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Central Otago after hours service needs to be saved - Dean

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

An urgent local solution to save Central Otago’s after hours service needs to be found, Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean says.

"I’m shocked to learn that that the current after hours service in Central Otago is set to close in a matter of weeks, with local GP's no longer able to sustain the workloads required as a result of recent resignations.

"After hours care is not a luxury - it’s a necessity and I want see the Southern District Health Board, Wellsouth, Alexandra and Cromwell GPs, Central Otago Health Services and the local community, working together to save this service.

"Clearly the goodwill of local GP’s has been exhausted, with improved funding support and a change in afterhours provision critical in ensuring the service continues operating.

"Unlike other regions, there is no emergency department in Central Otago, so if this service folds local people from Alexandra to Wanaka, and visitors to the area, will be left with nowhere to turn.

"One of the significant issues appears to be an inconsistency in funding - while Central Otago is expected to provide an overnight service, other after hours services across the DHB catchment are only required to operate up until 8pm, before the local hospital takes over.

"Funding to cover the throngs of extra visitors who come into the area and require the service over the summer also needs to be addressed.

"I am hopeful that a solution can be found, with funding a key part of the equation, along with all parties working together in the best interests of the Central Otago community."

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