Finance

Auckland DHB prohibits travel on compassionate grounds only.

The Auckland District Health Board will only allow patients to visit on a sympathetic basis, a nurses’ union has challenged its policy around visitors after initiating legal action.

Auckland City Hospital.

Image: RNZ / Dan Cook

From 7 a.m. Tuesday, visits to Auckland Hospital will be limited to sympathy grounds.

The New Zealand Nurses’ Organization then took legal action against the Health Board to tighten its visitor policy to meet with County Manukau and Veteran DHB.

Earlier, Auckland Hospital patients were allowed to nominate two visitors, one of whom could go any day.

All visitors were checked for code 19 signs.

Dr Mike Shepherd, director of services for Auckland DHB, said the change was signaled after visitors did not follow the rules.

“There is a concern in the community about the amount of coyotes and the exhibitions that take place in hospitals,” he said.

The decision comes after the New Zealand Nurses’ Organization (NZNO) launched legal action against the Auckland DHB last week, urging that visitors be restricted on compassionate grounds only.

David Weight, NZNO’s industry adviser, said union members were concerned about visitors not complying with social distance or mask use laws.

NZNO and DHB were due to meet this afternoon for mediation.

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