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A tale of two hospital announcements

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 am, August 26th, 2017 - 54 comments
Categories: health, jacinda ardern, labour, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uncategorized - Tags: , , , ,

Good news for Dunedin:

Labour matches National’s promise of new Dunedin hospital – fully funded by the taxpayer

Last week National leader Bill English visited the city, and pledged to rebuild the facility for $1.4 billlion within 7-10 years.

He said National would look at co-funding the project with the private sector and was greeted at the hospital by protesters, rallying against health care cuts.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says her party would build a new hospital without using PPP (public private partnership) – and says they would relocate it to the city centre. …

Note that National promised a hospital rebuild in 2014 and it never happened. This time round let’s hope Labour is in a position to deliver! Labour’s pledge to fully fund it is a real point of difference between the two promises. The receptions that they both received is another. While English and Coleman ran away out a back door to escape equal pay protestors, Jacinda Ardern’s reception was – enthusiastic…

54 comments on “A tale of two hospital announcements”

  1. Nick 1

    People Momentum plus good policies plus charismatic leader plus announcements like this Hospital…. A new Govt is coming.

  2. Dspare 2

    The increased cost of PPPs (due to the need to turn a profit) is an important factor in avoiding them. As important is how they can be used to avoid public scrutiny under the guise of commercial sensitivity. Also, the use of contractors and subcontractors to hide the use of inferior materials and working conditions which a government operation can not get away with. Their supposed benefits are all accounting tricks in hiding costs – which is of course why they are so appealing to English’s National government.

    Ms Ardern said a public-private partnership would make for a slower rebuild, as the Government would have less control under that scenario… She spoke to patients about Labour’s hospital build plan and also discussed the hospital food provided by Compass….
    A hospital doctor, who declined to be named, told the Otago Daily Times she and many of her colleagues were pleased with Labour’s announcement.

    The hospital was “falling down” and there was increased risk of infection because of the state of the building, she said.

    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/election-2017/ardern-pledges-quick-hospital-construction

    The Compass fiasco is a good case study in how public concerns can be systematically disregarded in the pursuit of a PPP. Unfortunately, the ink is dry on that contract, so it is likely to be locked in until people start coming down with food poisoning.

    [edit. Also this (from yesterday):]

    New Zealand Nurses Organisation Dunedin organiser Lorraine Lobb said public hospitals should not be used as profit-making entities.

    Mrs Lobb said there was not enough money in the health sector to provide a profit.

    ”There is no profit in health. That’s why there’s a deficit now.”

    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/health/nurses-against-ppp-rebuild

    • JC 2.1

      Not just in Dunners…

      Senior doctors support [Saturday’s] protest by West Coast people over the shoddy decision-making and flawed funding model for a new local medical facility,” Association of Salaried Medical Specialists executive director Ian Powell said”It’s about the Government foisting an unwanted public-private partnership called ‘capital recycling’ on the West Coast District Health Board under the guise of doing the local community a good turn.

      “In fact the funding model being imposed is likely to strip millions of dollars out of patient care in the region.

      “We believe that the additional cost of this dodgy funding method is likely to be up to $1 million more than the normal method of funding new hospital buildings each year for up to 34 years.”

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/west-coast/96145641/seniors-doctors-back-reasons-for-protest-against-new-west-coast-health-centre

    • Macro 2.2

      The Holiday Highway from Orewa to Puhoi built under Labour in a PPP with Northern Gateway and now a toll road on State Highway 1 should never have happened. By the time one fiddles around to pay the $2.30 online, for each trip you might as well travel via Wiawera.

      • I think you’ll find that’s where Labour are getting some of their distaste for PPPs from. They’ve done them themselves and have learned the lesson that they’re a really stupid idea.

      • eco Maori/kiwi 2.2.2

        Yea those toll roads are a pain if you don,t pay in five days the cost go up significantly most people just avoid them because the systems to pay these tolls are to complicated the tolls should just be added to your Rego Keep it simple and the traffic on these toll roads would increase the traffic is Minimal at the moment. In the Bay of Plenty

  3. ScottGN 3

    Health is becoming the sleeper issue this election especially here in the South. Coleman has been on Checkpoint more in the last week than the whole of the last term of government.

  4. ianmac 4

    Before the 2014 election they promised a new Bridge on Highway One out of Blenheim. No sign of one yet. Promises promises!

    • JC 4.1

      The government promised during the Northland by-election campaign in 2015 to replace 10 bridges in the region.

