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Silly Season Has Come Early


Silly Season Has Come Early

“The responses of the National and ACT parties to the Auckland District Health Board’s initiative to relieve pressure on its emergency department suggest that the silly season has come early,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“The Auckland DHB is providing financial incentives for those patients in its busy emergency department whose medical conditions are clearly minor to use private accident and medical services. This is a novel initiative which might provide some positive lessons.”

“But, because the DHB is calling the financial incentive a ‘voucher’, both the National and Act parties are suggesting that this represents acceptance of their own voucher proposals for the health system. The fact that the DHB is using the same name for a fundamentally different situation is immaterial to the politics of stretching the reality in order to point score.”

“If the DHB had chosen to call its initiative a subsidy then it probably would have been accused of introducing stereotyped policies of the former Soviet Union,” concluded Mr Powell.


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