Not enough in the Budget to fix Middlemore - Auckland Councillor

  • 27/05/2018

An Auckland Councillor says more has to be done for cancer patients being turned away from Middlemore Hospital.

Staff at the hospital have penned a letter to Health Minister David Clark revealing their concerns about the lack of resources.

The letter said cancer patients are facing delays because of staffing shortages, and the hospital was exceeding bed capacity on a daily basis.

Manukau ward representative Efeso Collins says it's not good enough.

"The fact that people are being left out and unable to get chemotherapy treatment at a time when people are struggling and families are really feeling the tension of having to go through chemotherapy in the first place, is just not acceptable."

Mr Collins blames the previous National-led Government for the shortages, and says Dr Clark needs to act immediately.

"The minister needs to act with a real sense of courage and bravery here, because I'm not so sure the Budget that was released is really going to allay a lot of these fears."

The authors of the letter - 13 heads of department at Middlemore - also blame National.

"The Minister of Health is not responsible for the situation," Association of Salaried Medical Specialists executive director Ian Powell told Newshub. "It is a situation that is inherited. But he has to take responsibility for it about resolving it."

The letter comes after revelations earlier this year several buildings at Middlemore Hospital have serious rot and mould problems, posing health risks to staff and patients. National leader Simon Bridges blamed the district health board, saying his party had no idea.

Mr Collins says with winter coming, it's only going to get worse.

"I think we've got to stand by not just the clinicians, but the people of south Auckland here because Middlemore Hospital has essentially been left to rot, and it's operating at capacity now - and we've just got into winter."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Government is waiting on recommendations from the DHB on how to spend money allocated towards health in this year's Budget.