Assurances on IT update

An urgent update to computer systems was not deferred last year by the Southern District Health Board, chief executive Carole Heatly assured board members at their meeting in Invercargill yesterday.

Last week, Dunedin North MP David Clark said he understood the board postponed a decision last year on an urgent update to IT systems until April this year because of lack of funding.

The southern board has been a focus for Labour recently as a public meeting was held in Dunedin about health services last Friday, in addition to press releases about last week's IT outage in southern hospitals.

Yesterday, Ms Heatly told board members she wanted to be ''absolutely clear'' Dr Clark's statement was wrong. Spending on IT was likely to be about the same this year, as last year.

The system went down about 1am on Monday last week, and was not fully operational until 2.30pm the next day. During that time, staff could not access electronic patient records and emails.

The board has declined to disclose preliminary findings into what caused the outage until after a review.


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