Our DHBs need emergency treatment – Editorial One

Issue 419, July 15, 2019

Health Minister David Clark has done well to announce an immediate injection of $14.6 million to upgrade facilities and services at the South Auckland based Middlemore Hospital.

The additional investment, which will be self-funded by the Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB) will provide for new Acute Dialysis and Cardiac Service equipment and staff to cater to the growing demand at the Hospital.

When completed, the Project will cater up to 100 patients a week, twenty more than the current facilities provide.

Surging demand

The increase may soon be outstripped by increasing number of patients needing dialysis and cardiac services but it would at least improve the current lacuna.

The fact that all is not well with the CMDHB and indeed many other District Health Boards (DHBs) became evident early last year when complaints of neglect and disregard were raised against their management and worse, on the condition of the properties.

A Report published in our Web Edition on March 22, 2018 said that four big Middlemore Hospital buildings that serve thousands of South Auckland people were full of rot and dangerous mould that could make staff and patients sick.

Problems elsewhere

The rotten buildings include the children’s hospital and the Manukau Super Clinic and new documents showed that the decay was so bad it was in danger of breaching the walls and contaminating the air.

Management issues have also bogged other DHBs.

Last month, the government appointed a Crown monitor to support the deficit-plagued Canterbury District Health Board.

The DHB has forecast a year-end deficit of $103.4 million. Dr Clark said that the DHB could face continuous deficit in the coming years.

It is time to revisit all the DHBs in the country and examine their state of affairs.

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