Labour claims “dangerous” IT glitch overshadowed PM’s visit

New revelations about an IT systems meltdown at Dunedin Hospital support claims patient care has been compromised.

That’s according to Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson and Dunedin North MP David Clark, who says the failure, affecting hundreds of patients, overshadowed John Key’s rare good news visit to Otago’s leading hospital last week.

“This system is critical to patient care yet it was still not up and running even as the Prime Minister touched down in Dunedin – 30 hours after it crashed,” Clark says.

“That must be hugely embarrassing for him.

“Sources close to the hospital tell me that while email was unavailable, x-rays were also not accessible at point of care.

“Health Board claims that it was continuing to operate best practice are simply absurd. Patients went without radiation treatment yesterday. There are few things more serious than that.”

Clark believes that Dr Richard Bunton’s attempted reassurance that departments were reverting to paper-based systems beggars belief given a number of departments no longer keep paper-based files.

“Electronic monitoring of medication has been introduced to reduce medication errors,” he adds.

“How can its absence and the concurrent lack of access to patient files, clinical notes, contact details, and lab results constitute acceptable patient care?

“When departments rely entirely on electronic systems and record keeping, the DHB’s misleading claims point to political interference in hospital communications.

“This Government has under-invested in health-care and Otago and Southland residents are carrying the cost of Mr Ryall’s failure. Patients and their families deserve better.”

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