7 Jul 2011

South Taranaki health cuts 'drastic and unacceptable'

3:28 pm on 7 July 2011

The Ngāti Ruanui iwi says proposed health cuts in South Taranaki are drastic and unacceptable, and put whānau at risk.

The Taranaki District Health Board wants to save over $1 million and plans to cut Hāwera Hospital's 20 beds to 10.

Six of the remaining beds may be moved to a rest home and extra patients, or any who stay longer than 36 hours, will be transferred to New Plymouth.

Ngāti Ruanui's rūnanga chair Ngāpari Nui says Pātea is less than 30km from Hāwera, but whānau face a 130km journey to New Plymouth.

Mr Nui says the DHB's idea of medical consultations via email and phone will not work for elders.

He says consultation with Ngāti Ruanui has been scant and late, and the DHB needs to come to marae throughout South Taranaki to find out what hapū and whānau think.

The tribe believes the Taranaki DHB wants to eventually close the Hāwera's hospital.