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Health Minister finally acts on Dunstan Hospital

Dr Lynda Scott National Health Spokesperson

15 December 2003

Health Minister finally acts on Dunstan Hospital

The Health Minister's decision to give the green light to redevelopment of Dunstan Hospital will be a welcome relief to the people of Central Otago, but it has been too long in coming, says National's Health spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott.

"Annette King visited Dunstan Hospital last year and promised funding to upgrade premises which were considered unsafe for patients and staff.

"Only now, has she seen fit to take any action," says Dr Scott.

"The question must be asked why it has taken so long to provide funding for Dunstan? The delay is symptomatic of the District Health Board structure which has spawned more bureaucracy and, ultimately, made it harder for funds to be allocated by the Minister."

Dr Scott says she is surprised at the Minister's claim that Dunstan was given low priority during the 1990s.

"What the National Party accomplished under the Community Trust Assistance Scheme was the redevelopment of hospitals in Oamaru, Gore and Balclutha, giving the community ownership of their hospital and ensuring that locals could get the best services for their needs."

"While the Health Minister is finally taking action Dunstan, she is not giving the community ownership, as National did.

"This Government only pays lip service to this concept, instead preferring state control," says Dr Scott.


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