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Health stories move fast, Dr Blue

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Health

13 December 2006 Media Statement

Health stories move fast, Dr Blue

Health Minister Pete Hodgson has today reminded National Party Associate Health Spokesperson Jackie Blue that health stories tend to move quickly.

Dr Blue issued a press statement at 1 pm today calling for the Minister to step-in to resolve issues surrounding epidural access for women in the Nelson Marlborough region.

The statement was issued more than 24 hours after the issue had already been resolved as had been reported in yesterday's Nelson Mail.

"Health is a busy space," Pete Hodgson said. "I appreciate Dr Blue's concern and am happy to inform her that the issue has been resolved."

Attached: Copy of press release from Nelson Marlborough District Health Board dated 12 December 2006.

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Date: 12 December 2006
Subject: Epidurals Issue Resolved

Nelson Marlborough District Health Board today announced that it had reached agreement in principle around payment to anaesthetists at Wairau and Nelson Hospitals for epidurals during birth.

Anaesthetists at Nelson Hospital and Wairau Hospitals have been in negotiation with the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board since July 1 2006 when the payments system for epidurals at Maternity Units transferred from Healthpac to NMDHB.

NMDHB Chief Operating Officer Keith Rusholme said: "Nelson Marlborough District Health Board have reached agreement in principle with the district's 13 anaesthetists.

He said "The threat of withdrawl of epidural services at Wairau Hospital from January 1 has been removed. Nelson service was not threatened with this action and so both hospitals will offer epidurals to women in the New Year.

"The finer details of the agreement would be worked through by February, as key personnel are on leave in the intervening period."

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