New Zealand Labour Party

Health chickens coming home to roost as Dunedin loses right to train doctors

News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on effect. The hospital can no longer train students in this specialty and will struggle to attract the kind of experienced and talented surgeons to the hospital that it has in the past.

“This is a huge setback for the South and for New Zealand. It follows the loss of ICU training accreditation at the hospital.

“Dunedin hospital serves a huge geographic area and trains a good proportion of New Zealand’s health workforce.

“Students studying medicine or nursing should be concerned. Their quality of their education is at risk. Students should be preparing themselves in first-world facilities, not training for a shift to the third.

“Because of substandard buildings, Dunedin Hospital lost its status as an Australasian intensive-care training hospital in November last year. The Government has been sitting on its hands, and all the while the dominoes have been falling.

“ICU accreditation loss will affect registrar training programmes that include an ICU component such as ED and Anaesthetics.  Removal of orthopaedic accreditation will flow through to impact basic surgical training runs.

“Dunedin hospital’s woes are well canvassed. Operating theatres leak. Surgery gets postponed after major downpours. The main clinical services building contains asbestos.

“Just maintaining existing buildings already past their use-by date is expected to cost tens of millions in the next few years.

“Dunedin is the last major metropolitan centre in New Zealand not to have a hospital upgrade. If that doesn’t happen soon, further loss of accreditation will result,” Annette King says.