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Undersized Hospital Election Fairy Dust

“The Government’s announcement of a long overdue upgrade of Wellington Hospital is a hollow promise made of election fairy dust,” says Alliance Health Spokesperson Phillida Bunkle.

“The planned upgrade will see acute medical and surgical bed numbers at Newtown reduced from around 500 to nearer 300. This means more than a third of beds may go under the new proposal. Given that 17,000 people are on some kind of waiting list in the region this will fall far short of the mark and waiting lists will continue to grow,” says Phillida Bunkle.

“The Government has been silent on funding. Given that the capital expenditure budget for health drops by $110 million next year I fail to see where the money is coming from. The most likely scenario is that this new hospital will be privately funded and leased back to the public for profit,” says Phillida Bunkle.

“I am pleased that the Government has realised that Newtown is the sensible site for tertiary services and that Kenepuru needs further services and development. The Alliance has always said Wellington needs three 24 hour general hospitals. Unlike the Government we have shown how we’ll fund these hospitals.”

“Much of the reason why Wellington and Auckland hospitals are in so much trouble is because they have never been funded to be tertiary hospitals. The Government has been silent on this issue and so have the other parties. The Alliance will fund and organise tertiary services nationally to ensure the services are where people need them.”

“I am disappointed the government has not put forward a proposal containing the key elements, like funding and how capacity will meet need. A National-Act government will probably see Newtown privately funded whereas the Alliance will pay from it with public funds. Furthermore we have shown how we will do this without raising taxes for 95% of New Zealanders,” said Phillida Bunkle.

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