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King reacts to Wellington Hospital decision

Labour 2000 web site

As MP for Rongotai I am pleased with the decision to build a new Tertiary Hospital at the Newtown site in Wellington but a number of concerns remain, Annette King said today.

"This was an issue that saw most Wellington regional MPs working together and displaying a cross-party commitment to ensure the region retained a tertiary facility.

"The one exception was Richard Prebble who as usual resorted to grandstanding and making false claims.

"Wyatt Creech has now announced a decision in favour of Newtown. What hasn't been revealed is how the estimated $160 million cost will be met, or who will run the new tertiary facility. The failure to provide detail smacks of hasty decisions to boost National's election chances rather than the considered process that was initially agreed to.

"A tertiary hospital is not the only initiative that needs to be taken to meet the health needs of the Wellington region," Annette King said.

"There needs to be a long-term commitment to three secondary hospitals in the Wellington region: Hutt, Kenepuru and Newtown. Wellington needs three centres to ensure public access to services.

"The risk of earthquakes is one obvious reason why emergency services must operate from more than one site. The decision to establish a 24 hour Accident and Emergency facility at Kenepuru is a sensible one. But I am concerned National believes it can wait three years before opening the facility 24 hours a day and doesn't appear to be providing adequate back-up services.

"Today's announcement on health services in the Wellington region is a start. But we need more information before the people of the region can be assured that their needs are being properly met," Annette King said.

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