My­coplasma bo­vis big­ger than pol­i­tics

Clutha Leader - - FRONT PAGE -

This Labour/NZ First Gov­ern­ment has played their cards, and re­gional de­vel­op­ment is not in their hand. Although health care seems to be their pri­or­ity, it turns out this pri­or­ity is par­tic­u­larly se­lec­tive and Clutha-South­land has not made the cut. This is yet an­other punch in a string of hits to our re­gion that strength­ens the blow to re­gional de­vel­op­ment and lo­cal in­fra­struc­ture. Yet an­other bro­ken prom­ise.

Labour has in­creased health fund­ing by $730 mil­lion, which is less than the $930 mil­lion in­crease that Na­tional had planned. I find it some­what ironic see­ing tabloids headed with ideas such as ‘‘health this year’s bud­get win­ner’’ when I con­sider the par­tic­u­lar is­sues fac­ing our re­gion such as the threat­ened down­grade of the Lums­den Ma­ter­nity Hospi­tal, which re­mains lost to this Gov­ern­ment.

Once again, we are fight­ing to save an­other ser­vice in a core re­gional health fa­cil­ity. Fol­low­ing a pe­ti­tion that ral­lied the over­whelm­ing sup­port of over 5000 sig­na­tures, a de­ci­sion looks to be made in a cou­ple of weeks on June 7.

The birthing unit of the ma­ter­nity hospi­tal not only gives heart to the com­mu­nity, but pro­vides out­stand­ing sup­port to ru­ral moth­ers and ba­bies in our re­gion.

De­spite our com­mu­nity so clearly and vo­cally want­ing the hospi­tal’s birthing unit to re­main open, this Gov­ern­ment is strug­gling to lis­ten, and leaves us ask­ing the ques­tion: where is all the money go­ing?

De­spite be­ing contributors to the eco­nomic back­bone of New Zealand, it seems that this year, health care in our re­gion is set to be one of the big­gest losers if the Gov­ern­ment does not lis­ten up and de­liver.

De­liver on their prom­ises of re­gional de­vel­op­ment, de­liver on their con­tri­bu­tions to health care, and de­liver to the peo­ple of Clutha-South­land. Let­ters should not ex­ceed 250 words and must have a full name, ad­dress and phone num­ber. The news di­rec­tor re­serves the right to edit, abridge or with­hold any cor­re­spon­dence with­out ex­pla­na­tion. Let­ters may be re­ferred to oth­ers for right of re­ply. Email: mary-jo.to­hill@stuff.co.nz

JOHN HAWKINS

Clutha-South­land’s Na­tional MP Hamish Walker

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