The smile is wearing off.
John Key visited Levin today to open a new district court. The visit didn’t go to plan as he was heckled by 150 locals over health cuts – which will see the region lose 24 beds.
According to stuff:
Prime Minister John Key was booed by a noisy crowd protesting plans to cut 24 beds from Horowhenua’s $16.1 million health centre during a trip to Levin this morning.
Mr Key, who was in the town to open the new District Court building, was confronted by about 150 people who stood across the road waving placards to protest the planned cuts, which would leave just four maternity beds at the centre and force other patients to travel to Palmerston North or Wellington for treatment.
Protest organiser Katy Harding said the protest was arranged by locals upset at the cuts.
A MidCentral District Health Board advisory committee discussion document, leaked to The Dominion Post last month, suggests axing assessment, treatment and rehabilitation beds for elderly patients at the 28-bed centre, which opened 2 1/2 years ago. Axing the beds would save $2.3 million a year.
The DHB posted a $10.4 million deficit for the 2008-09 year, and is predicting a deficit of $8.9m for this year. The discussion document also suggested cutting 12 rehabilitation beds at Palmerston North Hospital, which would save the board $600,000 a year.
Get used to it Mr Key. I look forward to that slimy smile wearing off.
Just wait till the mining issue starts heating up.