There have been a growing number of reports around the country of hospitals struggling to keep pace with demand. According to Stuff more than 300 people had turned up to Waikato Hospital’s emergency department over a 24-hour period. And in another report other hospitals also feeling the pressure over winter have included Tauranga and Whakatane along with Palmerston North Hospital.
Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) says the reports are more evidence of a public health system under extreme pressure.
“Our public hospitals are really feeling the pressure of high levels of patient demand and the consequences of years of under-resourcing,” says Powell.
“Sustained underfunding of our public hospitals has contributed to their ability to cope with this high acute patient demand, which then generates extra financial costs that contribute to deficits which leads to the Minister of Health putting the blow torch on our hospitals.”