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[continued from previous page] the town's hospital, in spite of a resolution via the Palmerston North board that it be closed.

Under the standard procedure for closing any hospital, the board's recommendation must be submitted through the Department of Health, to the Hospital Advisory Council, which in turn, must gain the Minister of Health's approval for any final decision.

Mr Titcombe hoped this would give the towns-people's action group more time to4th, strengthen its forces. One intention was to have the Hospital Advisory Council hold it's meeting in Foxton so that the townspeople could attend, "en masse" as only 60 Foxtonians were at the Palmerston North Hospital Board's March meeting, where it had decided to move on towards closure of the Maternity Hospital.

The newspapers reported that the fate of Foxton Maternity Home hung in the balance, once more. The decision had been made to close the home at a Palmerston Hospital Board's meeting in November 1980, but the issue was to be re-opened on March 30 1982. (The board had agreed to leave the final decision for one year to appease the, townspeople).

Throughout 1981, the Action Committee continued to meet regularly since the firs closure discussions in 1980, and worked hard to keep tabs on developments. They had written continuously to MP's and other organisations for help, and each person or organisation,contacted, responded favourably and in turn, wrote to the Palmerston North Hospital Board with letters of support and encouragement to keep the Home open and functioning. This was very encouraging. Mayor Mr J.L.Titcombe wanted as many townspeople as possible to write to the minister of health with their concerns, - to cover fo his desk with letters if possible! The more the better!

The Maternity Home Action Committee also advertised for a senior midwife during 1981, in the Dominion, NZ Herald, the Nursing Journal, 'Kai Teake', receiving three applications, but upon answering them truthfully about the struggle to keep the Home, open the applicants did not respond any further.

The Palmerston North Chief Nursing Officer had worked hard to acquire a senioi midwife for Foxton too, advertising widely through-out New Zealand, receiving five applications, but in the end - to no avail.

At their 1982 February meeting, the up-dated Foxton submissions were received by Board members, which then instigated the Board to hold-over the public meeting until 30th March 1982, where residents could be present to put forward their submissions;- in the Medical Centre of Palmerston North Hospital. From early 1982, the Action Committee continued sending out letters for support from as many people as possible in readiness for the Board's meeting on 30th March.

At a Board meeting in April, the Board voted 7 for and 7 against the closure.

In May, the two-man sub-committee of the Hospital Advisory Council passed on their reports to the Council, which were then sent on to the Minister of Health.

June 23rd saw another Public hearing in the Memorial Hall, with Hospital Advisor council present.

The Maternity Hospital Action committee continued circulating letters for help during July, in readiness for the 19th August Public hearing in the Memorial Hall, Foxton.


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Foxton Maternity Home 1942-1982 Page 46


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