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Community Board to host public meeting on healthcare provision in the Upper Clutha – QLDC

The Wānaka Upper Clutha Community Board is inviting members of the public to submit questions to an expert panel prior to an open meeting examining the current provision of local healthcare services.

Board Chair Simon Telfer, who will facilitate the session at Lake Wānaka Centre from 7.00 to 8.00pm on Wednesday 20 March, said even though the delivery of healthcare services did not fall within the remit of local government, the board does have responsibility to represent and act as an advocate for the interests of the community on this and other important issues.

“On behalf of the Board, I’m committed to making sure our community’s collective voice is heard by those able to make decisions,” he said.

“It’s no secret that medical services are under strain across the Upper Clutha given our rapidly growing population and the often lengthy process for health authorities to make big investment decisions. The more people who get involved now, the more those authorities will understand community sentiment and the demand for change.”

The panel of experts will provide insights into the current state of healthcare in the Upper Clutha and discuss avenues for improvement. Those confirmed so far are (in alphabetical order):

  • David Baillie, Area Operations Manager – Central Otago at Hato Hone St John;
  • Hamish Brown, Group Director of Operations at Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora – Southern;
  • David Gow, Chief Medical Officer at Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora – Southern;
  • Fiona McLean, GP at Aspiring Medical Centre; and
  • Jonathon Wills, Clinical Director at Central Otago Health Services Ltd (Dunstan Hospital).

Simon said much of the discussion was likely to focus on the key issue of after-hours care but he anticipated and welcomed a broader conversation.

“To frame this conversation and make sure we cover the issues that matter to locals, we encourage everyone to send their questions to us in advance. They can do this by dropping a letter into QLDC’s office at 47 Ardmore Street, emailing me at simon.telfer@qldc.govt.nz or adding a comment to the event listing on the Council’s Facebook page @QLDCinfo.”

He encouraged everyone to attend to show their support for positive community action.


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