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National Won’t Commit To Full Nelson Hospital Upgrade

The Government needs to be clear with the people of the Nelson Marlborough region about the changes it is considering for the Nelson Hospital rebuild, Labour health spokesperson Ayesha Verrall said.

“After a period of work and research, Te Whatu Ora presented me with a range of options for use of existing and new buildings and selected the clinically preferred option, including a new acute services and inpatient care building,” Ayesha Verrall said.

“I was advised that further review of options would only save cost if we reduced the clinical capacity of the building. National needs to come clean and state whether they have been advised otherwise, or whether this is just yet another cost cutting exercise.

“In 2023 Cabinet approved draw down of $73 million of health capital funds to begin enabling works and further design, as part of a 10-year project spread across multiple budgets. Staged funding approvals was to keep closer control on costs.

“Cabinet agreed to the clinically preferred option that brought most services into a single building and best supported their ability to continue through an earthquake on the alpine fault.

“I am concerned that National are planning to scale back their commitment to Nelson hospital. This is a cut to front line health services as is their hiring freeze on clinical roles.

“We cannot afford for every National government to scale back health capital investment. The government is taking New Zealand backwards, we will never get hospitals of the size we need.

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“The people of Nelson and Marlborough cannot be shortchanged by the Government, a discounted renovation or downscaled rebuild will not give Nelson, Blenheim and Tasman the hospital that these places deserve,” Nelson MP Rachel Boyack said.

“We need to keep up with the region’s growing and ageing population by future-proofing Nelson’s health network, providing accessible, quality health services for the community,” Rachel Boyack said.

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