Auckland DHB thinks they are above the law

July 18th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Andy Tookey filed an OIA with the Auckland District Health Board for a copy of a slide presentation by the Organ Donor Service to a taxpayer funded official meeting.

They refused the request on the grounds of privacy, even though no names were requested.

Tookey went to the Ombudsman who said it must be released.

They then declined on the basis it would be made public in six months time.

Again the Ombudsman indicated he would rule against them.

So what did the Organ Donor Service do?

They deleted the information.


The Minister should tell the Auckland DHB Board that he will start sacking board members if this happens again. It is totally unacceptable to delete information that is the subject of an OIA request. It is in fact illegal. A prosecution could be justified.

I’ve got an eel up my bum but don’t tell anyone

October 4th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Hospital bosses have launched an investigation into a breach of patient privacy after details of an eel getting stuck up a man’s bottom were made public.

The Auckland District Health Board said this afternoon that it would investigate “the apparent inappropriate access of clinical records and the possible separate leaking of information to the media”.

The Herald on Sunday reported that an unnamed man who turned up at Auckland City Hospital last month was sent for X-rays and a scan, which showed there was an eel lodged inside him.

Board chief executive Ailsa Claire, who began her role this week, said high standards of professionalism were expected from staff.

“One of the fundamental responsibilities of working in a healthcare environment is showing respect for patients’ right to privacy,” she said.

t”I take that responsibility very seriously indeed and I expect our staff to work and act at all times with a level of professionalism that honours the trust our patients place in us.”

Ms Claire said any breach of a patient’s privacy was taken seriously and, if proved, would result in disciplinary action.

Oh come on, are we not getting a bit precious.

If anything was done to identify the actual patient, that would be very serious.

But do you really think medical staff are not going to talk about how they found an eel up someone’s bottom?

A&E doctors and nurses are often asked about the most unusual things they have had to remove from patients. As long as it is general and not naming an individual, what’s the harm?

The Herald on Sunday reported a hospital source as saying the eel was “about the size of a decent sprig of asparagus”.

“The incident is the talk of the place. Doctors and nurses have come across people with strange objects that have got stuck where they shouldn’t be before, but an eel has to be a first,” the source was reported as saying.

Of course it is the talk of the place. We get too precious sometimes.

They’re back!

October 13th, 2009 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Diagnostic Medlab has effectively forced the Auckland DHBs into an embarrassing u-turn, and have been granted 10% of the medical testing market under a four year contract.

The big loser isn’t so much Labtests, but the DHBs themselves. The decision to move to Labtests was not necessarily wrong, but the transition plan in hindsight was woeful. The transition should have been done over six months or so, allowing a couple of suburbs to transition every fortnight, and make sure everything is working, before the next suburb moves over.

Diagnostic Medlab got much criticism for their campaign against Labtest, as the work of bad losers. But the campaign worked, and they just gained a $10.2 m/year contract.

Labtests loses $6.2 million a year for its reduced workload, and the DHBs (ie taxpayers) make up the extra $4.4m a year. This means the change overall does still save money, but a lot less than before.

NZMA say:

Today’s announcement has been welcomed by the New Zealand Medical Association.

“The decision by the Auckland District Health Boards goes some way towards reducing the inherent risk in the current arrangement of having a single provider and is therefore a step in the right direction,” said NZMA GP Council Chair Dr Mark Peterson.

And this raises the very valid issue of should they have gone with a single provider at all. Having both providers in the market will allow some comparisons of service, price and quality, and over time the one that performs better should end up with a greater market share.