Deputy Prime Minister and Queenstown MP Bill English (pictured)wants the future of Wakatipu healthcare sorted in the next two months.
English, a former health minister, says it has taken far too long.
“We need to get decisions about a solution in the next few months – I’ve been in discussion with the Southern District Health Board about that,” English tells Mountain Scene on a visit last week.
Lobby group the Wakatipu Health Trust has been pushing for a new model of healthcare since 2009.
In the latest moves, an SDHB advisory committee turfed out the DHB’s own plan to part-privatise Frankton’s Lakes District Hospital and turn it over to a community trust.
Instead, the committee has controversially recommended LDH and Clyde’s Dunstan Hospital should merge under a money-saving “regional governance model”.
English says everyone’s had years to express their views.
“There’s a real opportunity there to combine public and private resources to get something that’s greater than the sum of the parts.”