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MP for Waitaki, Jacqui Dean says an equity funding injection from the Government to help the Southern District Health Board balance its books could spell disaster for several Central Otago and Wanaka health projects.

“The Government has just given the SDHB an equity injection to keep it afloat, but with it Health Minister David Clark has ordered that the board tighten up on spending.

“I’d suggest if the Minister is putting the hard word on the SDHB to cut costs that leaves little hope for Central Otago people who have been asking the Government for urgent health support for months.

“We’ve got after-hours services in Central Otago in trouble, Dunstan Hospital in need of more funding as it struggles with a growing and aging population and Wanaka families desperate for a full birthing unit to keep Mums and babies safe in their town.

“Some of these issues have been around for over 18 months, and despite my pleas for help, the Minister has sat back and ignored them. Now it could be too late.

“Now that the SDHB has to tighten its belt I suspect these Central Otago and Wanaka health issues will fall even further down the ladder because the DHB can’t afford them and the Health Minister will now say there's no money left in the pot.

“The Minister must front up to the issues that the SDHB is facing and not just provide a handout while telling the board to make more savings.”

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