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Time for All of Otago to have say on Ronald McDonald House

Regional Councillor Implores Southern DHB To Reject

Advice of Public Health Over Ronald Mcdonald House

Otago regional councillor Michael Laws has today implored Southern DHB commissioners and managers to reject the advice of its public health staff over refusing a Ronald McDonald House for Dunedin.

Cr Laws said that his family’s personal experiences of Ronald McDonald House at Starship Hospital in Auckland were “that they are a critical component in offering devastated and distressed families something of an oasis during a time of crisis.”

“ The public health advisors are promoting zealotry, not public health. Their
advice to reject such a facility – not just for Dunedin but the whole Otago region –
is both wrong and inhumane.”

Cr Laws said that when his 3 year daughter Lucy was diagnosed with cancer and associated illnesses in 2008, “our whole family was affected. Lucy was whisked away to Auckland and knowing that we had free accommodation, a safe haven and a supportive network of caring strangers was just critical.”

“ The facility is even more important for single income or lower income families, and especially for those not resident in Dunedin. It’s fine for public health people on six figure salaries to take the moral high ground, but they will never live the emotional roller-coaster that is being the parent of a very sick kid, and a long way from family and friends.”

“ There was also no discernible McDonald’s branding at Ronald McDonald House.
Instead there was, and continues to be, a supportive network of professional people dedicated to assisting your family.”

“ Let commonsense and compassion guide the DHB’s decision – not politically correct zealots.”


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