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Register urged for those with asbestos concerns

Labour is calling for Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to set up a register so that people who believe they may have been exposed to asbestos at Dunedin Hospital can be assessed and monitored if they wish.

“Positive tests have revealed asbestos on four floors of the hospital, in both work rooms and public areas,” Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says. 

“Officials can’t rule out that patients and staff haven’t come into contact with asbestos, and won’t say whether patients, including pregnant women, will be notified of the possible exposure.

“That’s not good enough.The incident is serious enough to warrant concern.

“Recording the details of anyone who believes they may have been exposed and guaranteeing follow up monitoring would at least provide some reassurance.

“No-one should have to live with the constant worry their health might be affected.

“Dr Coleman and his colleagues need to act now. They also need to get the rebuild off the ground sooner rather than later.”