27 Mar 2013

Plan to cut surgical services in Blenheim scrapped

12:36 pm on 27 March 2013

Surgical services are to stay in Blenheim after the DHB backed down on plans to drop them.

Earlier this month more than 500 people turned up to a meeting on options for cuts to services, including whether surgical and orthopaedic services at Wairau Hospital in Blenheim should be scrapped.

Many local residents and some medical specialists feared lives would be lost if patients had to make the 90-minute journey to Nelson instead.

Nelson Marlborough District Health Board has since backed down and confirmed acute and elective services will remain in Blenheim.

However the board says it still faces major financial issues and a project group will look at other options.

Campaigners are calling the result a major victory for people power but are wary about other possible changes.