INDEPENDENT NEWS

Hospital Filling Back Up At Alert Level 2

Published: Tue 26 May 2020 10:47 AM
Gisborne Hospital is chugging back to life under Alert Level 2.
“All departments are back on deck and scheduling surgery, consultations and treatment,” Hauora Tairawhiti district health board chief executive Jim Green said.
The Herald reported last week that 101 planned surgeries at Gisborne Hospital were postponed during Alert Level 4 while the DHB was on standby to treat a potential flurry of Covid-19 patients, and non-urgent treatment was sidelined.
The DHB’s surgical waiting lists also grew by more than 90 patients between March 25, the day Level 4 came into force, and May 15.
Under Alert Level 2, the DHB was building towards a return to normal service levels, Mr Green said.
Last month, it provided 228 first specialist assessments and 64 operations, less than half of what it delivered in April 2019.
It had 300 first specialist assessments and 121 operations set down for this month.
But the DHB could not provide data on scheduled appointments and surgeries for June, with a spokesperson saying few bookings had yet been made.
Mr Green previously told The Herald it was not possible to estimate how long it would take to clear the backlog of patients brought about by the Covid-19 lockdown, as it depended on the revisions made at each alert level.
When asked if any Tairawhiti patients whose surgeries were postponed during Alert Level 4 would receive treatment at other DHBs or private hospitals, Mr Green said where it was “clinically required”, the DHB would arrange for patients to receive care outside the district.
By May 15, one patient whose surgery was postponed had undergone treatment elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 testing centre at Gisborne’s War Memorial Theatre remained opened.
A DHB spokesperson said people could turn up at the centre for an assessment without a GP referral from 9-11am and 1-3pm, Monday to Friday, and between 1pm and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
The road closure in front of the theatre on Bright Street was moved last week to allow freer access to nearby businesses.
Aaron van Delden - Local Democracy Reporter
Content from the Local Democracy Reporting (LDR) service is published by Scoop as a registered New Zealand Media Outlet LDR Partner.
Contact Lois Williams - Local Democracy Reporter

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