New Zealand Labour Party

Overloaded hospitals reach crisis point


The country’s hospitals have reached breaking point with some hospitals discharging patients to free up bed space and patients with serious injuries having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.


“All the Government could say today after they saw a photograph of a 79 year old man who had to wait nearly six hours to have a serious gash to his face just cleaned and dressed at Middlemore Hospital, was that they had been assured that he had been ‘looked after well’.


“This man who is also a cancer patient had to wait another four more hours just to have an x-ray.


“This is simply not good enough. After nine years the Government should admit that the hole in Health funding is hurting our front line medical care.


“This week Waikato Hospital admitted that it had a crisis when 40 patients in its emergency department needed to be admitted and there were no free beds.


In Auckland the Counties Manukau DHB says the number of days when Middlemore Hospital has a ‘full day’ has risen from 7 to 17 in the past four years. At Auckland Hospital the number of days when beds are at 100 per cent occupancy has risen from four in 2013/14 to 16 already this year.


“The Minister knows that in the Budget he has to stump up with an additional $1 billion for the district health boards to fund the Aged Care settlement and maintain existing services. That is without repaying a single cent of the $1.7 billion stripped from the health system over the last six years.


“Waiting times and full beds across our hospitals are symptomatic of a growing crisis. After nine years, it’s time for a fresh approach on health,” says David Clark.