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Health Minister double standard towards Auckland

Dr Lynda Scott ----- Belinda Vernon
National Associate ----- National Auckland
Health Spokesperson ----- List MP

Wednesday 26 July 2000

Health Minister double standard towards Auckland mothers

"The Health Minister's plan to close down the Cornwall Suite maternity unit at National Women's Hospital is hypercritical, and denies the local community the choice they want," National MPs Lynda Scott and Belinda Vernon said today.

The Minister was questioned in Parliament today over why she has a double standard towards using public hospitals to full capacity.

"Annette King is happy for private patients to be treated in a spare ward at Wairau Hospital in Marlborough. It is a win-win situation for the community," Dr Scott said.

"But in a classic double standard she is to close the Cornwall Suite at National Women's Hospital which allows private patients in a spare ward.

"She accepts that what happens at Wairau Hospital is okay, is good for the community and is what the community wants. I agree with her there. But there is no rhyme nor reason to the Health Minister's decision to close down the Cornwall Suite," Dr Scott said.

National Auckland List MP Belinda Vernon also questioned the double standard.

"As local MP I know Auckland women and National Women's Hospital want the Cornwall Suite. In less than a year 900 women have chosen to use the service. Annette King dismiss that as a handful of women and not worth pursuing.

"No taxpayer funds are cross-subsidising the non-clinical extras at the Cornwall Suite - so why is the Health Minister banning it?

"The Minister needs to know why the Cornwall Suite is worth continuing. I urge locals to either write to the Health Minister and tell her, or contact me and I will follow it up," Ms Vernon said.


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