Wednesday, December 05, 2007

About Bloody Time

Finally the state of Wellington Hospital and in particular Capital and Coast District Health Board is being acknowledged as in an extremely concerning state, with new Health Minister David Cunliffe poised to intervene.

To list a few issues that have occurred:

1) A patient died after doctors realised halfway through surgery that equipment was not available in the right size, forcing staff to contact a company representative for advice.

2) A patient whose preventable death came on the day of surgery - after it had been postponed three times.

3) A seriously ill patient who died from an allergic reaction after a "Swiss cheese" series of system failures

4) A baby who died the following day after the baby and mother had been discharged from hospital 5 hours after the birth.

Whilst I can not fault the care that departments such as ICU(Intensive Care Unit) and HDU(High Dependency Unit) give, once you are no longer required to have that 24 hour monitoring you very rarely seem to see any medical staff. Furthermore the constantly full yet seriously understaffed emergency department also means patients are left waiting for hours and hours, my mother once commented that she noticed that once old couple have been in the waiting all night.

Whilst I am not a fan of minister's meddling in areas they do not really know about, I think that it is appropriate for Cunliffe to be looking into the number of serious issues involving patient mishaps, and staff shortages at the hospital. Hospitals have a duty of care towards their patients and as Minister of Health he has a responsiblity to all New Zealanders that we are provided with the health care we require, and ensure that hospitals around the country are offering the required duty of care.

No comments: