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Death Knell For Mosgiel Family Health Counselling

Death Knell For Mosgiel Family Health Counselling Centre

Mosgiel Family Health Counselling Centre staff were yesterday advised that they were definitely moving to Wakari Hospital, PSA organiser Mark Ryan said today.

The decision comes after staff efforts to locate to alternative premises were rejected by the Otago District Health Board. The closure of the Mosgiel site will not only affect counselling services but also physiotherapy and dietetic services (dietary issues including diabetes).

Mark Ryan said that PSA members identified two possible options for keeping the counselling service based in Mosgiel.

“Those options were never seriously looked into by the ODHB despite assurances that they would be. It appears that the official line is that as work had commenced on fixing up the Wakari site for the counselling service, ODHB was not interested in spending more money on Mosgiel based premises.”

"As far as our members are concerned ODHB was never interested in keeping the services in Mosgiel. Originally members had until the end of June to locate alternative premises - some 11 weeks. That was cut back to four weeks when the current landlord ended the lease earlier than expected. The four week period was then halved to two weeks to try and beat the start of work on the Wakari site - a condition that management never informed staff about until after the work had begun."

Mark Ryan said the provision of physiotherapy and dietetic services to the Mosgiel and Taieri communities would also be affected.

“The relocation of these services to Wakari and Dunedin Hospitals will have a huge impact on the mainly elderly and disabled patients who use the Mosgiel based service. The ability for these patients to access Wakari and Dunedin Hospitals for those services is restricted due to mobility issues and also the lack of transport to and from the City - especially as the shuttle service provided by ODHB to Wakaru has been cut in half. The net effect will be patients getting no treatment and ultimately costing ODHB more in the long run to provide them with the care they need."

"Public action is urgently needed to keep these services located in Mosgiel. Members of the public need to call on ODHB CEO Mr Brian Rousseaux and ODHB Chairman Mr Richard Thompson to urge the Board to change its’ position."

The centre closes on May 20.

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