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Government risks tragedy over ChildFlight

Government risks tragedy over ChildFlight

"By refusing to take immediate action to restore the ChildFlight air ambulance service Labour is risking the permanent destruction of what was once a world class service," says National Party Health spokeswoman Lynda Scott.

"It's a tragedy waiting to happen, the Government is gambling with people's lives," says Dr Scott.

"Since the plug was pulled on its pokie money the whole air ambulance service has been exposed.

"It is now operating under a make-shift band-aid type arrangement.

"The service that offered co-ordinated care, 24 hours a day, 7-days a week is grounded and it means there is no longer a dedicated air ambulance available for Intensive Care Unit transfers," says Dr Scott.

"It's a patched-up uncoordinated system, that will put patients at risk and leave deficit plagued District Health Boards struggling to pay the bills.

"The Department of Internal Affairs should have sorted this out long ago, but since Minister George Hawkins has failed to take any action it's now up to the Health Minister to get involved.

"Annette King must work quickly to establish a service that is coordinated, safe and up to world standards," Dr Scott says.

"If Jim Anderton can find nearly $200,000 to save the WellTrust drug and alcohol service, then Annette King should be able to find enough money for a viable air ambulance ICU service.

"The longer she waits the worse it will get, because the 50 highly skilled staff who lost their jobs at ChildFlight will soon move on to new opportunities," Dr Scott warns.

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