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Budget Must Address Funding For Waiting Lists

SUNDAY 14 MAY 2006

Budget Must Address Funding For Waiting Lists

“Thursday’s budget must deal with the underlying issue - proper funding, not bulk under funding, of public hospital waiting lists,” Eleanor Carter Spokesperson of Health Cuts Hurt said today.

She was commenting on the spectacle of further cuts to waiting lists across NZ as the population watches sicker and sicker patients being referred back to their GPs, while the Minister of Health talks of a ‘manufactured crisis.’

“Funding for operations has to be related to patient need not some arbitrary financial figure based on out of date statistics. The Government terms its bulk funding model called ‘population based funding’ as if it were fair. The situation is worst in the Canterbury DHB where this arbitrary formula means actual funding cuts to that region,” said Eleanor Carter.

“The Government promised on its election pledge card before the 1999 election that it would cut waiting times for operations,” said Eleanor Carter. “The public is seeing it cut waiting lists, but not in the way we expected.”

“There needs to be a substantially bigger funding cake provided so that the Minister, who publicly rated our health system as 5.5 out of 10, can allow it to get closer to the 10 out of 10 it should be. New Zealander will be watching Thursday’s budget very closely to see if this substantial boost occurs, along with recognition that the PBF model needs re-examination,” said Eleanor Carter.

ENDS

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