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Council to oppose any after-hours care reduction

BY ANDREA O'NEIL
Last updated 09:56 20/11/2012

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There will be no deterioration of Porirua's after-hours medical care on Porirua City Council's watch, city councillors declared last week.

Councillors voted unanimously last Wednesday on a notice of motion put forward by councillors Ken Douglas and Sue Dow, opposing any reduction or deterioration of availability of services at Kenepuru Hospital.

The introduction of service charges for access to emergency or after-hours services was also opposed.

The overnight Accident and Medical service at Kenepuru may be replaced by a roving paramedic service next year in a proposal put forward by local general practitioner Larry Jordan.

While the council has no power to decide the A & M's future, it can kick up a fuss and make the closure a political issue, Cr Douglas says.

The council is objecting to any after-hours model which doesn't match the service already provided by the A & M, he says.

"What we're saying as a council is they will have to come up with something better than what already exists."

Dr Jordan has said the proposed paramedic service would be free, but Mr Douglas anticipates charges in the future.

The council also voted last Wednesday to continue dialogue with a working party set up by Dr Jordan and the Capital & Coast District Health Board on the A & M's future, and to endorse Cr Ana Coffey as its working party representative.

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