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Failure Imminent On Government Path

Failure Imminent On Government Path

Until the Labour Government ceases to contradict its own policies and aims, District Health Boards will continue to fail to meet the needs of their communities, as highlighted by the potential loss of beds at Kenepuru Hospital, ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"The Capital Community District Health Board has said the redevelopment that endangers the beds will enable Kenepuru Hospital to offer increased services such as better outpatient care and day surgery. The need for these services, however, pale in comparison to the need for beds for the chronically ill," said Mrs Roy.

"In allowing this, Health Minister Annette King has contradicted her own Primary Health Care Strategy, which clearly states that one of it's primary aims is to ensure that adequate health care is within easy access of the community - travelling from Porirua to Wellington Hospital is not easy access by any stretch of the imagination.

"The people of Porirua are worried - and rightly so. Porirua healthcare providers simply want a complete hospital unit to cater for all medical needs - especially as a large proportion of Kenepuru's patients are chronically ill.

"But they cannot rest easy - knowing that there is a chance that they may fall ill and have to suffer the long trip to find help. Soon, however, they will not be alone - Ms King having recently announced that funding priority will now go to clearing the current large board deficits, particularly in Auckland, meaning more and more communities will either lose services, or sacrifice some for others.

"Fortunately, for the Government, Public Health organisations and District Health Boards have been set up to bear the brunt of public outrage. They provide a whipping boy for the Health Ministry and Ms King - who has already displayed an adeptness for washing her hands of any unfavourable situation. Patients travelling from Porirua to Wellington Hospital, however, do not have any such luxury," said Mrs Roy.

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