Public meeting on East Care

Local MPs Simeon Brown, left, and Christopher Luxon are hosting a public meeting about the loss of East Care’s overnight medical service. Times photo Wayne Martin

People upset at the loss of east Auckland’s only overnight medical service are invited to express their views at a public meeting on the issue.

Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown and Botany MP Christopher Luxon are campaigning to have East Care Accident and Medical’s overnight service reinstated.

The 11pm-7am service in Botany Road operated for more than 20 years.

Counties Manukau District Health Board funded it from 2014-2018.

East Care funded it since then but shut it down in December last year.

Brown and Luxon are hosting a public meeting on the issue on March 31 with Counties Manukau District Health Board chief executive Margie Apa and chairman Mark Gosche.

They’ll listen to people’s concerns and participate in a discussion about the future of healthcare in east Auckland.

Brown says the meeting follows work he and Luxon have done in the past three months to have the 24/7 service reinstated.

“Unfortunately, the DHB is not currently interested in reversing this decision,” he says.

“They claim Middlemore Hospital can adequately handle the demand from east Auckland, despite the DHB requesting people not to come to the emergency department due to being overloaded in recent months.

“We are committed to continuing the work to bring back this service and to advocate for more health services to be delivered locally in our area.”

Luxon previously told the Times he’s heard from constituents about their negative experiences at Middlemore Hospital’s emergency department.

“It’s just a poor customer experience, with people sitting on the floor or being told to go away and come back later when a doctor’s on. Middlemore is overwhelmed.”

He points out east Auckland is the only part of the city without local afterhours or 24/7 care.

“People are travelling a long way to Middlemore and often these people are in quite a lot of pain and discomfort.”

Brown and Luxon launched a petition calling for the 24-7 service to be reinstated that was signed by more than 10,000 people and presented to Apa and the DHB’s board.

They’ve also met with Apa and her executive leadership team and the DHB’s board to discuss the issue.

  • The public meeting with Margie Apa and Mark Gosche is at 7pm on March 31 at St Columba Church, 480 Ti Rakau Drive, Botany.