Private surgical hospitals should be used to alleviate the growing pressures on DHBs whose emergency departments have just had their busiest month ever.
Media reported recently that emergency departments are very busy and hospitals may not be able to cope with the lethal strain of flu set to hit New Zealand this winter.
Hospital staff are said to be stressed, exhausted and overworked by the constant pressures in the public system.
Counties Manukau District Health Board chief executive Dr Gloria Johnson has said that “we're not only going to have an exceptionally busy winter - we're going to have very, very sick people in our hospitals. That's going to put pressure on our entire system."
The NZ Private Surgical Hospitals Association (NZPSHA) says it has spare capacity that will take the load off struggling DHBs.
“The private sector is well placed to manage elective capacity challenges to help public sector hospitals manage increasing acute demand,” said the vice president of the Association, Dr Lloyd McCann.
“We’d like to work with the government and other stakeholders to ensure New Zealanders have access to the care they need, when they need it.”
Dr McCann argues that utilising the spare capacity in the private sector will not only help DHBs meet their targets and reduce financial pressures, but, very importantly, it also means thousands and thousands of patients get the treatment they need faster. This improves their quality of life which has both financial and personal outcomes.
“Private sector hospitals provide a cost-effective solution that can be quickly and efficiently mobilised to provide the support that both DHBs and patients need.