1 August 2013
Hospital Treatment of Elderly Unacceptable
Today’s report that an elderly woman was sent home from Middlemore Hospital at 1:10am is a disturbing revelation of what
is now considered acceptable practice by some hospital emergency departments, says New Zealand First associate
spokesperson for senior citizens, Barbara Stewart.
Hospital staff told a 79-year-old patient that she could spend the night and then woke her up at 1am to send her home.
“Sending elderly patients home in taxis in the early hours of the morning, especially when they live alone, makes no
sense and borders on abuse.
“This is not the first time we have been made aware of this happening but it should be the last.
“Adherence to the government requirement that patients be admitted, treated and discharged from an emergency department
within 6 hours is patently ridiculous if it means that elderly patients – or in fact any patients – are being booted out
the door as soon as they can walk.
“This particular policy needs to be re-examined by the Ministry of Health, preferably without any buck-passing about how
it is a DHB responsibility,” said Mrs Stewart.