24 Mar 2011

Waitakere emergency service now delayed till June

8:52 pm on 24 March 2011

The Waitemata District Health Board says it has delayed the opening of a 24-hour adult emergency service at Waitakere Hospital in order not to compromise patient safety.

The DHB has been forced to stall the start date after delays in hiring extra doctors.

It had hoped to have emergency service running by the end of last year, but that target was moved to 28 March and now mid-June.

DHB chairman Lester Levy says problems with one doctor obtaining an immigration visa and another suffering an unexpected injury led to the decision.

Dr Levy says the June opening date is achievable, with seven new doctors due to join the DHB's emergency departments over the next two months.