The discovery of dangerous levels of asbestos at Dunedin Hospital confirms everyone’s worst fears and should jolt Jonathan Coleman into action, Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson David Clark says.
“Positive swab results have come from radiology on the first floor, a third floor laboratory, clinics and changing rooms on the fourth floor, and corridors on the fifth floor.
“That is horrifying. Hospital staff should not be working in a building that makes them sick and risks shortening their lives, nor should patients and other members of the public be exposed to it.
“Jonathan Coleman needs to explain why he is dragging his heels. Rather than more prevaricating, he must push for the rebuild work to start immediately.
“Dr Coleman’s complacency has stalled progress. To say that the next year will be spent re-examining previously written reports amounts to little more than navel-gazing.
“The asbestos threat makes the situation more urgent than ever. The Minister of Health needs to tell the public when a final business case for the hospital rebuild will be signed off by Cabinet, and he needs to commit to construction beginning by 2017 at the latest,” David Clark says.