Hospital upgrade long overdue after Labour delays

The Whangarei hospital upgrade is simply a rehash of what was already announced earlier this year, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“The people of Whangarei will be pleased to hear their hospital will finally get the long overdue upgrade, which was started in 2015 under the last National Government and then stopped in 2018 under Labour.  

“In March, the Government announced the Whangarei hospital upgrade and a couple of months later Health Minister Andrew Little even had a photo opportunity on site – nothing new here.

“Instead of more photo opportunities and reannouncements, the Minister and his Government should get the work underway.

“This year alone, 1504 people have arrived in Whangarei’s emergency department and left before being seen due to the long wait times and lack of beds. Of those, 165 people were forced to return to the emergency department the next day due to their worsening condition.

“The Minister must remember that just building a hospital does not staff it. Whangarei hospital is currently short at least 14 emergency department nurses.

“The Health Minister should work with his Government to put nurses on the straight to residency pathway, and get on with the hospital upgrade that Whangarei desperately needs.”