Christchurch hospital funding debacle

Nine to ten years after the Christchurch earthquakes things are looking dire for Christchurch and Canterbury health care.

Stuff: Staff shortage at $525 million dollar yet-to-open Christchurch hospital

A decision not to open parts of Christchurch Hospital’s new emergency department (ED) due to financial constraints has been labelled “beyond embarrassing”.

Stuff: New Christchurch Hospital car park expected to be 1000 short of what is needed

A new car park being planned for Christchurch Hospital is expected to provide a further 450 spaces – still almost 1000 short of what experts feel is needed.

Years of inadequate facilities around the central city hospital have seen staff threatened with fines for parking on nearby Hagley Park, medics camping out in their cars to secure spots and nursing staff attacked at night during lengthy walks back to where they have parked.

RNZ: Christchurch hospital staff upset by delays to opening of children’s units

Dr Clare Doocey is upset that hospital emergency care for children in Christchurch will not be moving into a brand new, purpose-built facility.

The new $500m Hagley hospital block has been built with dedicated units for children within the emergency department and intensive care.

But financial troubles at the DHB mean children will still in most cases have to be treated alongside adults, with three units at the block set to be mostly unstaffed.

RNZ: Warning Christchurch Hospital funding woes will put pressure on ICU and elective surgery

The head of intensive care at Christchurch Hospital is warning some surgery for children and adults will have to be put off because of funding woes.

The Canterbury District Health Board says it is not reducing any services.

However, it has run out of money to fully operate three units at its brand new Hagley block.

One of the three services being curtailed is Canterbury’s first-ever dedicated children’s intensive care unit (ICU) (in addition, a specialised children’s unit in the Emergency Department, and an Emergency Observation unit for all ages also face unexpected constraints).

ODT/RNZ: Management exodus: What’s going on at the Canterbury DHB?

There have been five shock resignations from the top levels at the Canterbury and West Coast DHB in just one month.

The Detail talks to former Press reporter Oliver Lewis about the reasons behind the executive management resignations and why the rest of New Zealand should care.

The first to go was the chief people officer Michael Frampton in July, but this month the exodus really started.

In three consecutive days from August 3, the DHB’s planning, funding and decision support executive director Carolyn Gullery, chief executive David Meates and the chief financial officer Justine White, all resigned.

Last Friday the chief medical officer Sue Nightingale – who’s the leader of the region’s Covid-19 response – quit.

“I don’t really know if you can look at that and say that is a coincidence,” says Lewis.

“As the senior doctor’s union has pointed out, it looks more like an implosion and there has been…serious concerns about the relationship between the board and the executive management team.”

ODT: Departing CDHB boss given guard of honour outside hospital

Outgoing Canterbury and West Coast district health board boss David Meates was given a guard of honour by Christchurch Hospital staff today.

Meates resigned as chief executive last month, triggering an outpouring of tributes. Staff applauded him again today as he walked out of the CDHB offices.

He has been chief executive of the CDHB since 2009, and led the region’s health response to both the earthquakes and the March 15 terrorist attack.

He has also clashed with Ministry of Health officials to advocate over funding and facilities. It is a tumultuous period for the CDHB, which is under pressure to address its mounting deficit that reached roughly $180 million in 2019-20.