4 Sep 2020

New Christchurch ED observation ward cannot open due to cuts

From Nine To Noon, 9:10 am on 4 September 2020
Fit outs at the Christchurch Hospital

Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

Christchurch hospital's newly built emergency department observation ward will not be able to open because the DHB cannot staff it, according to senior ED clinicians, who say this could result in more hospital admission and ultimately cuts in planned care.

The Canterbury DHB is facing a crisis as $56 million is trimmed from its budget in order to reduce its deficit. The issue has prompted the resignation of seven of 11 in the senior leadership group - including Chief Executive David Meates, whose last day in the role is today.

The board chair, Sir John Hansen,  and Crown Monitor Dr Lester Levy, both promised last month there would be no cuts to services.

Kathryn speaks with Dr Scott Pearson, Senior Emergency Physician at Canterbury DHB, and Christchurch GP and Otago University Professor of General Practice, Dr Les Toop who fears the cuts will affect the care of patients in the community.