INDEPENDENT NEWS

Labour to address Kenepuru concerns

Published: Thu 30 Sep 1999 04:43 PM
Mana MP Graham Kelly says today's announcement by Health Minister Wyatt Creech of extended services at Kenepuru Hospital is a start but will not be sufficient to meet the needs of the region's fastest growing communities.
"Now that Newtown has been named as the site for the new regional tertiary hospital, the Government is offering a sop to the 136,000 people in the region who live north of Johnsonville, not to mention those living north of Kapiti who will use this facility.
"Kenepuru will get a 24-hour, 7 day A unit, but this remains at not much more than the existing level 2 service. The secondary back-up services offered in the package are so low level as to discredit the whole deal.
"There are no assurances of surgical or acute in-patient facilities which would make the A unit a bit of a joke. If you had anything more than a broken bone you'd have to drive the extra distance to Newtown anyway."
Mr Kelly says that if Kenepuru is not to be the site for the full tertiary hospital, that at least it needs A & E services with proper backup and this is not what is being offered.
Commenting on the Newtown decision, Mr Kelly said in his view the National Government has defied logic again and sited the hospital in exactly the wrong place. It was extremely disappointing to my constituents, but to be expected.
He congratulated all those who had campaigned so professionally for the Kenepuru site, including local councils and health groups.
"The fact that we wouldn't budge in our very reasonable requests for a tertiary hospital meant the Government had to move at least some way on improving facilities at Kenepuru. We can be proud of highlighting the very real plight of residents who live north of Wellington city and who face difficulties in getting to Newtown - particularly the elderly and the young.
"Facilities at Kenepuru Hospital have been slowly and deliberately rundown over the past 10 years, and we used the campaign to bring the issue to government attention.
"This Government was then forced to announce some improvements at Kenepuru. The next Labour Government will regard it as honest work to finish the job properly and give people adequate, reliable and safe health care."

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