Dunedin’s Private Public Hospital?

Dunedin Public Hospital is in line for a much needed $300 million revamp. It has recently been revealed (ODT Sat 11 June) that potential tenderers have been told by the Ministry of Health that a public private partnership (PPP) should be considered.

The question is why? Why would the government get a private corporation to borrow money for the costs of the revamp as well as build it? Then repay this corporation the costs of construction, plus the cost of borrowing the money, plus a generous profit margin for both. Surely it is cheaper for the government to pay for the costs of construction itself. And it would have far greater control over the rebuild, albeit with greater public accountability. Continue reading

Why Not Free Doctors Visits for All?

It is good to see the National government acknowledging the important role that GPs play in keeping us healthy with the announcement in the 2014 budget that it will provide free doctors visits and waive prescription charges for children under 13 years from July 2015. But why stop there? Why not free doctors visits and prescriptions for everyone? Continue reading

Dunedin Hospital Accident and Emergency restrictions ridiculous

Alliance Party co leader and candidate for Dunedin South Kay Murray says the proposal to restrict access to the Dunedin Public Hospital Accident and Emergency Department to people who come in an ambulance or with a General Practitioner referral is ridiculous.

Ms Murray says it may well cut patient numbers in the Accident and Emergency Department, but people could suffer serious complications or even death through the delays it will cause in getting the treatment they need. Continue reading