Minister's hands off approach putting pateints at risk
A cancer patient with high blood pressure was forced to wait 11 hours to be seen at Royal North Shore Hospital due to staffing shortages – but O'Farrell Government Health Minister Jillian Skinner has once again refused to intervene in the crisis.
"The evidence is clear – the O'Farrell Government's 'hands off' approach to health is putting patient care at risk," said Opposition Leader John Robertson today.
"Workers at Royal North Shore Hospital are now so run off their feet that a cancer patient was left for 11 hours without being seen by a nurse or doctor.
"Patient care cannot be allowed to deteriorate further. The Minister must intervene now to fix the staffing shortages at Royal North Shore Hospital.
"The doctors and nurses at Royal North Shore are doing the best they can in difficult circumstances - but this case is a very loud warning bell for the Minister.
"It shouldn't take a tragedy at Royal North Shore Hospital to force the Government to act."
Shadow Minister for Health, Dr Andrew McDonald, a practicing paediatrician, said the guidelines are clear when it comes to patients with high blood pressure.
"Four hourly checks are the minimum standard – so for this patient to be left for 11 hours is completely unacceptable," said Dr McDonald.
"It is a miracle that this patient suffered no serious complications during the 11 hours that she was left alone and steps need to be taken now to ensure this can't happen again.
"Families deserve to know that if they take a loved one to Royal North Shore Hospital tonight – they will receive the best care available.
"Last week, nurses took the extraordinary step of appealing directly to the Minister for intervention because infectious patients are being left in hospital corridors for hours because there are no clean rooms available.
"Jillian Skinner has ministerial responsibility for the safe operation of NSW hospitals. There is no excuse for her refusal to sit down and intervene in the Royal North Shore staffing dispute today.
"I'm concerned the Health Minister is choosing to stay away from the serious problems at Royal North Shore Hospital so she doesn’t have to spend the money to fix it."
Tags: Andrew McDonald, health, hospitals, Jillian Skinner, John Robertson, O'Farrell, Royal North Shore