13 Sep 2010

Starship staffing 'critically low'

12:31 pm on 13 September 2010

A union representing junior doctors says staffing levels at Auckland's Starship children's hospital are critically low.

The Resident Doctors' Association, which is in the middle of pay negotiations with district health boards, says the shortage is creating unsafe conditions.

It says that Starship is supposed to have two consultants, three registrars and three house officers on duty but that on Friday there was just one of each caring for patients.

Association spokesperson Abbey Jebb says sickness and the fact that one role has been left permanently vacant contributed to the shortage.

The Auckland DHB says that junior doctor vacancies have not changed substantially this year and that it has no reports of risk to patient safety.