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Wellington Hospital Consultation A Farce

“The Ministry of Health’s new Wellington Hospital consultation exercise is a sham and a farce,” says Alliance Health spokesperson and candidate for Wellington Central, Phillida Bunkle.

“I believe the people of Wellington want better hospital services, but the Ministry’s consultation exercise deliberately prevents discussion of this.”

The public cannot assess the proposal for a smaller hospital without information on:

 What day surgery would be provided.

 How the 14,000 people currently on the region’s waiting list can be treated.

 Whether there would be community services to cope with the early discharge policy.

 Mental Health provision.

At today’s consultation these were all said to be separate issues and not part of the proposed hospital plan. “It is ridiculous to make plans for a regional hospital which doesn’t consider these issues,” said Phillida Bunkle.

Phillida Bunkle supports the Coalition for Public Health who believe that the Ministry’s initiative is totally inadequate and should therefore be vetoed.

“Neither the Ministry’s consultation document, not their public presentation, address any of the real health issues facing Wellington. How can we talk about what kind of hospital we should have when there is no analysis of what kind of hospital Wellington actually needs?”

Phillida Bunkle believes it is ridiculous to ask the public to comment on the new hospital’s size and location without discussion of funding, ownership and an analysis of whether Wellington’s health needs are currently being met.

Fourteen thousand Wellingtonians are on some kind of waiting list. “The Ministry believes that the waiting lists are a separate issue, but when we are talking about the numbers of beds in a new hospital then common sense tells us the issues are inseparable,” says Phillida Bunkle.

“The Ministry is telling us we need less beds because there will be more community care in the years to come. This is while Capital Coast Health is making drastic cutbacks to the community care it provides. The Ministry’s document has no analysis of community care, its quality or consequences. Everybody involved in this proposed hospital is trying to avoid actually treating patients.”

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