8 March 2013: The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is joining the residents of Blenheim as they fight for health services to remain in the area. The Nelson Marlborough District Health Board review of services at Wairau Hospital could result in only elective (planned) surgery being performed in Blenheim.
NZNO organiser, Carla Palmer says, “We absolutely oppose the DHB’s proposal. Every New Zealander needs to have the right health care available to them at the time and place it’s needed. Moving health services to Nelson could mean people not receiving the acute care they need in a timely manner and let’s not beat about the bush, it could mean avoidable deaths.”
“We are disappointed that the DHB is not listening to the people it serves. And we are concerned that as the largest voice for nursing in New Zealand, NZNO, has not been properly consulted either.”
“A change of this magnitude will not only cause job losses in Blenheim, it will cause extra stress on services and staff at Nelson hospital,” Palmer says.
“We urge the Nelson Marlborough DHB and the Minister of Health to make the right decision and take these options off the table. The new CEO assures us the DHB will ‘have an open mind to what the solutions will be’ – we know that will be difficult when the Government is forcing DHBs to cut millions of dollars from their budgets at the expense of core services.”