Health fund­ing fight

Peo­ple urged to re­ject Dun­stan Hos­pi­tal cuts threat

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By MAR­JORIE COOK

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

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