Medics’ plan now pub­lic

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By JIM CHIPP

The de­tails of a plan to pro­vide ur­gent af­ter-hours med­i­cal care to Porirua pa­tients from am­bu­lances have been re­leased.

At its Au­gust 8 meet­ing Cap­i­tal & Coast Dis­trict Health Board au­tho­rised a work­ing party led by Larry Jor­dan to de­velop the idea of the mo­bile ser­vice to re­place Kenepuru Hospi­tal’s ac­ci­dent and med­i­cal ser­vice from 10pm un­til 8am.

Last week the board re­leased the con­cept pa­per to Kapi Mana News un­der the Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion Act.

Ac­cord­ing to the pa­per, an av­er­age of 11 pa­tients are treated each night at Kenepuru, but the ser­vice’s fi­nan­cial vi­a­bil­ity is an is­sue.

The pro­posed free am­bu­lance ser­vice, mod­elled on a pi­lot scheme in Kapiti and Horowhenua, would of­fer a more con­sis­tent ser­vice and also had the po­ten­tial to man­age the board’s deficit at Kenepuru.

Dr Jor­dan and the work­ing group have been given un­til the board’s meet­ing in Oc­to­ber to de­velop the con­cept in con­sul­ta­tion with the Porirua community and the Kenepuru staff.

Kenepuru Hospi­tal emer­gency medicine spe­cial­ist Rob Kieboom said he re­spected paramedics but did not be­lieve they had ad­e­quate med­i­cal train­ing to pro­vide the ser­vice.

They would also be hand­i­capped be­cause they would be work­ing in dimly-lit homes with pa­tients ly­ing in their own bed, he said.

‘‘Peo­ple freak­ing out all over the place. It’s not a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment for as­sess­ing a pa­tient.’’

Dr Kieboom said he had re­cently treated five pa­tients with acute res­pi­ra­tory con­di­tions in one 75-minute pe­riod, one a five-yearold.

‘‘There is no way one para­medic is go­ing to treat five peo­ple in 75 min­utes. They are go­ing to be end­ing up there five hours later.’’ Dr Kieboom asked: ‘‘Where are our pri­or­i­ties? We are go­ing to cut this ser­vice to this low so­cio-eco­nomic area with poor health out­comes.

‘‘It’s pick­ing on peo­ple who can’t fight back.’’

Porirua is the only place the board could get away with such a pro­posal, he said.

‘‘You are go­ing to get a two-tier re­sponse where the well-off peo­ple who are able to drive to ac­ci­dent and emer­gency and some peo­ple won’t be able to pay for petrol.’’

How­ever, the con­cept pa­per said the am­bu­lance ser­vice pro­posed for Porirua is a first step, and the next would be ex­tend­ing it to Welling­ton.

Dr Jor­dan said he re­spected Dr Kieboom but his com­ments were based on lim­ited in­for­ma­tion and wrong as­sump­tions.

‘‘I’m be­com­ing in­creas­ingly frus­trated with what I re­gard as scare­mon­ger­ing.’’

‘‘What we need . . .is time to work it through and or peo­ple not to jump to pre­ma­ture con­clu­sions.’’

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