So few physicians are employed at some of the wards at FSA, the hospital in Akureyri, that it might threaten the safety of patients, according to a new evaluation by the National Audit Office.
From Akureyri. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Director of FSA, Thorvaldur Ingvarsson, told Morgunbladid that the conclusion is unfounded but otherwise welcomes the evaluation of the hospital’s key operations.
“It is of course key that the safety of patients is secured. I assume the National Audit Office finds there are too few physicians of each specialty which could jeopardize patient safety but there is only one answer to that: We don’t admit patients unless their safety can be guaranteed. If that isn’t possible, we send them to Reykjavík,” he explained.
“It is no secret that we would like to have more employees but that isn’t anything new. We have been lacking doctors for years, as long as I can remember,” Ingvarsson added.
The lack of funds is not necessarily the problem; specialists aren’t interested in the positions that have to be filled, which is also the case at Landspítali, the national hospital in Reykjavík, and other healthcare institutions, Ingvarsson stated.
Iceland’s Medical Director of Health Geir Gunnlaugsson commented FSA offers good and versatile service that demands specialized knowledge in some fields. At the same time the hospital is competing with the capital region for employees.
“It is a difficult situation which I entrust them to resolve. We haven’t received any complaints, reports of mistakes or charges because of them,” Gunnlaugsson added on the National Audit Office’s report.
However, he is concerned about the general lack of physicians in Iceland. “I don’t know when the tolerance limit will be reached but it is important that we as a community consider it,” Gunnlaugsson concluded.