Hospital error ‘unacceptable’

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Opposition politicians are once again hammering the left-center government’s health care policies, after hearing the story about a hospital in Oslo that forgot to call in a nine-year-old cancer patient for important monitoring of his condition. They called his resulting wait “completely unacceptable.”

“It’s been a year since I asked the health minister to come to the Parliament and assure us that the reorganization (of Oslo’s major hospitals) wouldn’t affect patient care,” Bent Høie of the Conservative Party told newspaper Aftenposten, which carried the story about the boy’s parents’ struggle to make sure he was being closely checked for any recurrence of the cancer he was diagnosed with in 2009. Høie said that instead, “we’re seeing a string of examples that is is.”

The reorganization of the hospitals now comprising Oslo University Hospital has frustrated hospital administrators and not least doctors and nurses. A recent survey showed that 70 percent of doctors think patient care will be worse in the short term, and 50 percent think it will be worse in the long term.

Nine-year-old Syver Haug from Elverum, Hedmark County, had initially been treated at Ullevål Hospital, but its cancer department was moved to and merged with Rikshospitalet in May. “We ran into challenges coordinating different routines and data systems,” clinic leader Terje Rootwelt told Aftenposten adding that there also has been a large workload. The hospital has apologized that the Haug family was overlooked.

Health Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen of the Labour Party has continued to support the decision to reorganize and merge Oslo’s hospitals, arguing it will make health care delivery more efficient in the long run.

Views and News staff