Extra urologist for Dunedin Hospital

Chris Fleming
Chris Fleming
A new urologist will be hired at Dunedin Hospital to help deal with the crisis in the service.

Chief executive Chris Fleming confirmed the decision yesterday as new figures showed 102 surgical urology patients were overdue for a procedure. A further 467 urology patients were overdue for an appointment or diagnostic procedure.

"So that means a total of 569 patients are currently outside expected wait times," he said.

The hospital’s three urologists have tried to persuade hospital management for a long time that a fourth urologist was needed.

Extra specialist staffing was one of the recommendations of the external review released in August.

"It’s pleasing because it’s taking another step forward in the implementation of the [recommended] actions," Mr Fleming said.

The 0.5 full-time equivalent role would take total full-time equivalent urologist staffing at Dunedin Hospital to 2.6.

Recruitment could take some time, but the board would deal with the waiting list more quickly, he said.

An announcement would be made soon on short-term intensive clinics to eliminate waiting lists by the end of the year.

"It’s very positive progress. The numbers are reducing and we have some pretty robust plans now which we are just in the process of finalising.

"I know there’s huge concern about the length of time it took to get to that urology review but I’m pretty impressed by both the way the review’s been done and the way the teams are coming together."

Last month, the Otago Daily Times revealed a June 2016 urology review was not acted on and the problem not tackled until more than a year later, after publicity about life-threatening delays.

eileen.goodwin@odt.co.nz

Comments

Not too hard to see why employing someone could take a while. After all, what self respecting Urologist isn't just sitting around hoping for a part time job. Perhaps they hoping to sign up a near qualified student looking for part time work instead of working at macca's.