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Labour costs Hawkes Bay 100 cataract Ops

Labour costs Hawkes Bay 100 cataract Ops

Heather Roy
Wednesday, 8 February 2006
Press Releases - Other

Hawkes Bay District Health Board is right to be grumpy about the $300,000 a year holding costs it must pay for the old Napier hospital. The DHB has been keen to sell the building for several years and Health Minister Pete Hodgson must come clean and tell the people of Hawkes Bay exactly what the hold up is.

The last patient to be treated in the old Napier Hospital was in 1999 and since then it has been an accounting nightmare for the DHB. Previous Health Minister Annette King transferred ownership of the disused hospital and grounds to the Crown Health Finance Agency over two years ago and the Board quite rightly asks why there is a hold up.

If the government is trying to do some kind of behind the scene’s deal with the old hospital site it is unacceptable that Hawke’s Bay DHB has to foot a $25,000 bill every month – money that should be spent on patient care.

Labour has decreed hip and knee replacements and cataract operations have priority yet they are happy to see $25,000 wasted every month. $25,000 would buy two hip replacements a month or eight cataract operations each month for the people of Hawkes Bay. Those on waiting lists must despair when they see taxpayer money wasted in this way.

Health Minister Hodgson must sort this problem out immediately – he has the power to do so and as the guardian of health money he has an ethical obligation.

ENDS

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