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/323729/work-to-start-on-northland-bridges-this-year

    • Tracey 4.2

      Perhaps Jacinda needs to start rememvering these for the debates…

      2014 said dunners can have a hospital…. oops sorry

      New Blengeim Bridge… oops sorry

      There must be more methinks

    • swordfish 4.3

      Continuing my informal yet rigorously-enforced policy of highlighting the 2014 Party Vote in TS regulars’ home towns (at least during the current election campaign) – last time Cinny in Motueka/open-mike-12082017/#comment-1367618
      … this time ianmac in the People’s Republic of Blenheim

      Blenheim (Kaikōura + Te Tai Tonga Blenheim Booths)
      2014 Party Vote

      Blenheim …. (Kaikōura Seat) …… (NZ)

      Lab 23% ………………..(17%) ………… (25%)
      Green 8% ……………… (9%) ………… (11%)
      IMP 0% ……………… … (0%) ……..…….(1%)
      Left 32% …………….… (27%) ………… (37%)

      NZF 11% ……………… (10%) ………… (9%)
      Oppo 43% ……………. (37%) ………. (46%)

      Nat 50% …………….….(57%) …………(47%)
      Govt 51% ………………(58%) …………(49%)

      Cons 5% ………….…….(5%) …………… (4%)
      Right 56% ……………..(62%) ……..……(53%)

  5. lurgee 5

    When English announced the new hospital, it was described hereabouts as a ‘casual bribe’; is the Labour proposal the same, or is it magically somehow different?

    • I note differences:

      1. Dunedin needs a new hospital – that’s not arguable
      2. National promised it in such a way that Dunedin may not actually get that new hospital – PPP, an extended time frame and it may be possibly be in the city centre
      3. Labour promised it ASAP, fully funded by government and that it would be in the city centre

    • Paul Campbell 5.2

      (as I explain below) the thing is that National think it’s a bribe, here in Dunedin we think it’s a necessity that’s far too long in coming – Bill thinks he’s bribing us, we’re rolling our eyes and hoping that fewer people will die in the long run

    • Gabby 5.3

      Bingles basically reminded people the hospital was due for replacement.

    • Tracey 5.4

      Nats have had nearly 9 years to address this but wait til the election campaign?

    • Tricledrown 5.5

      Luther National have been underfunding healthiness around the country by funding on an overall average age not on the needs of communities.
      i.e.. North land is being underfunded Coleman has just funded for a middle class district not for a high needs impoverished spread out DHB.
      Southern District National Coleman have funded this area on the overall average age of NZ when this health board is also spread out and has a much higher number of aged people needing more expensive healthcare.
      Now National is looking at looking this election suddenly the Southern District Health Boards deficit is suddenly no longer a problem as Coleman finds $20 million he said wasn’t going to fund the deficit under any circumstances asking SDHB continually to make cuts to pay for the deficit.
      This shows and highlights Nationals short comings and desperation.

  6. Heather Grimwood 6

    Huge and sincere enthusiasm for Jacinta and Labour’s determination for early hospital rebuild. Wonderful speech ..obviously from person of stature completely conversant with the policy.
    Jacinta would present and represent New Zealand magnificently on the world stage.

    • Reality 6.1

      Jacinda is a class act and I look forward to seeing her as our PM and on the world stage. She is a very quick learner – look how she has flourished in just three weeks!

    • lurgee 6.2

      Problem for Labour is that National got it’s announcement in first, so it looks like Labour are playing catching up, and trying to garner attention by promising more bells and whistles.

      if they’d made the announcement first, then National’s proposal would look like too little, too late.

      • Heather Grimwood 6.2.1

        to lurgee at 6.2:Believe me, no ‘catching up’ involved ! On the contrary, intensive, informed planning was needed for Labour’s policy .
        Southerners have long known what is needed and pressured for same on steeply escalating timescale. The issues have been publicised by patients and their relatives, involved professionals ( where else have you heard/read actual surgeons and nurses at coal face speaking/writing of the situation ?), the City Council, etc, long-time and ably championed by David Clark, Labour M.P. for Dunedin North and shadow Minister of Health.

      • Tracey 6.2.2

        It worked for Nats in 2008. Now some 9 years later they are up against the “why now when they had so long to do not promise. Oh cos Jacinda might win!”

      • Ovid 6.2.3

        David Clark has been lobbying for a new hospital for a couple of years, so this announcement wasn’t unexpected – at least for people paying attention.

      • Tricledrown 6.2.4

        Lurgee Labour have been leading a campaign in Dunedin a long with the Dunedin City Council demanding National fix or build a new hospital near the medical school.
        Coleman said no date had been set and No guarantee for a centrally located hospital with his preferred rebuild being the cheapest option at Wakari undermining the Medical School.
        Funny now Labour has rise.n in the polls Nationals lolly scramble bribes are highlighting their deficiencies.
        Still no guarantee of a build date from National but private funding and expensive leasing model revealed.
        National have passed off Dunedinites for to long cutting underway playing politics with healthcare delivery .
        National will’m loose support for its tight fisted unfair delivery of healthcare .

