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SDHB Gives Guarantee to Gore Health Ltd

Joint Media Release

Wednesday, 25 February 2004

SDHB Gives Guarantee to Gore Health Ltd

Gore Health Limited has had a guarantee from Southland District Health Board (SDHB) that Gore Hospital will not close as a result of their current contract negotiations.

The guarantee was made at a recent meeting between Gore Health Ltd and SDHB management. The meeting was initiated following growing community speculation that SDHB intends to cut all services in Gore as a way of meeting budget.

“I can assure Gore Health and the community that there are absolutely no thoughts of closing Gore Hospital.” SDHB Chairman Dennis Cairns said. “The hospital is an essential provider of health services to the Eastern Southland Community and whilst there may be some service changes following negotiations, we do not intend to close the hospital.”

Gore Health Ltd is contracted by SDHB to provide health services to the Eastern Southland Community, including the management and operation of Gore Hospital. This contract expires in June 2004.

SDHB General Manager Planning and Funding, Graeme Savage says the contract negotiations are both timely and essential, given the changes in health needs of the Eastern Southland community since the present contract was signed in June 1999.

“It makes sense that we review the service specifications as part of the contract negotiations.” Mr Savage said. “Negotiations often invoke fear in a community, but we want to assure the community that in consultation with Gore Health, appropriate services will continue at Gore Hospital”.

Gore Health Chief Executive Officer Ralph La Salle said he was pleased with SDHB’s guarantee, saying it offers reassurance to the Eastern Southland community during the negotiation period.

“The Eastern Southland community can be comfortable that a logical process has been established for the contract negotiations, and that this process is being followed” Mr La Salle said.

“We are working in partnership with SDHB to ensure a good outcome for our community and both Gore Health and SDHB will continue to provide information to the community throughout the negotiation period.” Mr La Salle said.

Negotiations are expected to continue over the coming months, with a proposal to be presented at the April 2004 SDHB Board meeting.


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