urgently to ensure the struggling services there do not break down further as we head into what could be a disastrous winter,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

He was commenting on reports that Middlemore Hospital is so stretched cancers are being discovered too late, poorer patients are being overlooked and there are fears it won’t cope with an expected spike in winter flu cases. The hospital’s heads of departments drew these matters to the Health Minister’s attention in a letter in March (https://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=12058630&ref=twitter).

“It’s utterly unacceptable that a number of health services at Middlemore are in such a parlous state, and it must be causing a great deal of worry and additional stress for senior doctors and others working at the hospital, and of course the patients they’re treating,” says Mr Powell.

“What’s worse is that we know Middlemore is not the only hospital stretched beyond its ability to cope. All of our public hospitals are dealing with the consequences of years of neglect and under-resourcing, and the clamour for action is deafening as they prepare for the winter influx of illnesses.

“While the Health Minister is not responsible for the mess his government has inherited, he is responsible now for repairing this suffering health system. He needs to act swiftly to provide an assurance that people can get the health care they need before the situation deteriorates further.”

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