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A reduction in after hours services in Central Otago could affect patient safety and Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean is calling on the Health Minister to urgently step in and address the issue.


“Central Otago After Hours will reduce its services from 1 November, with no GP cover at all after 10pm, affecting about 16,000 Central Otago patients.


“Having no doctor available, and making patients travel to Dunedin or Queenstown emergency departments in the middle of the night is unsafe and unacceptable, not only for residents but for the many visitors and tourists as well.


“It is important to note that this closure is not the local GPs’ fault. The GP’s at the clinic have been holding together an after hours service that has been experiencing significant pressure for most of this year and they’re exhausted.


“It’s now time David Clark to step in here and support this community. The risks are simply too high for him to ignore it and I do not believe this situation is acceptable in a country like New Zealand today.


“The regions matter just as much as the cities, and Mr Clark needs to show this with action.”

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