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Starship to resume surgery

Published: 11:56AM Tuesday August 14, 2001

Auckland's Starship children's hospital has announced that it is to resume some non-urgent surgery from next week.

Last week, the hospital announced that because of a shortage of nurses it was suspending elective surgery for three weeks, affecting the operations of about 300 children.

The hospital's manager of surgical services, Trisha Ross, says Starship will resume day surgery next week.

She says while there is still a shortage of nurses, staff can be freed up to deal with day surgery patients because there are no major elective operations being performed.

Some children may also be sent to Greenlane Hospital for elective surgery over the next few weeks.

She says the full resumption of elective surgery at Starship will hopefully start later this month, but the situation is still being monitored on a week by week basis.

Ross says they decided not to take up an offer from Middlemore's Kids First children's hospital in south Auckland to help ease the situation, because of the distance patients would have to travel for treatment.

New Zealand is currently suffering from a nursing shortage that has been compounded by winter illness and a chronic worldwide nursing shortage.

During the past weeks, some nurses who are on maternity leave have been coming in for two or three hours a day, to help ease the situation at Starship.

The country's largest children's hospital has also received dozens of calls from nurses as far away as Christchurch offering their services.