Health Care in Hamilton worrying

Venkat Raman – 

Hamilton may be the fourth largest New Zealand City with flourishing businesses and wealthy people but the public health care delivery leaves much to be desired, as Indian Newslink found following discussions with a number of people.

Inadequate staffing, inept midwives who allegedly ‘Google search’ remedial measures instead of referring patients in pain to qualified doctors, a lack of proper care to women in labour and newborn babies sent home without a ‘first look’ by a pediatrician are among the complaints that we heard during our survey.

Heart-rending tales

A young mother told this reporter of her ordeal, which we narrate in detail in our exclusive report under Homelink.

Her description of the poor care that she suffered was heart-rending.

“The labour ward is thoroughly understaffed. There are only two midwives to look after at least 16 women in labour. They try to do their best but I think pregnant women could be at risk if they are not monitored continuously,” she said.

Another woman wrote on her Facebook page last month (March) saying that her six-month old son was ceaselessly coughing and yet someone at Accident & Emergency advised to take her son back home and that the cough will go away on its own.

But it did not. She could not see her child suffering and hence went back to the hospital repeatedly.

“I finally had a doctor listen to me and referred us up to the hospital. It probably helped our situation that my son had lost 500 grams in two weeks and did not smile all day. After nine hours at the hospital, we found out that he has tonsillitis and strep throat. Fingers crossed these antibiotics sort him and it is his last bug for some time!” she wrote on her Facebook page.

Labour MP confirms

Hamilton Labour MP Sue Moroney said that she regularly hears such ‘horrible stories’ and that people constantly complain of the poor services.

“Health services have suffered in Hamilton over recent years, due to under-funding from the Government. I get regular complaints from people who are in terrible pain, but have been told they are not bad enough to have the surgery they desperately need.

Labour MP and Health Spokesman David Clark said that New Zealand’s District Health Boards are in a financial hole with deficits deteriorating rapidly.

Back in October they were forecasting that nationally DHBs deficits would hit $55.4 million for the year, now the deficit is up to $70.2 million. Last year’s deficit was $54 million. It is obvious that the $1.7 billion funding gap in the Health budget is having a massive impact,” he said.

Official refutes

But Waikato Hospital Services Executive Director Brett Paradine refuted the allegations of inadequate care and staffing at Waikato Hospital.

“Waikato Hospital is a busy tertiary hospital which provides quality safe care for thousands of patients every year. We have a strong focus on maintaining and improving the quality of the services that we provide. We also have an ongoing cycle of Maternity Quality and Safety Plans, to ensure ongoing improvement of our maternity services,” he said and referred us to the website of the Waikato District Health Board.

Additional Reading: ‘Despite denials, shortages plague our health system’ under Homelink Our Leader ‘Trust must return to Public Health System’ under Viewlink.

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Photo Caption:

The Waikato Hospital: Great facility under-resourced

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