29 Apr 2009

Offshore medical risks highlighted

8:53 am on 29 April 2009

Doctors say the case of a Wellington woman who had her baby wrongly aborted, highlights the risks of using medical practitioners who are not registered in New Zealand.

The woman's ultrasound was misinterpreted by a radiologist in Australia.

The Hutt Valley and Hawke's Bay District Health Boards both contract overseas radiologists for overnight tele-radiology work.

Hawke's Bay says it has been doing so for at least two years

Medical Association chair Dr Peter Foley says patients receiving services from overseas doctors should be properly protected.

A report commissioned by the Hutt Valley DHB catalogues a series of errors by the hospital, the radiologist and the obstetrician. These led to an incorrect diagnosis of a rare form of ectopic pregnancy.

Since the report into the case Hutt Valley DHB says it has made changes, but will continue to use some Australian cover after-hours.