DHB's turnaround celebrated
Gone are the days when Waitemata District Health Board was considered the "sewer pit of New Zealand medicine", says chairman Lester Levy.
Waitemata DHB is now considered a model for others around the country and is a good example of taxpayer money well spent, he says.
North Shore MP Maggie Barry led a special presentation on behalf of Health Minister Tony Ryall on September 21 to congratulate Waitemata DHB on its outstanding performance in meeting the national health targets.
"Waitemata DHB used to be in the news for all the wrong reasons, it just did not deliver.
"As an MP I am not getting complaints any more and that's an indication of how dramatically things have improved."
Waiting times in the emergency department and for those awaiting surgery at North Shore Hospital have reduced significantly.
World-class facilities and a passionate and dedicated team have restored the "mana" of North Shore Hospital, Dr Levy says.
"Three years ago when I arrived there were the same dedicated people working here, but somehow the environment had failed them.
"We have gone from being ridiculed to being at the top.
"But we must not declare victory too soon, there are still many more stones unturned."
Last year 592 patients waited longer than six months for a specialist appointment or operation.
This year not a single patient has waited longer than six months.
A new elective surgery unit due to open in July next year is set to improve waiting times even further, Dr Levy says.
"I remember speaking to a woman a few years ago who had moved from here to Whangarei because of the appalling hospital services.
"But the same woman has now moved back, having recognised the work that has gone in to improving things.
"That's when we know we're on the right track," Dr Levy says.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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