  7. Siobhan 7

    Labour’s pledge to fully fund it is a real point of difference between the two promises….which only goes to further highlight the question..why are Labour allowing their budget/spending limits to be dictated by the National Party?.

    Oh, sorry, “keep spending within “the recent historical range””.

    Its like we think were voting for a ‘New Deal’…but really we just want ‘The Old Deal’, but done nicer please.

    We run a real risk of having Labour/Adern get in for a few years, applying a few band aids, and smilingly easing us into our Orwellian future on the UBI, a UBI granted to the citizens at the behest of the Corporations and Landlords.

  8. Paul Campbell 8

    I live in Dunedin …. National’s announcement came over in the tone of an election bribe, even Blinglish showed up to announce it ….

    But the thing is from a Dunedin perspective a hospital that works, that doesn’t have bits that make people in crutches climb stairs to avoid the asbestosed bits (lifts), where the operating rooms don’t leak when it rains, etc is a necessity, not some frippery you give away at election time – the big question is not “why does it cost so much” it’s why didn’t it happen at the last election? or the one before that? fixing it is not the election bribe you think it is

    So Bill if you want our vote, and you’re prepared to bribe us for it, where’s our real bribe? how about taking the traffic lights out of the middle of the motorway so that we have some hope of doing 80kph on it (forget about 110kph, we just want a real motorway) – or bring back the commuter trains we had when I was a kid, it’s a pity you pulled out all the stations or how about kicking in $100M to get the city out of the debt hole it’s in after you made us build a stadium for your rugby cup thingy – after all if you’re prepared to do these things for everyone else, why not us

    Oh yeah Bill, while you’re listening – remember when you took away our elected health board and replaced it with your own appointed manager because they weren’t performing the way you liked …. and now your replacements have turned out to be a far worse disaster, people are dying, when are we going to get our democracy back?

    • Graeme 8.1

      The best thing a government, of any stripe, can do for Dunedin is to get it a self-sustaining economy so it can stand on it’s own and not have to try and clip the ticket of surrounding regions that don’t have connection to Dunedin any more. From a Central viewpoint I’m a little suspicious of health services centralising in Dunedin as this often means less up here or Invercargill and having to travel to Dunedin, which is really hard. that’s a 4 hr drive and there’s no air service, we can get to Christchurch (or Auckland for that matter) easier than we can get to Dunedin. Town isn’t Dunedin any more.

      Initiatives like moving administrative functions to Dunedin fromAuckland or Wellington and incentives for manufacturing to get the place humming again.

      • Paul Campbell 8.1.1

        I’m not sure we really had a say in the merger that created the SDHB, it was sort of foisted on us by the same govt that we all see is now responsible for the mess our local health system has begun

      • tracey 8.1.2

        It must also be a concern that the University is shedding staff, and currently has all staff reappkying for their jobs.

        • timeforacupoftea 8.1.2.1

          Tracy that is a load of rubbish what you are saying that “all staff reapplying for their jobs”. STOP ! get your facts correct !

          Leave our leader to use her skills and Qualification : Bachelor of Communication Studies. Major subjects : Public Relations, Politics _ to win this election.

          • Tracey 8.1.2.1.1

            Well I have colleagues in 2 different departments who have been told they must all reapply for their jobs.

            • tracey 8.1.2.1.1.1

              Well, time for a cuppa, I have colleagues in 2 different departments who have been told they must all reapply for their jobs.

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    The hospital is a big deal to Dunedin, and because of the Med School it’s pretty tied up with the University too. Most of the senior folk are too polite to say what they really think of Bill’s austerity pogrom. But the nurses are not. Dunedin is not fooled, and not happy with Bill at all.

  10. Michael 10

    “This time round let’s hope Labour is in a position to deliver!” Let’s hope indeed, but let’s not forget Labour’s “promise” to increase health spending is heavily conditional on the money getting spent “over time” and “as condtions allow”.

    • Tricledrown 10.1

      Michael so what are Nationals conditions make a promise after years of deliberately underfunding the SDHB and abusing management and staff.
      National has lost 1,000s of votes in Dunedin and the South.
      Funding has been deliberately cut with the funding model used .
      National have used the average age of NZ to fund SDHB with the SDHB has the largest % of older people needing much higher levels and more expensive healthcare.

      • timeforacupoftea 10.1.1

        I doubt National ever has had those votes you talk about Tricledown.
        Dunedin North and South are true safe labour seats.
        We in Dunedin have been shafted by both Labour and National since the 1960’s.
        In more recent times just ask David Benson Pope, EX Labour MP shafted by Helen Clark for something that never happened, but made Helen look strong for dumping the poor blighter.

        The SDHB in Dunedin has been in a rundown state forever, 30 years or more.
        We have had terrible boards, terrible theft, IT staff imprisoned etc etc.
        I am surprised there has not been a documentary made on how to rip off the public purse from our area alone.

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