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How Low Can This Government Go?

Media Release

11 March 2002

How Low Can This Government Go?

“I am aghast,” says New Zealand First’s Peter Brown MP “that this government has sunk so low that it is prepared to dispense with the services of chaplains in our hospitals. These Chaplains provide an essential service to people who are sick. They are freely available to patients, their relatives and indeed their friends, at times of great emotional and spiritual needs.”

“Health professionals have told me that spiritual and emotional well-being makes a huge difference to patients’ recovery time. If these needs are met, they make stronger and quicker progress than those whose needs are not.

“In spite of this, The Minister of Health still does not want to raise the state’s small contribution towards this service because it is not a priority for her department!

“These people provide an indispensable service to Christians in their darkest hour, and to anyone else to all who needs it.

“How out of touch are these Government Ministers? Just whom do they talk to before they make some of their decisions? Obviously nobody whose families have been comforted by a hospital chaplain! That’s for certain!

“We are well aware the Health Department need’s to watch the pennies, but surely it does not have to come down to sacking Hospital Chaplains?

“New Zealand has always been a Christian based and caring society. Despite what the Prime Minister and others would have us believe, there are huge numbers of people who have strong Christian and spiritual beliefs. It is essential therefore that the Hospital Chaplains services continue, certainly at the very least, it should continue at the minimum standards it operates at now.”


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