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Adverse events report makes grim reading

The latest ‘Learning from Adverse Events’ report supports ophthalmologists who have claimed that waiting lists for eye treatment are far too long, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson Annette King. 

“The report which has just been released by the Health Quality and Safety Commission says 44 adverse events related to eye treatment were reported involving everything from delayed diagnosis to lack of resources.

“This reinforces what New Zealand’s ophthalmologists have been saying. They claim that meeting waiting time targets means that there is not enough resources to do follow-up appointments. The Commission says this means that some New Zealanders are suffering a serious degradation of their sight. 

“Overall there has been an increase in adverse events for patients because of delayed diagnosis and treatment.  

“26 of the adverse events can be traced directly to lack of resources. In the previous year, that figure was just nine events. 

“The report also talks about mental health services and adverse events affecting patients are worryingly high.185 adverse events were recorded last year. 

“Once again the blame for this can be laid at the door of the Minister after allowing the health system to remain underfunded to the tune of $1.7 billion dollars, “ Annette King says.