Health system protest

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Carol Bryan in protest outside Ashburton Hospital on Monday.
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Sitting on the side of the road on hot day holding a placard is not how most 70-year-olds would want to spend their day.

But Carol Bryan is fed up with the health system and feels this is her only way to highlight the plight of her husband, John.

Carol spent most of Monday outside Ashburton Hospital protesting the way she and her husband have been treated under the public health system.

John was diagnosed in March last year with a severe aortic stenosis valve that needs to be replaced. Severe is the highest risk category and Carol says he could die at any time.

‘‘I’m protesting about the health system. It seems to be deteriorating, neither government have done anything about it and Andrew Little keeps saying he’s doing something about it but I don’t see any evidence of that.

‘‘I’ve got no where else to go, it is just so stressful dealing with (John’s) health and having to deal with the health system.’’

The couple are dependent on the public health system as they could no longer afford to pay their health insurance premiums after they retired.

The operation costs $80,000.

‘‘We’re relying on the health system that we paid taxes for years and years and there is no support there for us,’’ she said.

After John’s health took a turn for the worse last weekend, Carol rang the Christchurch cardiology department and was told he won’t get looked at until June.

‘‘I said to them he will not live that long.

‘‘I never thought it would come to this, I’m 70, he’s 73 and I’ve been left to deal with his health issues, I remember when we had the best health system in the world.

‘‘I want the support from the public and to let them know what’s happening, I think he is going to die before he gets his replacement valve.’’

On Tuesday Carol took her protest to Christchurch hospital. ‘‘I think I’ll go back every day until I get some response,’’ she said.