HEALTH WOES

The Tribune (NZ) - - CONVERSATIONS -

MidCen­tral Health must be one of the sick­est, most bad-man­nered or­gan­i­sa­tions in New Zealand. With re­gard to the pro­vi­sion of on­go­ing rheuma­tol­ogy spe­cial­ists they have failed mis­er­ably, not only in their lack of as­sured con­tin­u­a­tion of the ser­vice, but more so in their com­plete in­abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate with the peo­ple most af­fected – the pa­tients. No let­ter has been sent to the pa­tients. No cor­re­spon­dence has been sup­plied to Arthri­tis Sup­port Groups.

I only found out that I had been dis­charged – ‘‘struck off the list’’ - when I made a per­sonal en­quiry as to why my usual ap­point­ment had not been no­ti­fied. I have since been con­tacted by other pa­tients who have sim­i­larly been struck off. It’s dis­tress­ing given that we had a help­ful and trust­ing re­la­tion­ship with Dr Gear (now re­tired).

The cur­rent off-hand be­hav­iour of MidCen­tral Health is per­ceived not only as an in­sult to his pro­fes­sion­al­ism but also as mal­treat­ment of those af­flicted by arthri­tis. It does not go away, and nei­ther will our crit­i­cism of a run­down pub­lic health sys­tem that has proven it doesn’t even have the in-house ini­tia­tive or skills ca­pa­ble of post­ing a let­ter.

Christina Pa­ton, Fox­ton Beach

SPCA CLO­SURE

I amap­palled and shocked at the im­pend­ing clo­sure of the Feild­ing SPCA. It’s come about just when res­cue shel­ters are needed more, not less. As the eco­nomic cli­mate brings about more poverty and hard­ship, the aban­don­ment and ne­glect of an­i­mals in­creases.

Yes, set up a doggy day care to help fund the SPCA (both cen­tres ) but not take away this valu­able shel­ter. Feild­ing SPCA vol­un­teers have worked damn hard over the years to keep it go­ing and have done a fan­tas­tic job. This de­ci­sion is an in­sult to them and a dev­as­tat­ing move for the an­i­mals that need to be res­cued.

Palmer­ston North SPCA al­ready have a ter­ri­ble rep­u­ta­tion for turn­ing away an­i­mals, and pick­ing and choos­ing what they will take, so what is it go­ing to be like when Feild­ing is gone? As if the mea­gre ex­ten­sions in Palmer­ston North are go­ing to com­pen­sate - it’s a damn trav­esty. Feild­ing is a wealthy farm­ing com­mu­nity, yet, un­like the Palmer­ston North branch which is funded a cer­tain amount an­nu­ally by the city coun­cil, it has had to strug­gle all th­ese years with­out any reg­u­lar fund­ing from the Feild­ing Dis­trict Coun­cil. Feild­ing peo­ple should be up in arms about this but sadly are not.

Jenny Doyle, Palmer­ston North

IN PRAISE OF MMP

I won­der how many peo­ple re­call how New Zealand Su­per­an­nu­a­tion (NZS) ceased to be a po­lit­i­cal football, and how small po­lit­i­cal par­ties are able to make pol­icy gains? For ex­am­ple the all-party ac­cord on NZ Su­per set the min­i­mum and max­i­mum rate of su­per­an­nu­a­tion pay­ments to be be­tween 65 and 72.5 per cent of the net af­ter tax min­i­mum wage.

New Zealand First un­der Win­ston Peters had the num­bers to lift the level to 66 per­cent. In ad­di­tion, the party was able to get the Gold Card in­tro­duced; United Fu­ture leader Peter Dunne had the length of day­light sav­ing ex­tended.

More re­cently, David Sey­mour of Act achieved the in­tro­duc­tion of char­ter schools. How did th­ese changes come about? Be­cause the elec­torate dumped First Past the Post in re­sponse to con­tin­ual bro­ken prom­ises by Na­tional and Labour. En­ter MMP. This month marked the twen­ti­eth an­niver­sary of the in­tro­duc­tion of MMP.

The por­tends are that af­ter next year’s elec­tion, small par­ties will have sig­nif­i­cant pres­ence in Par­lia­ment thus able to lever­age pol­icy gains from the party with the largest num­ber of seats.Un­der MMPone has a Party Vote, the cru­cial vote, and a vote for the elec­torate MP. This en­ables choice about who to give one’s party vote to, and the other to a good elec­torateMP ir­re­spec­tive of which party they be­long to. The death of First Past the Post is mourned by a few, but thank­fully MMPis here to stay.

Don Robert­son, Palmer­ston North

HAVE YOUR SAY

The Tribune wel­comes let­ters. They should not ex­ceed 250 words and must carry a gen­uine name, home ad­dress and day­time phone num­ber. Let­ters may be edited, abridged or omit­ted with­out ex­pla­na­tion. They can be emailed to tribune@msl.co.nz or posted to PO Box 3, Palmer­ston North to be re­ceived by 4pm on the Thurs­day prior to pub­li­ca­tion.

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