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Prebble critical of hospital management

Wellington Central MP Richard Prebble today expressed criticism of Capital Coast Health's management of its child cancer facility.

"I have been contacted by parents of children with cancer who are distraught at the possibility that the child cancer department might be closed, because of the hospital's failure to retain enough child cancer specialists," Mr Prebble said.

"A properly run tertiary hospital should have an adequately staffed child cancer unit. I am critical that Capital Coast Health, when its own staff and the Health Funding Authority both told it that two specialists were needed, continued to try and run the service with only one."

Mr Prebble has written to the Minister of Health and Capital Coast Health Chief executive asking for urgent answers on the role of the hospital and the Health Funding Authority in the matter.

"A properly run tertiary hospital should have a child cancer unit," Mr Prebble said. "That is the bottom line."


ends

Att: Letters to Minister of Health & Capital Coast Health

Hon Wyatt Creech
Minister of Health
Parliament Buildings
Fax 4712936


Dear Minister

I have been contacted by the parents of children with cancer who are extremely concerned at the possibility that the paediatric oncology department of Capital Coast Health may close if the hospital is unable to hire the required number of paediatric oncologists within a very short time frame.

I am advised that the Health Funding Authority has given Capital Coast Health until 31 December to show it is on track towards reaching the minimum standard of two child cancer specialists.

I request your urgent response to the following questions:

Are the HFA's short deadline and implied threat of closure are acceptable to you?

Is it acceptable to you that a tertiary hospital with medical school responsibilities should be under threat of losing this vital service? Given the seriousness of this situation and the time demands made by the HFA, I request your urgent response.

Yours sincerely

Hon Richard Prebble CBE
LEADER, ACT NEW ZEALAND
MP, WELLINGTON CENTRAL

Dr Karen Palmer
Acting CEO
Capital Coast Health
Private Bag 7902 Wellington South
Fax 3855929

Dear Dr Palmer

I have been contacted by the parents of children with cancer who are extremely concerned at the possibility that Capital Coast Health's paediatric oncology department may close if the hospital is unable to hire the required number child cancer specialists within a very short time frame. I understand that child cancer specialist Dr Wayne Nicholls has given as a reason for his resignation the pressure of sole practice in an area which requires at least two paediatric oncologists.

his letter is to ask whether Dr Nicholls has received all the support by Capital Coast Health that he should have had. Given the seriousness of this situation and the time demands made by the Health Funding Authority, I request your urgent response.


Yours sincerely

Hon Richard Prebble CBE
LEADER, ACT NEW ZEALAND
MP, WELLINGTON CENTRAL

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