New ContentMaternity services?

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Queenstown mum Natasha Murray is worried SDHB’s proposal won’t include better maternity services. Murray, in Mountain Scene last August, blamed the death of her first unborn baby on the resort’s inadequate public health system. “There’s no mention of new maternity services or extra beds,” she says. “With an increasing population of 45 per cent by 2026, we’d most certainly need improved maternity services, beds and obstetrics. We’d love more of our babies to be born here. It would give great relief to a lot of families, emotionally and financially.”

Devil in the detail

Local widow Sue Kelly is dubious of the scant detail in SDHB’s new plans to revamp health services in the Wakatipu. 

Kelly’s cancer-suffering husband Malcolm spent the last two months of his life worried he’d be exiled to die last year. But there are some positive signs, she says. 

“I’m glad to see they’re planning to reinstate the palliative care bed because when Malcolm died there wasn’t one. And I’m pleased about the 24-hour GP service. But I’m concerned about dementia care – there’s no mention of a secure unit which is what’s needed,” she says.

Triumph for Trust 

Health campaigner Maria Cole says the Wakatipu Health Trust is pleased SDHB’s finally changed its tune. “It’s the first time we really have a major admission from the DHB that the services and facilities in Queenstown are inadequate for the growing needs of our community,” she says. “The trust has actively engaged with the DHB for several years to present evidence of the deficiencies in our public health services and to seek development of strategic plans for Queenstown.” The proposal is positive news overall, Cole says. She’ll ask for clarification on several aspects.