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No Escape from DHBs' Patients Cull

No Escape from DHBs' Patients Cull

The Grey Hospital corporate office’s announcement of culling over 300 West Coast patients from their waiting lists shows that the scandalous abandonment of patients needing treatment requested by their G.P.s has become a nationwide blot on successive governments’ handling of the public health system, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman, David Tranter.

While 300 culled here may suggest that Coasters are getting off lightly compared to thousands of patients dumped by other DHBs, the Coast has only one percent of the total population, so proportionally Coasters are probably being hit even harder than people elsewhere.

The stupidity of delaying treatment which in many cases will become more costly to provide later, is highlighted on the Coast by the fact that at the same time as they announce the patient cull the Greymouth corporate office is proposing a $40 million re-build of the hospital, Mr. Tranter said. Certainly Grey Hospital needs some attention – especially when compared to the gold-plated corporate mangement offices alongside it – but at 38 years old it is not disimilar to many hospitals around New Zealand which, with sensible refurbishment, would have decades of effective life left in them.

So why are corporate management – and their tame accomplices around the board table - putting buildings ahead of patient care? Is it because the Ministry of Health – which would be more appropriately named the Ministry of Sickness - has instructed them to fall into line with other DHBs so they can’t be held up as an example of a board NOT culling patients. Or are they so besotted with their corporate image introduced under National’s Simon Upton in 1993, that they see Grey Hospital as a corporate flagship more worthy of spending money on than West Coasters who have paid their health taxes and are now having to count their pennies to see if they can afford to go private?


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