Dunedin is getting a brand new $1.4 billion hospital. Great for them – any major investment in health is to be congratulated. But the investment is out of this world compared to the $70 million invested in a new Southland Hospital in Invercargill back in 2004.
I crunched the numbers and Dunedin’s $1.4 billion hospital is the equivalent of $6,863 for every person in the Otago constituency of the Southern DHB. By comparison, even after factoring in inflation since 2004, the Southland hospital replacement was only equivalent to $993 for each person living in Southland and Queenstown at the time.
The scale of the difference in investment between the two seems hard to explain.
I know that Dunedin is also a teaching hospital and expected to deal with some of the more complex medical interventions, but that doesn’t seem enough to justify the gap.
And access to healthcare in Southland and Queenstown is becoming acute.
Populations in Queenstown and across Southland are growing and these areas are demanding urgent investment in local healthcare options.
Could a fraction of Dunedin’s massive new hospital investment not have been spread elsewhere?
Inequalities such as these need explanations.
I will advocate for clarity and transparency in all decision-making.
Let’s make health happen.
Vote Benje Patterson for the Southern DHB, Southland constituency.
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