Wānaka healthcare to be examined in public meeting

by Lauren Pattemore - Mar 01, 2024

The Wānaka-Upper Clutha Community Board is putting an open invite out to attend and submit questions to healthcare providers on the state of local services.

The questions will be answered in an open meeting later this month by representatives from St John, Te Whatu Ora, Aspiring Medical Centre and Dunstan Hospital/Central Otago Health Services Ltd.

The meeting will be facilitated by board chair Simon Telfer, who expects much of discussion is likely to focus on the "key issue" of after-hours care, but he welcomes a broader conversation.

Mr Telfer says despite healthcare delivery not falling under the scope of local government, the board has a responsibility to represent and advocate for the interests of the community.

“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.”

Mr Telfer says he's committed to ensuring the community’s collective voice is heard by decision makers.

He's encouraging residents to send their questions in advance, either by letter delivered to the Queenstown Lakes District Council office at 47 Ardmore Street, emailing him at [email protected] or adding a comment to the event listing on the council’s Facebook page.

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

The panel of experts who have confirmed their attendance are as follows: 

  • 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
  • Jonathon Wills, Clinical Director at Central Otago Health Services Ltd (Dunstan Hospital)

The event will be held at the Lake Wānaka Centre from 7pm to 8pm on Wednesday, March 20.

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