The Star: June 22, 2017

StarMedia.Digital

10 Thursday June 22 2017

Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi

The Star

News

Doctors warn of wait times

Street lights

set to go LED

• By Bridget Rutherford

THE CITY’S street lights could be

replaced with LED technology in

a bid to save $1.6 million each year

in electricity costs.

The city council is preparing an

application to the New Zealand

Transport Agency to apply for

funding to do the work.

City council planning and delivery

transport manager Lynette

Ellis said it would cost about $25.5

million to replace the city’s 38,000

street lights, excluding parks.

If the city council’s application

is approved, NZTA would pay for

about $21.6 million of the total

cost.

Twelve per cent of the street

lights on roads already have LED

lights. For 2017, electricity to run

the street lights was expected to

cost $4.6 million, Ms Ellis said.

Dunedin City Council will begin

replacing its 15,000 street lights

with LED technology soon, at a

total cost of $14 million.

• By Gabrielle Stuart

YOU MAY face a wait to see a

doctor this winter, as both GPs

and hospitals warn they are at

capacity.

The Canterbury District

Health Board, which has

expressed

concern that beds

at Christchurch

Hospital will be

full this winter,

has asked people

to call their

Kate

Baddock

community

doctor first if they

are sick.

But the city’s

GPs have said they are also

worried about numbers, and are

already struggling to fit people

in for appointments.

CDHB planning and funding

general manager Carolyn

Gullery said a number of

strategies were in place to

manage the situation,

including an “acute demand

programme” that could treat

people at home.

She was concerned about

bed numbers, especially at

Christchurch Hospital, she said.

“It will be a challenging

winter and we recommend that

Capacity: The city’s GPs have said they are struggling to fit

people in for appointments this winter.

the people who have health

conditions that can become

worse in winter connect with

their general practice team and

develop a plan about what to do

if they become unwell,” she said.

New Zealand Medical

Association chairwoman Kate

Baddock told The Star doctors

had reported being too busy to

see more patients.

That was because funding

constraints meant some medical

centres could not afford enough

doctors, Dr Baddock said.

But Christchurch doctors

say they will not turn people

away.

Hornby

Medical

Centre practice

manager Rosie

Kennedy said

appointments

were kept free

for urgent cases,

and people with

illnesses like the

flu would be seen.

She said funding was a

David

Jones

problem, as they would build

an extra room and bring in an

extra doctor if they had more

money.

David Jones, a director

of Better Health practices,

which includes the Linwood,

Moorhouse and Barrington

medical centres, said they were

under a lot of pressure.

As well as the cost of extra

patients, he said GPs had

also faced extra technological

and health and safety requirements,

and the funding had

not kept up.

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