Health funding fight
People urged to reject Dunstan Hospital cuts threat
Doctor Mark Feeney is one of Wanaka’s least likely rabblerousers.
But when Feeney took the stage at the Lake Wanaka Centre last week to protest at proposed 5 per cent funding cuts at Dunstan Hospital, he had the 520-strong audience hanging on to every one of his words delivered in a broad Scottish brogue.
It was not just his unique career as a local GP and ‘‘regional generalist’’ hospital doctor that he was pleading for. It was the careers of all district health workers and the health of everyone in his community.
‘‘You can withdraw a service by putting a pen through it. But once it has gone, it’s really hard to get it back,’’ he said, before urging ‘‘Fight for Dunstan’’.
There are few doctors in the region who combine their practices such as Feeney does. His wife Jenny Mabin also rotates between medical centre and hospital-based patient care.
But with more than 40 registrars now going through ‘‘rural generalist’’ training, it is
Wanaka doctors and health workers are urging residents to ‘‘fight for Dunstan Hospital’’. From left, Wanaka Medical Centre GPs Mark Feeney and Andrew McLeod and practice manager Jan Gillespie; Aspiring Medical Centre practice manager Sally Battson and GP Fiona MacLean. Photo: MARJORIE COOK