Health Minister stuck in a ‘spin’ cycle
Health Minister stuck in a ‘spin’ cycle.
15 May 2005
Napier Public Health Action Group (Inc).
“The Minister of Health remiss in the ‘information’ she gives to Hawke’s Bay people”, said Don Stuart, Chairman of the Napier Public Health Action Group (Inc).
“Annette King writes (Hawke’s Bay Today, 13 May 2005) that she ‘must point out that Hawke’s Bay Hospital was opened under the former National government, and the present ratio of hospital beds was decided on at that time’.
“She omits to say that Napier was intended to have a ‘sub-acute unit’ or ‘Community hospital’ which would support the regional hospital, and the 50 beds in it were part of the ratio that was decided. It is the present Labour administration that has failed to see that we have this facility”, Mr Stuart said.
“Instead Labour has provided an unreasonably expensive building at Wellesley Road which does good dental work but otherwise fails to provide the support for the regional hospital that was always planned. Without the sub-acute unit in Napier in support, no wonder the regional hospital is perpetually being run too close to capacity and cannot do the so-called ‘elective’ surgery it should be doing.
“However many new managers the Department of Health in Wellington may have installed locally, the fact is that Hawke’s Bay health has not benefited from the present administration”, he said.
“If government seriously wants to ‘tackle the problems’, as Ms King says, it should start by seeing that Napier has the unit always planned to replace the Hospital here.
The plans said the city was to have fifty beds after the Hospital closed. It actually has just three. No wonder the health of all Hawke’s Bay suffers in consequence”, Mr Stuart said.