Tony Ryall might want to amend his ‘faster, sooner, more convenient’ catch-cry to ‘water, water everywhere, given the leaks that have sprung up under his watch, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.
“Mr Ryall might think he is Health’s Mr Fix-it, yet when it comes to repairing one of the country’s larger hospitals he’s nowhere to be found.”
She said information obtained by Labour through the Official Information Act reveals Dunedin Hospital has become so dilapidated that it poses a threat to both staff and patients.
“In fact it’s so bad I imagine staff would have been running around trying to plug the holes and stop the drips with anything they can get their hands on – buckets, bowls, towels, fingers.
“There have been leaks coming through ceilings and windows in operating theatres, no running water in some scrub sinks, and issues with rain dripping into rooms housing sterile equipment.
“This isn’t just a recent problem – the issues date back two years- yet Mr Ryall claims he was only aware of one leak in an operating theatre in 2012.”
The information also revealed a number of major equipment failures and electrical malfunctions, including wiring blowouts that caused wards to lose power and a lift in the main public ward block ‘free-falling’ five floors.
“And who could forget the IT crash earlier this year which left staff unable to send, receive or access information digitally for two days?
“The people of Otago, along with hospital staff, have put up with a building that’s unfit for purpose for too long.
“It’s time Mr Ryall committed to an upgrade, or is it that the DHB has to cut services until it gets rid of its persistent deficit as he is demanding, before the region gets a reprieve?”