New Zealand health systems pass Y2K physical

New Zealand's healthcare providers seem to have passed through the Y2K rollover with flying colours.

"We've had calls from up and down the line and everyone seems to be fine. Our biggest problem is we're up to our armpits in millennium babies at the moment," says a spokeswoman for Auckland Healthcare. For the record, the first arrival of the New Year was a baby girl born at 0010 on January 1.

"We've had no problems, none. And we've heard of none," says Andre Snoxall, IT manager at Taranaki Healthcare, and a similar story is heard throughout the country.

"It's fantastic great news. We've all worked so hard and it's paid off," says the spokeswoman for Auckland Healthcare.

In January 1999 Snoxall raised the alarm about non-compliance of a number of patient-operated intravenous pumps. These devices allow patients to self-administer drugs, typically pain medication. Overdoses are prevented by the use of a timer, which only allows a certain dosage to be administered within a specified time frame. Snoxall discovered four out of six pumps employed within the hospital would allow patients to give themselves a potentially fatal overdose if used during the Y2K rollover.

"[The pumps] would have allowed the patient to double-dose if one dose were applied before midnight and one after."

Fortunately no such instances have been reported in New Zealand.

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