Few details for Health Board

Southern District Health Board members are not likely to have detailed costings of the various options when they make their initial decision on Wakatipu health services.

The only financial information in the proposals presented by chief executive Brian Rousseau earlier this month is that the board expects to save $500,000 a year by limiting access to the Lakes District Hospital emergency department for non-urgent cases between 8am and 10pm. from July.

This would be less any amount the board spent subsidising those not able to afford a resulting GP visit.

The cost of developing an integrated family health centre (IFHC) combining hospital and community health services at Lakes District Hospital or another site have yet to be spelled out.

Mr Rousseau said yesterday the early decision of the board would be on whether it supported the IFHC concept in principle "subject to the thing stacking up financially".

Costings for all options would be required before a final decision was made.

Staff and unions have until tomorrow to raise clinical or professional concerns and it is not known at this stage when the board will discuss the issue publicly.


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