A media hatchet job

Roman Hasil isn’t the chief guilty party in yet another DHB fiascoRoman Hasil

Watching the news media hounding Dr Roman Hasil has been disturbing to me. Anyone who has experienced depression or lived with a victim would have immediately recognised the outward symptoms.

Watching the way TVNZ’s trusty news team pounced on an obviously distraught Hasil and his female friend in Australia was very disturbing. It wasn’t news reporting, it was akin to ambulance chasing. It was cruel.

The 8 unfortunate women whose lives have been affected by this flawed man’s botched sterilization operations and problems with the bottle would have gained little comfort from the exercise in persecution. Hasil is as much a victim as they are.

Who is really to blame here?

OK, Dr Hasil is not blameless, his behaviour was disgraceful and probably criminal, but what about:

  • the decision makers at Whanganui District Health Board and Whanganui Hospital who failed to carry out the most basic background checks when hiring Dr Hasil. They didn’t even contact his last employer.
  • the recruitment company who held back a damning reference from one of two referees (yes, just two) listed in Dr Hasil’s CV.
  • the string of employers who failed to address Hasil’s obvious health problems.
  • the Medical Council, who could have done more to obtain information from their Australian counterparts.
  • the whole unwieldy New Zealand health edifice which has left the Whanganui Hospital so short of medical staff that they find it necessary to cut corners. Too many administrators – not enough doctors and nurses. Overworked staff. A vicious circle of destruction echoed around the country.
  • our pathetic per capita GDP which ensures that we can’t afford to rectify the shortages.
  • the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons who should have a one stop shop database of information about their members.

Who will pay when the lawyers start on the compensation hunt?

We all know who will pay. It’ll be the long-suffering taxpayers and ratepayers when the District Health Board is sued. It’ll be the patients whose care will suffer because of funds diverted to the battle and staff diverted by the process.

Who should pay?

  • The recruitment agency.
  • The individuals at the DHB who failed in their duty. Not the organizations to which they belong.

Every time an MP, a Minister, a council, a cop, or a raft of other perpetrators does something stupid which results in litigation the taxpayer pays the costs and the damages.

It’s time the individuals shouldered the responsibility for their actions. Maybe we could then look forward to a little more care being exercised before decisions are made or libelous statements uttered.

Responsibility

And after all this, and various other fiascoes, the DHB Chief Executive, Memo Musa, still has his job.

Curious.