A&M ques­tions re­main

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION/NEWS -

First of all this month, I must re­tract one of my state­ments from last month.

I said the ini­tia­tive to close down the 10pm-8am A&M ser­vice at Kenepuru Hospi­tal had come from the lo­cal doc­tors. Ap­par­ently, their sug­ges­tion was in re­sponse to a move from the DHB, so if our lo­cal doc­tors were up­set by my al­le­ga­tion, I trust they will ac­cept my re­trac­tion.

To date, I have re­ceived an­swers to only a cou­ple of my ques­tions from last month. Those re­gard­ing the amounts of money in­volved have not been an­swered. I am per­se­ver­ing in my ef­forts to ob­tain the rest of the in­for­ma­tion.

Fur­ther ques­tions spring to mind: If, as I un­der­stand is the case, the unit is staffed dur­ing or­di­nary hours by hospi­tal-em­ployed doc­tors and nurses, why do we have to pay to use the ser­vice dur­ing those hours? Are we not al­ready pay­ing their wages through our taxes? And in what other pub­lic health fa­cil­ity are the pub­lic expected to pay to at­tend an ac­ci­dent and med­i­cal unit?

I some­times won­der where our coun­try is go­ing. Re­cently bills have been put for­ward to le­galise same-sex mar­riage and so-called ‘‘ vol­un­tary’’ eu­thana­sia. We al­ready have abor­tion on de­mand and re­duc­tion in gov­ern­ment sup­port for or­gan­i­sa­tions which work to help those on low in­comes and in strait­ened cir­cum­stances.

Even gov­ern­ment agen­cies are con­tin­u­ally be­ing told to save money and the re­sult is re­duced ser­vices and con­se­quent ef­fects on the most dis­ad­van­taged of our peo­ple. Our most vul­ner­a­ble, chil­dren and the frail el­derly, are of­ten not re­ceiv­ing the care and at­ten­tion they need.

Child abuse and elder abuse show no signs of abat­ing. Many chil­dren are turn­ing up to school mi­nus break­fast. Busi­nesses are clos­ing at a fright­en­ing rate. Scams and fraud per­pe­trated against the most vul­ner­a­ble are reg­u­larly re­ported in our pa­pers.

What is hap­pen­ing to ‘‘God­zone’’? It is easy for me to think nos­tal­gi­cally on the past and the rel­a­tively peace­ful era when peo­ple seemed to care for one an­other, char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tions flour­ished and ethics and in­tegrity were the hall­marks of busi­ness transactions.

Of course, there have al­ways been in­equal­i­ties in so­ci­ety but I sup­pose they didn’t im­pinge on my con­scious­ness in those days.

An­other thing I find mys­ti­fy­ing is the ef­forts of op­po­si­tion par­ties to desta­bilise the gov­ern­ment. Am I the only per­son who is get­ting some­what weary of the Dot­com af­fair, the (pos­si­bly gen­uine) lapses of mem­ory of the Prime Min­is­ter, and all the other seem­ingly triv­ial mat­ters which so ex­er­cise the minds of the Labour and Green par­ties in par­tic­u­lar?

Okay, their job is to keep the gov­ern­ment hon­est but could they not spend more of their en­ergy in sup­port­ing ef­forts by gov­ern­ment agen­cies to keep the econ­omy and our peo­ple afloat?

As long as the op­po­si­tion (of what­ever po­lit­i­cal hue) is in op­po­si­tion, its mem­bers con­ve­niently for­get their own short­com­ings when in gov­ern­ment and make it their busi­ness to un­der­mine the cur­rent gov­ern­ment by ev­ery pos­si­ble means.

Do they have at heart the best in­ter­ests of our cit­i­zens or are they merely try­ing to get back on to the Trea­sury benches?

Last month, we en­joyed a cou­ple of in­ter­est­ing speak­ers. Stephen Cross of Abbey­field Porirua in­tro­duced us to this form of com­mu­nal hous­ing for the el­derly. We hope to hear from Stephen again next year. We also heard from Anna Suroweiz about the great work of the Welling­ton City Mis­sion and in par­tic­u­lar its sup­port of se­nior cit­i­zens.

This month we hold our last meet­ing for the year so it will be a so­cial func­tion. It is a chance to en­joy one an­other’s com­pany and some fes­tive fare. So do come along. Bring your­self, a friend and some food to share. We look for­ward to see­ing you there.

Date: Tues­day, Novem­ber 13 . Time: 1.30pm. Venue: The Porirua Club, Lodge Place, Porirua. Contact: He­len Grif­fith, phone: 236 0112.

Won­der women: Some of the knit­ters help­ing to pack the wool bale, from left, Wendy Craw­ford, Pat Wor­thing­ton, Bev Irv­ing, Glenda Kropp, Ruth Main­land and Bev Allen.

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