English wants healthcare answers spelt out soon

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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.”