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National to cut $27 million of health services in Wellington

Hon Ruth Dyson

Health Spokesperson

3 December 2010

Media Statement

National to cut $27 million of health services in Wellington?

More than $17 million in hospital services and $10 million in community based services are about to be slashed, says Labour’s health spokesperson Ruth Dyson.

“No wonder former Chief Executive Ken Whelan resigned stating he couldn’t cut more services. This is an absolute outrage, that the hospital in the Capital city is essentially being downgraded,” Ruth Dyson said.

“There are now more than 110 frontline health services that have been cut in New Zealand, but clearly that number is about to be blown out of the water by reports that $17 million in hospital services is going to be cut in Wellington.

“Capital and Coast DHB not only cares for patients from Wellington, but is the major tertiary level hospital for the lower North Island and upper South Island.

“In addition to the $17 million in hospital level services being targeted for cuts, $10 million will be stripped from community services.

“In Wellington outreach mental health services, addiction services and services provided to elderly are all community services and all look likely to be cut back.

“This is simply not good enough. Labour raised the possibility that District Annual Plans were being deliberately delayed by the Minister of Health Tony Ryall until after local body elections, clearly the National Government didn’t want this information in the public arena at that time.

“Sadly Wellington is not the only place set to see considerable funding cuts. In Taranaki nearly $90,000 has been cut from diabetes services - a service that the Government claims is a priority.

“Taihape health services are in danger of closing, because Tony Ryall has failed to seek a resolution to the issues that rural service faces, despite John Key promising the health services there would remain.

“Clearly that was an empty promise by Prime Minister John Key.

“Labour will continue to push the Minister of Health for answers and fight for health services. New Zealand cannot afford to continue this record setting pace for health cutbacks that the National Government is forcing on this country.


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