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ODHB Moves To Axe Mosgiel Family Centre

PSA Press Release
March 30, 2004

ODHB Moves To Axe Mosgiel Family Health Counselling Centre

Otago District Health Board has advised the PSA that the Mosgiel centre is to be closed and the service to be relocated to Wakari hospital, PSA organiser Mark Ryan said today.

Mark Ryan said the lease for the current premises will not be renewed by the landlord and this has precipitated ODHB's decision. Union members have been given one week to come up with an alternative, however there appears to be little room for alternative premises being found in Mosgiel.

"Staff had been aware for some time that they were living on a month-to-month lease. They had in fact found alternative premises in Mosgiel with the lease all but signed, however senior management stepped in and nixed the new site on the basis that it was unaffordable. Staff were then given one hour to decide whether they wanted to relocate to Wakari or be 'absorbed' into the mental health service.

“A stay of execution was finally agreed to when staff asked for more time to consider senior management’s options. Nevertheless, members have now been given less than a week to come up with an alternative to relocating to Wakari. Even then, the employer is signalling that the Board has made a decision to relocate services within existing premises due to its fiscal restraints. In other words unless a cut price rental can be found within the week then the Mosgiel site will close with the service being relocated to Wakari hospital."

Mark Ryan said PSA members were alarmed at the prospect of clients having to try and make their way over Saddle Hill to Wakari to access the service. Many of those they deal with do not have transport, and cannot afford bus fares if buses are even available.

Mark Ryan said PSA members were calling on the Mosgiel and Taieri communities to get behind them on this decision by ODHB, as occurred with a previous attempt to close the Mosgiel centre.

ENDS

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