It's fantastic to see the Hawke's Bay District Health Board listening to its people.
Not only listening but apologising following an outcry over letters sent to elderly Hawke's Bay people informing them that their inhome help services were being cut.
It goes to show that if the community comes together and uses it voice and its newspaper, people listen.
I have to say it was badly executed but I do understand the need to use money wisely.
Spending money ensuring our elderly are living in a clean home is money well spent. Home help is not just about vacuuming and sweeping the floor.
• Home help is on its way: All 605 Hawke's Bay elderly to have service reinstated, will get apology
• Premium - DHB apologises for tone of letter suggesting elderly do housework to stay healthy
• Home help services unaffected by sale
For some elderly people it's one of the few contacts, if not the only one, they have with the outside world.
I know that when my mum's cleaner came they had a good old chinwag and most often a cup of tea to boot. You really can't put a price on that, especially for those without families living near by.
Also for some elderly the thought of asking family or friends to do their housework was out of the question. They don't want to be a burden. Sad but true.
We need to all remember that one day that will be us. There's no surer thing in life than the fact none of us get out alive and the lucky ones live to a ripe old age.
Staying fit and active is important but for some it's just not possible due to heath problems or accidents.
There is no doubt our health system is under enormous pressure. You just need to go to A & E to see this. Many in our community simply can't afford doctor's fees and although they know that A & E stands for Accidents and Emergencies they feel they have no other choice.
I'm not sure how we can fix this and it's really not my job to but maybe the people calling the shots at the DHB could put some thought into it.
One Facebook reader reacting to the story about home help had some good ideas. They said "How about you charge the tourists via medical insurance for their care and bill drug and drink drivers? I don't care if it takes a lifetime to pay off _ that's their consequence _ that would free up much needed funds in the DHB and ACC."
Perhaps the government needs to make it compulsory for anyone travelling to NZ to have medical insurance.
And yes why not charge drunk and drug drivers for the medical bills of their victims.
That's just a couple of ideas — although they are more to do with government than DHB.
Here's another. Why not charge a minimum fee at A & E for everyone even if it is just $5.
On January 2, 165 people presented at the emergency department. Yes it was a public holiday so many doctors' offices would have been shut, just imagine being on duty that day, doctors and nurses would have been pushed to the limit.
Now if each of those people were charged $5 that's $825. Not a lot but its something.
Maybe enough to pay for the bandages for the day.
It might just deter people with a sore toe from presenting.
Lastly a big shoutout to all the staff that worked at our hospital over Christmas and New Year. You are awesome.