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'Doctors on Pigs Back' Statement Upsets Doctors

24 August 2004

“national health spokesperson accuses senior doctors of being on the pig’s back; don brash should intervene”

“Senior doctors deserve to know whether the accusation by the National Party’s new health spokesperson, Judith Collins, that senior doctors are on the ‘pig’s back’ represents the official position of the National Party or is merely the irrational raving of someone who doesn’t know what she is talking about,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

Ms Collins made her accusation when interviewed on Larry Williams’ Newstalk ZB programme last night on the application of the Holidays Act to the health system.

“Ms Collins objects strongly to senior doctors being paid a little extra salary when providing emergency care on public holidays while she is eating her Christmas dinner. She is entitled to her mean-spirited prejudice, but accusing senior doctors of being on the ‘pig’s back’ because of this is reprehensible.”

“National Party leader Don Brash needs to intervene quickly in order to clarify whether or not Ms Collins is reflecting National Party official policy. If he fails to intervene then we will have to assume that her anti-doctor attitudes are shared by the National Party.”

“Ironically Ms Collins has also attacked her own associate health spokesperson Paul Hutchison who in a former life was a respected medical specialist. This is another problem for Don Brash to sort out,” concluded Mr Powell.


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