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Focus on what’s important

Opinion Piece

We certainly don’t want the same old, same old as it seems some councillors are saying. I agree with our Gisborne Herald editor’s questioning of the vast expense being signalled for the redevelopment of the Olympic Pool complex, at a time when the council is committing itself to so much other spending — and with plans to ramp up our rates and debt to do so. I realise other funding is involved too but a lot of it is hard-earned money from ratepayers and taxpayers. Some councillors just don’t seem to have the right focus.What I wish to concentrate on now, though, is the Health Board — which also has five councillors on it. I understand these people get paid $18,000 each for diddly squat. We never see reports of what work they are doing and plan to do, and what their goals are in the health sector. Well, I can assure you all that cancer should be their No.1 priority owing to the number of sufferers here per capita, which is the highest in New Zealand. Obviously there are many other pressing health issues for this region too, but to me cancer needs a much greater focus.No excuses please, we need weekly or monthly reports on what they are achieving or plan to achieve spelt out in The Gisborne Herald as well as maybe newsletters like the GDC emails out. The good, bad and the ugly is what we want.Our health board needs to take up the fight for Pharmac to fund our cancer sufferers. Australia funds about 50 immunotherapy drugs. Olivia Newton John has also been on TV auctioning the clothes she wore in the film Grease to help fund her own cancer hospital. What a great lady she is. First up, the health board should write to Immigration NZ to advocate residency for a world renowned US cancer specialist, as he worked here and wants to teach you guys how to treat cancer in Gisborne. Anne Tolley and I can’t do all the work the health board should be doing.Alain Jorion