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Patients pay $1.3m for unused Napier hospital

Hon Tony Ryall
National Party Health Spokesman

10 February 2006

Patients pay $1.3m for unused Napier hospital

National’s Health spokesman, Tony Ryall, says Hawke’s Bay residents have paid almost $1.3 million in rent and associated costs for the old Napier Hospital while the Government dithers over its sale.

“Earlier this week it was revealed that Hawke’s Bay DHB is paying $25,000 each month in rent for the former hospital site while Ministers fight over the sale process.”

But Mr Ryall says this is not all Hawke’s Bay residents are paying.

“The DHB has paid almost a million dollars in the past year to prepare the paperwork so the Government can sell the buildings and keep the cash.

“No other DHB in the country has to pay rent to the Government for buildings it doesn’t use. It’s unheard of.

“National understands that there is a major battle raging between the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Maori Affairs about the sale of the site.

“The longer this fight goes on the bigger the bill. This money should be going towards operations and treatment for people in Hawke’s Bay, not on rent for an unused hospital.

“I intend to pursue this matter in Parliament next week to get to the bottom of this for the people of Hawke’s Bay,” says Mr Ryall.

ENDS

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