Ministry talks on Ashburn

The Ministry of Health says it needs to hear from Ashburn Clinic, in Dunedin, before forming a view of the private psychiatric hospital's situation.

Former chairman Bruce Smaill, whose 35-year tenure ended last Monday, told the Otago Daily Times last week he was feeling more optimistic that the ministry would increase publicly-funded bed numbers, which would strengthen the clinic's financial position.

Ministry of Health sector capability and implementation deputy director-general Cathy O'Malley said the ministry was meeting clinic representatives on Thursday for a regular catch-up.

''Ashburn has advised us they wish to provide an overview of their situation and discuss their ongoing contract with the ministry at the meeting.

''The ministry needs to hear first from Ashburn Clinic before forming a view about the current situation or any future path.''

The ministry had a long-standing relationship with Ashburn, which consistently delivered its 25-bed contract.

The contract was for acute and sub-acute services, including eating disorders, personality disorders, alcohol and drug disorders, and mood disorders.



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