It’s been an extremely busy couple of weeks for the Government as we deal with the aftermath of the earthquake that occurred in the early hours of 15 November.
I was down in Kaikoura last Thursday, checking on the health system response. While local health workers performed outstandingly, they were feeling pretty exhausted. There’s obviously a long way to go to get the town back on its feet, and we will absolutely be giving people in the affected areas all the support they need.
Two other developments nationally on the health front this week:
Firstly, I was in Queenstown on Monday to open the Emergency Department Conference. Research by Auckland University shows that the E.D. target of ensuring 95% of all patients are in and out of hospital emergency departments within six hours saves 700 lives per year – the target has literally been a life saver, and that is a fantastic result.
Secondly, we’ve announced that the national bowel screening programme will be rolled out to Counties-Manukau and Southern DHBs this year, joining Waitemata, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa DHBs. The programme will be rolled out to the other 15 DHBs over the subsequent two years. When finally implemented, it is estimated that up to 700 new cancers will be detected each year – again literally a life saver.
Another significant development is that all three of the Auckland DHBs (Auckland, Waitemata and Counties Manakau) are to be chaired by Dr Lester Levy, which will really improve planning and service delivery across the region.
In the Electorate
Christmas isn’t too far away, and there’s a lot going on – I was at the Glenfield Christmas Parade last Sunday, and we have the Birkenhead Parade coming up on Sunday 11 December.
Recently I spoke at the Northcote College Sports Prizegiving – what a really impressive range of talented sports people at the school.
Saturday 9 December sees the Sunrise to Sunset Soccerthon at Beach Haven Sports Cemtre. It’s a continuous soccer game, which lasts literally all day. Proceeds will go to the Starship Foundation and Heart 4 Youth Trust.
Anyway, enjoy the lead up to Christmas.
MP for Northcote