THE HOSPITAL SCHEME.
Observer, Volume XXX, Issue 49, 20 August 1910, Page 2
THE HOSPITAL SCHEME.
An Admirable Forward Movement.
NOTORIOUSLY in the past the Auckland Hoepital has been
lacking in many things that might naturally have been regarded as indispensable adjuncts to such an institution. It will doubtless be news to our readers that until just recently such a thing as an elevator was unknown at the Hospital, and helpless patients had to be carried upstairs by porters. This is only one instance of the want of proper facilities. Boards have come and Boards have gone, but little has been done vi the w&V of bringing things up-to-date. It is true that Mr George Knight, the late chairman of the Board, inaugurated and carried through a scheme of improvements. But this in the main had reference to the managerial part.of the business. It is therefore gratifying now to find that the present chairman, Mr P. M. Mackay, has instituted an admirable progressive policy, and has promulgated a plan which should go far to obliterate the disabilities under which the institution has suffered in the past, and to place the Hospital on an up-todate footing in the future .
The idea of erecting an administrative block is , an excellent one. As Mr Mackay very relevantly pointed out, the method of receiving patients now in vogue in unsatisfactory in the extreme. " To ensure proper control," says the chairman in his report, "it is necessary that the Senior Medical Officer or his deputy should have regular hours of duty to" admit patients or answer inquiries. .... .An administrative block should be erected, especially designed for the purpose. ... . > A Medical Officer could always be,on duty, and 6b. secure a proper control of the patient's admission. ; . ... At present, regrettable delays often take place,' and much dissatisfaction, , not to say suffering, may arise from this defect iii the administration." All these statements are sopalpably true that they demand no elaboration ; and Mr Mackay is therefore on solid ground when he draws his concluding inference that an administrative block is an absolute necessity if the Board is to do;its duty to the trust reposed in it.,
Another reform that should have been brought onto operation long ago is the centralisation of each surgeon's patients. At present there is no classification in this respect, and a ■■ sturgeon's own particular patients are frequently scattered indiscriminately through the various wards. There are three visiting surgeons to the Hospital — Drs. Savage, Gore-Gillo'n and Inglis. Mr Mackay's proposal is that each surgeon should have his own wards., in which none but his own. patients should be placed. Under the present system' it is plain . .that inadvertent neglect on/the part of the Burgeon could occur. Under the newsy stent, that risk would no longer exist, and a condition of affairs would be brought into operation that
must be to the benefit alike of cum geons, nurses and patients. Therefore, this proposal may also be classed as a most commendable one. .
The building of a new kitchen and boiler-house is a matter of such urgency" that the expenditure of money upon that project is fully justified. A kitchen that was good enough for the Hospital twenty years ago cannot be expected to be adequate to-day. At the present time over 350 dinners are being served daily, and the available culinary - appliances and accommodation are enough to drive any self-respecting chef to despair and a dive over the adjacent, Graf ton Bridge parapet. Meals well cooked and nicely served are an essential auxiliary to hospital treatment, but they cannot be procured if the necessary facilities are lacking, as they are at_ present. A new boiler-house is also indispensable, and would more than justify the cost of construction, if only by reason of the fact that the expensive radiators now being installed will be useless unless a larger supply of steam is available.
The installation of electric light is another commendable project, and so is the erection of a sanatorium for consumptives, as it is manifestly improper that such patients should be accommodated at the Costley Home annexe. The principle of ah eight-hours day for nurses is laudable, and will come into operation as soon as the new Nurses' Home is completed. The centralisation of the Board's business at the Hospital —with the exception of that relating to charitable relief — is a scheme that also merits approval. The question of a staff superannuation scheme is essentially a difficult one, and- it will be interesting to see how the Finance Committee deals with it. We have touched merely . upon what we consider to be the more' salient points of Mr Maekay's scheme, but taking the propaganda in its entirety, we have no hesitation in saying that the
chairman has displayed conspicuous • ability arid sound common sense in dealing with what is admittedly a very difficult situation.