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This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

January 24, 2007

Change can be good

"Change can be good - don't be scared by change". That's the message from the West Coast District Health Board regarding its draft Secondary Care Plan.

Just as the West Coast is changing, so too are health services, which is why the West Coast District Health Board has developed a draft Secondary Care Plan.

Chief Executive Kevin Hague said he was pleased that after reading the plan National MP Chris Auchinvole has realised the draft Secondary Care Plan would bring many positives for the West Coast.

Mr Hague said the West Coast was changing and health services needed to keep pace with those changes or inevitably services would fail to meet community needs.

"The draft plan is about looking at what changes are happening on the West Coast and ensuring these are factored into the future provision of health services.

The District Health Board has based the plan on several projected changes to the population including a large increase in the number of elderly and a modest overall population increase.

"Welcome as they are, the economic changes Mr. Auchinvole refers to have much more of an impact on primary care services (ones based in the community) than on how hospital services are organised. I'm sorry that I didn't make this sufficiently clear to him."

Mr Hague said the Government had been supportive of it and believed the DHB had built an extremely positive working relationship.

"We have been grateful for the support the Government has shown and we believe the positive relationships that have been built will aid the DHB to achieve its plan for better services. It is true that the West Coast once had some of the poorest health statistics in New Zealand, but this picture has now changed very substantially through the hard work and dedication of health professionals on the West Coast, the commitment shown by West Coast communities and the very substantial support of Government."

Mr Hague said he was excited about the plan and the future of health services in this region.

"Far from being created in a siege situation this plan was created by people excited by the idea of building a better, more modern and more flexible service more able to meet the needs of its community. Modern medicine is constantly evolving and this plan is simply the next step in the evolution of West Coast health services."

Mr Hague said he wanted to assure people that extensive consultation both internally and externally had taken place and would continue to take place.

For more information please contact
Vikki Carter
Community Liaison Officer
03 768 0499, Extn. 2665
027 245 9595

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