26 Jul 2017

Southern DHB medical officer to meet with dead man's family

From Checkpoint, 5:08 pm on 26 July 2017

The Dunedin District Health Board will meet with a family who say their father died after a shortage of beds delayed his surgery.  

Donna Ballantyne says her 68-year-old father Owen Glover died at his Mosgiel home alone waiting for surgery after his appointment was postponed four times.

The DHB's Chief medical officer Nigel Millar said he wouldn't speculate on whether the bed shortage in the hospital's intensive care unit was connected to Mr Glover's death, but the DHB will meet the family next week to determine the facts.

Dr Millar said New Zealand's size meant there was a greater variance on the demands of the ICU, and physicians had to decide who needed the services most.

He confirmed another two heart surgery patients were turned away today, due to the lack of beds.