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Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said she hopes Health Minister David Clarke doesn’t leave the people of Central Otago waiting too long on a decision on future funding for health services in the area.

“As Central Otago’s population grows, the demands on Dunstan Hospital continue to increase and quite naturally the local community is concerned about healthcare in the future.

“Mr Clark campaigned hard on health funding, in the lead-up to the election, including support for the rebuild of Maniototo Hospital, so he needs to step-up early and indicate where he is going.

“I first wrote to Mr Clarke in November outlining some of the urgent health funding issues across the region, including Maniototo and the cost pressures Dunstan Hospital was experiencing due to population growth.

“This was followed, in December, by an urgent request for a meeting with the minister, myself and Central Otago Health Services representatives on Dunstan Hospital funding.

“Last week, I received is a letter saying the minister had asked his officials to advise him and that he would respond in due course.

“While I am disappointed that the minister did not respond with more enthusiasm, I am determined to hold him to account on this issue on behalf of the people of Central Otago.

“Health funding for this region has been a priority of mine over many years and I am determined to continue to highlight these concerns to the minister to ensure that Central Otago people get a fair deal.”

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