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Possible health cuts wider than just Hawke’s Bay

Health Spokesperson

19 February 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Possible health cuts wider than just Hawke’s Bay

Stories are emerging from a number of District Health Boards that extensive cost cuts and job losses are about to occur, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Maryan Street.

“We heard at the end of last week about the possible loss of 35 jobs from Hawke’s Bay DHB, as the management there tries to exercise the financial restraint that Health Minister Tony Ryalll requires of them,” said Maryan Street.

“But these losses seem to be only the tip of the iceberg

“I have now heard unconfirmed reports from Bay of Plenty DHB and Waikato DHB, where hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of dollars look set to be cut. MidCentral DHB is also rumoured to be considering job losses as it trims its cloth to fit Tony Ryall’s directives.

“It is not clear if these are front line clinical jobs, such as nurses, or whether they are support positions,” Maryan Street said.

“Either way, however, they will not lead to the better, faster, more convenient services which Mr Ryall likes to talk about. Whenever health worker jobs are cut it is almost inevitable that worse, slower and more distant services are the result.

“Take the relocation of acute obstetric and gynaecology services from Whanganui to Palmerston North, for example. That will mean that Whanganui women will have to be taken 74 kms to Palmerston North in a hurry, should anything go wrong in their delivery.

“These reports are causing a great deal of stress to people in our provinces,” Maryan Street said.

“Not only are health workers anxious about their jobs, but people especially in the provinces are becoming increasingly worried about what kinds of health services are going to end up being available to them.

“Tony Ryall cannot simply hide behind operational decisions on this one. There are too many stories coming out of too many DHBs for the responsibility not to be sheeted home to him,” Maryan Street said.

© Scoop Media

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