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Insurance Increase Shows Govt Failure On Hospitals

Media Statement For Immediate Release,
Monday 7 august 2006

“Health Insurance Increase Sign of Government Failure Over Public Hospitals”

“The increase in health insurance reported by New Zealand’s largest insurer Southern Cross is a sign of government failure over public hospitals,”said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“This increase appears to be directly linked to district health boards increasingly denying patients access to first specialist assessments and to dumping patients off waiting lists without any coherent strategy to address their clinical needs.”

“We are not criticising private health insurance. New Zealanders should always consider the option of insurance. But it is an indictment of government policy when this is driven by difficulties in access to public hospital services.”

“The government has unwisely taken its eye off the importance of public hospitals for some years now and it is time that it refocused.”

“We need a coherent and effective strategy over access to public hospital services that is more than treating general practitioners as a dumping ground,” concluded Mr Powell.

Ian Powell



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