WAKARI SECONDARY HOSPITAL.
to THE LMTOK. Sir,—The Otago Hot-pital Board dedded last night to purchase Mr Tiiburn's proprrtv at Wa.kari for it secondary hospital. It is w.']] known that there nre a large number of objectors in the locality to the, establishment! of this hospital. I am not concerned at present as to whether their objections are well founded or no!. What dopfi concern ino is that the board have ignored the express request of the Minute- of Fiiblic Health—and, indeed, apparently the requirements of the law—tliat he should be consulted before any final derision is arrived at. Towards the end of last month, at the r»quost of a number of resident' of tho district, T wired to the Minister on th<: matter. He replied that it was not likely th=» board would proceed to the establishment of any new institution without first, plarini tho'matter before him and obtaining his consent, and if it rani" before him officially he would request the board 1o defer the matter until his next visit to Dune-din. One would have thought this intimation, which was convoyed to the chairman, would have liem r-nffioient to stay the board's hand until all v.-artka could he heard by the Minister. On Mondav last I was strain nppioacl.od by the objectors, and I acain wired tothe Minister to know the position. I received a reply yesterday rr follows: Have wired chairman. Hospital Board urgently as follows:—"Trust pursuant to section 61 lo) your board will let me know of its present proposals regarding (he establishment secondary hospital before any final decision is arrived at,— R. H. Rhodes. Notwithstanding thu? emphatic statement, the board went on their way and contracted to pureJms/3 the property. Now, tho Act expressly states that no new institution shall he. established without the previous consent in writing of the Minister. In their eagerness to purchase, are the board prepared to ignore the cafeguards Lmpoeed by law as well as the ordinary courtesy due to the Minister? As I have stated, the objectors may or may not have a case. All that I asked was that the board should afford them an opportunity of stating their case to tho Minister. Thia reasonable request the board denies them.—l am, etc., Wii. Downie Stbwabx. December 18.
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WAKARI SECONDARY HOSPITAL., Evening Star, Issue 15679, 18 December 1914