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Hospital Plans A Boost To Region – Fitzsimons

August 29, 2002

Hospital Plans A Boost To Region – Fitzsimons

Green Co-Leader and former Coromandel MP Jeanette Fitzsimons today welcomed news that 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week emergency care would return to Thames Hospital, plus expanded facilities.

"This is a great boost to the region and a huge turn around after the previous National Government progressively cut the hospital's services," she said.

"The announcement by Waikato District Health Board last night is what the community, hospital staff and I have been asking for during the past five to six years."

Ms Fitzsimons said the emergency care change would particularly help people who lived in the more remote parts of Coromandel and who had no choice now but to travel to Hamilton or Tauranga if they needed urgent after-hours surgery.

For those in the far north of the peninsula, for example, it meant a journey of three hours or more. If the Government approved the health board plan, Thames Hospital would also get new theatres, a new ward for the care and rehabilitation of the elderly, a whanau room for families, a new kitchen and dining room, an expanded radiology department, a dedicated primary birthing unit and a new centre for day-stay patients.

"There will still be the hurdle of attracting and retaining the staff to make the extra services possible," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"But the first and most important hurdle is now cleared - planning the physical facilities around this level of service. I welcome the plans and will be lobbying the Government to make sure these excellent proposals are accepted."


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