New Zealand Labour Party

Medical mistakes surge as system under-funding continues

A big surge in ACC claims for health botch-ups shows a health system under pressure, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson, Sue Moroney.

The number of claims has almost doubled in the last four years.

“This follows the Government’s underfunding of the health system by $1.7 billion over six years.

“Short-staffing and under-funding can only lead to more frequent mistakes being made, putting people’s lives at risk.

“The most worrying rate of increases are occurring in regional health with Taranaki, Nelson, Northland and Waikato suffering the highest increases in medical botch-ups.

“This frightening trend has been obvious since 2011 and yet the Minister has done nothing to address it.

“He claims ignorance when it is obvious that his funding cuts and a narrow focus on targets have put the health system under pressure that is doubling the mistakes being made.

“It is misleading for the Minister to claim the surge is due to more people trying their luck with complaints, as the increase is in treatment injury claims that have been accepted by ACC.

“These mistakes are genuine and represent a doubling in the misery being suffered by people because of decisions made by his Government,” Sue Moroney.