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Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean says she’s disappointed at Health Minister David Clark’s lack of action around Central Otago health concerns and believes that he fails to understand the issues.

“I wrote to Dr Clark in July, amid concerns about the future of after-hours cover for GP services in Central Otago and the underlying problem for this community that health funding is not keeping pace with population growth.

“More young families are moving to Central Otago, it’s also a popular place for retirement and tourist numbers are on the rise.

“However, despite my concerns about the urgency of the situation, Dr Clark took five weeks to reply to my correspondence and even then he was unable to offer the local community any support or direction.

“I was raising a serious health issue on behalf of Central Otago people, but received what I perceive to be a generic letter which could have applied to any health question at any time.

“It told me precisely nothing and offered no sense that the Health Minister has any understanding of the growth issues facing Central Otago.

“His PR spin about how he wants to ‘improve access to primary health for all New Zealanders’ just won’t wash in Central Otago where families want to know that they can access a doctor in the middle of the night if they need one.

“I’m disappointed for local people that this is the response and I fear for the future as patient numbers increase while the Government fails to put appropriate health services in place to meet those demands.”

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