News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Patients Ought Not To Pay For Public Health

Needy Do Not Make It To Hospital And Charges Are To Be Imposed

The Porirua Council urgently needs to represent the needs of patients in the ongoing battles with the Health Board.

I have asked Mayor Jenny Brash to call a special meeting of the council and to coordinate the community groups that oppose recent decisions and plans.

The Mayor should invite Maori and Pacific Island MPs to speak at the council meeting. We should work with them in addressing the immediate needs of Porirua people.

It is time the Mayor showed some leadership.

Only the Council has the facilities to prepare the case and deliver it with sufficient force to make a difference.

Both the Government and the Board need to be told that the Board's performance is unacceptable.

There are two issues: the new charges at Kenepuru and the Board's response to the recent research on access to hospital services.

The pathetic response of the Board to new research that tells us Maori and Pacific Island people, particularly children, are not getting the treatment they need, deserves a strong response.

We have known about the Health needs of Porirua people for 50 years.

How can the news that Porirua people do not access pediatric services be a surprise when the pediatric ward was closed at Kenepuru?

How can a spokesperson say "institutional racism" might be a significant factor in the failure of many to get hospital treatment, when we all know it is the cost of travel and and the remoteness of Newtown?

The Board hides its incompetent decisions behind the screen of institutional racism. This is but a clever way to blame the Pacific communities. It lets the Board off the hook.

Every Pacific Island member of the Porirua City Council that I have known over the last 12 years has said hospital services need to be at Kenepuru so that Pacific Island people can access them.

There is no doubt about what is needed. Only the Health Board insists they know better.

When the Board was offered $300 million by the Government to develop hospital services they chose to build again at Newtown.

Their strategy is to make the hospital remote and rely on general practitioners and nurses in the community. If this was going to work, it would have worked some time in the last 50 years.

For the strategy to work we need more GPs. There is no prospect at the moment of an influx of doctors into Porirua.

How can a Board spokesperson say they were surprised that Porirua residents were not accessing specialists at Newtown to the extent they should? How could the Board say they are surprised Kapiti residents are not accessing orthopedic and eye specialists. These things have been in earlier reports, medical people in the field say these things, and they are rather obvious to anyone with common sense.

I was frankly relieved to learn that the Board was on the Government's watch list. They need to be accountable to someone, for they are not accountable to the community.

I would urge the Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, to take a personal interest in this. I hope Tariana Turia also sees that this is an issue for Maori and takes a stand.

But, more than that, we need to find better ways of doing things.

The first step would be to give the Pacific Island communities the opportunity to dispel the myth that institutional racism stops them going to hospital.

Like the rest of us, they do not make it to hospital because it is remote and difficult to access. In their case for historical reasons their needs are greater and they appear in the statistics.

But the white elderly of Waikanae have exactly the same problem with the Health Board as that shown by the Porirua's Pacific Island communities.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
At Bats: Locke - The World Theatrical Premiere

On the eve of the biggest challenge of his career, Ivan Locke receives a phone call that sets in motion a series of events that will unravel his family, job and soul... More>>

Other Elections: Kea Crowned Bird Of The Year

These large, green mountain parrots are known for their curiosity and intelligence. Once numbering in the hundreds of thousands, they are now classified as Nationally Endangered with just 3,000 - 7,000 birds remaining. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: Conflict & Resistance - Ria Hall's Rules of Engagement

From the aftermath of war through colonisation to her own personal convictions, Hall's new CD addresses current issues and social problems on multiple levels, confirming her position as a polemical and preeminent voice on the indigenous NZ music scene. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Another Time, Another Place - David Friesen Trio Live

"It has been said of David Friesen that he does for the art of bass playing what Pythagoras did for the triangle" - Patrick Hinley, Jazz Times. At Wellington's newest jazz venue, the cozy and intimate Pyramid Cub, the trio clicked together from the opening bars, presenting many of the tunes from their marvelous new recording. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION