WCC Watch Soapbox: Chris Lipscombe – Holding the line on the Health Board

We have another candidate, Chris Lipscombe, standing for the Capital and Coast District Health Board up next on the WCC Soapbox. Questions or comments for Chris can be left below.

Holding the line on Capital & Coast District Health Board

I’m delighted to join David Choat and Grant Brookes in standing for CCDHB because community health services are under threat, and it will take a committed team on the Board to hold the line.

I’m not a health professional – I work with communities to create jobs and economic growth. You don’t need to be a health professional to know that healthy families and communities are essential to successful economic development.

I live in South Wellington and I work in Porirua. I see the connections between poverty and poor health outcomes in my own communities. I also sense growing frustration and anger in these communities that good health seems to have become a matter of what you can afford.

Like many others, I’m concerned that so many of our young people and their families are suffering the consequences of mental health issues, depression, uncontrolled drug use, poverty and despair, including high numbers of suspected suicides amongst high-risk mental health and addiction patients.

I’m also appalled that despite significant funding going into the Whanau Ora programme higher health losses are still occurring for Maori across the board, and especially in coronary heart disease, diabetes, lung cancer and pulmonary disease.

According to a University of Otago and Ministry of Health study published in 2011 and quoted by Tariana Turia in her address to the NZ Healthcare Summit just a few days ago, Maori receive fewer referrals and diagnostic tests, less effective treatment plans, are interviewed for less time, offered fewer opportunities for treatment, and are prescribed fewer secondary services such as physiotherapy.

As a Board member I will support actions and initiatives that take health solutions directly to the families and communities that need them – especially Maori and Pacific Island families, and especially our young people.

I’m pleased to see the level of support being given to the housing Warrant of Fitness programme. I’m also heartened to see the Post Primary Teachers’ Association encouraging the development of secondary schools as community hubs, providing health, social and community services to combat the effects of poverty on health and education.

In line with this holistic approach to improving living conditions and earlier intervention to prevent illnesses, I’m also pleased to see the government working with Porirua agencies and representatives to reduce avoidable hospital admissions. Top of the list are skin infections (19%), dental conditions (15%), bacterial/non-viral pneumonia (11%) and angina and chest pain (8%).

As a Board member I will support initiatives that take advantage of and work alongside community resources to deliver better primary care.

I will fight for the retention of emergency services at Kenepuru Hospital, and will seek to develop Kenepuru as a regional hub for secondary service provision across the Kapi-mana coast.

As a Board member I will advocate for a health and disability service that’s available to all – not just those that can afford it. I want to work with other like-minded Board members to build a health and disability service in our region that we can be proud of.

If you haven’t yet voted, vote for me as a Board member for CCDHB. You won’t regret it.

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