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Accountability Lacking In Health Projects

9 December 2004

Accountability Lacking In Health Projects

Heads should roll over the shambles which developed around the building of Hawkes Bay’s new acute assessment ward in Hastings, says New Zealand First health spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

“It is to be hoped that the Minister of Health has learned some accountability lessons from this disastrous project and those involved take some responsibility for their waste.

“The project was pushed by the Hawkes Bay District Health Board and signed off by the Ministry of Health with a happy disregard for the spending of taxpayer dollars.

“Many people in Hawkes Bay are less than happy with the outcome. They have an exorbitantly expensive new building on a site which was identified as geologically unstable in 1995, so future structural problems cannot be ruled out.

“They have also lost a 27 bed hospital ward, which means that, even with a $12 million new building they now have fewer beds.

“Hard upon the heels of this disaster comes the news that the Minister has approved a new $14 million health centre in Levin to replace Horowhenua Hospital. The announcement has been accompanied by all the usual extravagant promises from both the Minister and the local MP about the development being the way of the future and a great victory.

“The people of Horowhenua would probably be just as happy with an assurance that the lack of organisation and accountability displayed in Hawkes Bay will not be visited upon their new project,” said Mrs Stewart.


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