Judith Collins spoke outside the Nelson Hospital this morning. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Hospital replacement a National priority


National leader Judith Collins came to Nelson this week in the latest stop on her election campaign trail.

Judith spoke outside the Nelson Hospital on Monday morning where she announced that a National Government would prioritise the replacement of the hospital, providing a facility that is earthquake-proof and fit for purpose.

“Nelson needs new hospital buildings and National will deliver them.”

She says National will prioritise the upgrade of Nelson Hospital starting with community consultation in 2021, and then pending progress, design in 2022 and consenting and contractor selection in 2023.

Nelson MP Nick Smith says National will focus on the delivery of a suitable facility that meets the needs of Nelson for decades to come.

“Nelson’s main hospital buildings do not meet earthquake standards, have insufficient beds for the region’s growing population and are not of an acceptable standard for patients or health professionals.”

Nick says everyone should have the opportunity to access world class healthcare regardless of income, background or postcode.

“National is investing in our future by delivering improvements to our public health system that will help generations to come.”

However, Labour’s Nelson candidate Rachel Boyack has questioned National’s ability to deliver on its promises.

“After nine years of neglect and underfunding by National, Labour has made record investments in capital infrastructure in health.”

Rachel says she struggles to see how they will achieve their health promises with “irresponsible tax cuts and an economic plan that doesn’t add up”.

“They haven’t even costed their Nelson Hospital announcement. Where is the money? Nelson needs significant investment in health, including a new hospital, and the surest way we will get this is by re-electing a Labour government with a new Nelson Labour MP who will be a strong, positive, voice inside a Jacinda Ardern-led Labour government.”

Nick counters that saying that National built or budgeted for hospitals in Blenheim, Kaikoura, Christchurch and Greymouth during its last term. He challenged Rachel and Labour to set out their own plan for when it might redevelop Nelson Hospital.