The chief executive of Sydney’s new Northern Beaches Hospital has resigned just days after the facility’s official opening.
Deborah Latta on Wednesday tendered her resignation as the chief of the new 488 bed hospital.
“I have given my heart and soul to the development of the hospital,” Ms Latta said in a letter to staff.
“This has been a difficult decision and I have debated the timing and it’s unfortunate that whilst I submitted my resignation prior to the recent events, I’ve decided the time is now.”
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard described Ms Latta’s resignation as another “teething issue” for private operators Healthscope.
He admitted there had been “some challenges” in rolling out the new hospital, which he described as “quite a complex organism to bring together”.
“Healthscope are obviously meeting some challenges that have arisen in the new hospital,” Mr Hazzard told reporters.
Mr Hazzard said he had spoken to Ms Latta on Wednesday after being informed of her resignation and insisted he had no role in her decision to leave.
“She’s quite looking forward to having a bit of a break,” Mr Hazzard.
“She has decided that she wants to have a change.”
Several issues have emerged with the new facility in recent weeks, including staff and equipment shortages.
AAP understands the the n Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation last week raised problems including staff working up to 110 hours a week.
Junior doctors were also being made responsible for up to 60 patients.
Mr Hazzard said he had spoken to Healthscope about the problems and was assured they had been addressed.
Opposition health spokesman Walt Secord said the new private hospital was a “basket case”.
He said the hospital’s privatisation was part of the “Americanisation” of the n health system.
“The Northern Beaches Hospital has lurched from crisis to crisis, from the moment the hospital has opened its doors there have been problems,” Mr Secord told reporters.
He said the hospital at points did not have any body bags or a functioning blood bank.
“This is a health system that is in crisis and we have the Americanisation of the NSW health system. This is where profits come before patients,” he said.