Tuesday 5 June
Media release from United Community Action Newtown (UCAN)
In a classic case of David versus Goliath, concerned members of the Newtown community will protest the quarter million funding cut to the Newtown Union Health Service on Friday.
NUHS has been told by the Capital and Coast District Health Board that it will lose $274,000 in funding from July 1, 2012. The frontline primary health care service caters to South Wellington’s most vulnerable communities, looking after people who have difficulty accessing appropriate and affordable health care due to socio-economic deprivation and language barriers.
“These cuts will hugely impact our community,” says NUHS patient and community spokesperson Debbie Leyland. “[NUHS] will have to dramatically reduce the services they offer, which means our most vulnerable communities will have less access to primary health care.”
“Health cuts hurt communities, and they cost us more in the long term.”
The cuts are indicative of wider cuts to public health across the board. The 2012 budget sees the government taking $129 million from the health sector over the next four years.
““The Government is taking a bottom-of-the-cliff approach to our health system,” Ms Leyland says. “These cuts will reduce the well-being of our whole community.”
United Community Action Newtown (UCAN) has formed in response to the cuts, and comprises patients of NUHS and the wider Newtown community. They will protest outside the CCDHB Board Meeting at Wellington Hospital this Friday.
Southern Ward City Councillor Paul Eagle supports the community’s campaign to save Newtown’s primary health service.
“This funding cut will mean no more visits to the doctor for many families. I challenge those unsupportive District Health Board members to hit the streets with me and meet first hand, the very people impacted by this.”
Local politicians will join the community for the protest, which leaves NUHS (14 Hall Ave) to march to Wellington Hospital at 8:30am on Fri 8th June.
Representatives of the community will then present oral submissions inside the CCDHB Board Meeting at 9am.