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.’’