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Labour’s Illusory Health Pledges Not Commitments

7 August 2005

Labour’s Illusory Pledges Not Commitments

“Labour’s last two health pledges in 1999 and 2002 proved illusory and beg the question of whether the future for the health sector is really with Labour,” Eleanor Carter Spokesperson of Health Cuts Hurt said today. She was commenting on the coming Labour Party health pledge for the 2005 election.

“In 1999 Labour promised to ‘focus on patients not profit’ yet Annette King closed down and allowed to be sold Queen Mary Hospital in Hanmer - precisely because it was unprofitable,” said Eleanor Carter. “In the past two years, Labour has cut CDHB funding via Population Based Funding and the focus has been on deficits, not patients with 10,500 Cantabrians cut completely off waiting lists.”

“In 1999, Labour also promised to ‘cut waiting times for surgery’,” said Eleanor Carter. “But instead we have the Government’s “active review” system where thousands of patients who currently do not cross the bar for elective surgery are supposedly provided with a programme of “active care and review” which “GPs and specialists involved in the system mockingly term ‘passive parking’.”

“In 2002, Labour pledged ‘better access to primary health care so problems can be tackled early.’ Yet the cost of Doctor’s visits is now dearer for most Kiwis.”

“With a $7b surplus the Government should be urgently reducing the waiting lists and making Doctors visits free,” said Eleanor Carter.

“A pledge that promised to keep the two previous pledges would be a start.”

ENDS

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