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Abortion Services in Southland Hospital

MEDIA RELEASE

Abortion Services in Southland Hospital


24/07/2012


The prolife group Southlanders for Life is dismayed with the decision of the Southern District Health Board to continue with the plan of the management to implement an abortion service in Southland.


We are shocked that there has been no information or consultation whatsoever with the public on this important matter of considerable public interest. It is clear that the management has tried to sneak this new and controversial service into Southland with no communication with the general public and the general hospital staff. If a letter had not been written to the Editor of the Southland Times by a citizen suggesting that there was a rumour about this matter we may still not be aware of the plan. Thank you to the Southland Times reporter who researched the information and informed the public.


The Board’s own guidelines clearly state they are required to consult with their constituents when they plan to introduce new services into the community. The Board and Management have failed to follow their own guidelines.


When the new Chief Executive Officer, Ms Carole Heatly arrived recently from England she emphasised she was keen to communicate and consult with the staff and public. Ms. Heatly has failed miserably to abide by her own words regarding this new and controversial service.


Mr. Bill English, the Deputy Prime Minister has stated that he would have expected the Board and Management to have consulted with the public regarding the introduction of this new and controversial service.


When an advertised open public meeting was arranged and the Board members and senior Management were invited to be present to inform the public of the plan, not one had the courtesy or courage to attend and explain to the expectant 200 people the plan. The total lack of attendance was a disgrace, and an insult to those many concerned citizens who attended, and unbecoming of men and women who hold public office and serve the community.


When recently the new service of specialised stomach stapling for obesity control was introduced at the Southland Hospital the Board and Management were very open in informing the community of the benefits of this procedure. This was appropriate and the community was informed and are grateful for this treatment.


We believe the Board and Management has been deliberately secretive regarding this controversial new service in Southland hoping that it would get introduced under the radar. This is a serious breach of the “transparency” Boards and Managements are so fond of talking about.


We should ask why the management and Board have deliberately chosen to be secretive about the introduction of this new controversial service? Our democracy is at risk when those holding public office refuse to enter into public consultation with the very community they are paid to serve.


We are so disturbed with the lack of consultation that we are laying a formal complaint with the Ombudsman against the Southern DHB on the grounds that the decision to implement this controversial new service is being done without appropriate & required community communication and dialogue.


ends

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