Full health care fund­ing promised


The Mir­ror asked Waitaki can­di­dates how they would sup­port Dun­stan and Man­iototo Hos­pi­tals and how they in­tended deal­ing with the in­equities of ur­ban and ru­ral health...

A Labour Gov­ern­ment would con­trib­ute the $1 mil­lion needed to re­build Man­iototo Hospi­tal, Waitaki can­di­date Zelie Allan said.

‘‘The South­ern Dis­trict Health Board has been com­par­a­tively more underfunded than any other health board.

‘‘The for­mula for pro­vid­ing ser­vices over such a large area has never been sorted.

‘‘So the first thing Labour prom­ises to do is to in­crease the fund­ing to the DHB and then sort out the for­mula to re­flect dis­tance, size and di­ver­sity.’’

How­ever, cur­rent Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment and Na­tional Party can­di­date Jac­qui Dean has found it more dif­fi­cult to get the re­quired fund­ing.

She said she ‘‘thor­oughly un­der­stands’’ the needs of the com­mu­nity and she was ad­vo­cat­ing on be­half of the peo­ple of the Man­iototo as best should could.

‘‘To date, I have not been suc­cess­ful in my en­deav­ours, but that doesn’t mean that I have given up try­ing,’’ she said.

The Gov­ern­ment’s bil­lion dol­lar com­mit­ment to build a new Dunedin Hospi­tal would ben­e­fit peo­ple in Cen­tral Otago, she said.

The Op­por­tu­ni­ties Party can­di­date Kevin Neill said his party did not have a health pol­icy spe­cific to the area but he would be ad­vo­cat­ing for a greater aware­ness around our grow­ing pop­u­la­tion, el­derly care, and the spar­sity of our pop­u­la­tion.

‘‘Es­tab­lish­ment par­ties have for a long time known that this re­gion would grow but have failed to keep pace with in­fra­struc­ture.’’

Pat Wall, of the Green Party, said a demo­cratic vote should be held to elect a health board, and man­age­ment should take a more col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach to man­age­ment, rather than top down.

‘‘Cur­rently, the sys­tem is not ori­ented to­ward pa­tient out­comes so much as to bot­tom lines. This cul­ture must change!’’

He said Man­iototo should have new fa­cil­i­ties, Dun­stan should be ex­panded, and both hos­pi­tals should be bet­ter re­sourced and pro­vide 24/7 emer­gency service and care.

Democrats for So­cial Credit can­di­date Hes­sel Van Wieren said there was chronic un­der­fund­ing of dis­trict health boards.

His party’s mon­e­tary pol­icy would make an ex­tra $6 bil­lion avail­able to de­velop fully funded health ser­vices, he said.

Alex Famil­ton, of New Zealand First, said his party aimed to have a service fo­cus, as op­posed to cor­po­rate struc­tures in health, and es­tab­lish a uni­form fund­ing sys­tem across ur­ban and ru­ral.

‘‘Gov­ern­ment have re­fused to as­sist fund­ing the Man­iototo Hospi­tal re­build - the com­mu­nity are forced to raise all monies. Oa­maru hospi­tal is sub­ject to a de­mand­ing op­er­a­tional re­view.

‘‘Both cases un­fairly funded com­pared to ur­ban ar­eas.’’

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