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Politicians Debate the State of the Nations Health

Politicians Debate the State of the Nations Health

On Friday October 3 the Great Health Debate will be open to the public at the Fisher and Paykel Auditorium of the Auckland Business School. In contrast to the recent health debate for Doctors, the Great Health Debate will ask the questions politicians would prefer to avoid. Topics of debate will be policies to restore the nation to health and efficiency in the use of taxpayer’s money. Members of Parliament speaking will be Dr. Jonathan Coleman (National’s Associate Health Spokesperson), Sue Kedgley (Greens’ Health Spokesperson), Sir Rodger Douglas (Act), Judith Turner (United Future), and Naida Glavish from Maori.

Also invited to speak will be political candidates OIiver Woods (Resident Action Movement) and John Pemberton (Democrats for Social Credit).

Each will be given time to outline the main points of their party’s health policy and will be asked a set of prepared questions. Nicola Grace, spokeswoman for Health Freedom, organizers of the event, says a representative cross-section of New Zealanders was surveyed to gather the questions to be asked. “We wanted to determine the real issues concerning in-the-street New Zealanders, not just the issues that the media focus on. We were a little surprised at some of the questions asked repeatedly, particularly about waiting lists. I can’t wait to hear each candidate’s response,” she says.

Mike Francis-Roberson, broadcaster, writer and political observer, will adjudicate. He comes to the Great Health Debate with an open mind and determination to see the questions answered with honesty and integrity. It promises to be a lively night. He says "I'm pleased and honoured to be invited to host the Great Health Debate - I see it as a firm platform for establishing just where the various political parties stand on the important and real health issues facing New Zealanders today. The results should prove to be a clear indicator for concerned voters in the upcoming national election".

Health Minister David Cunliffe has declined to take part or provide a substitute speaker to present Labour’s response. His office sent an email to the organisers saying “The Minister does not believe your organisation is engaged in serious policy debate”.

Issues such as “The death toll arising from doctor-prescribed drugs is three times greater than the road toll,”really do deserve debate, says Ms Grace. “David Cunliffe’s zero response gives weight to the observation by ex-pat billionaire Stephen Jennings that New Zealand needs to start debating ‘sacred cows’ like the health system.” She describes the Minister’s reply as a ‘sacred cow’ response.

“He does not want to even acknowledge this can of worms, let alone open it. I guess we’ll just have to hope other politicians are brave enough to tackle these issues that effect the lives and livelihoods of Health Freedom.”

The Minister will not be present to respond on the following issues:
• $50million more has been spent on Healthcare yet the system continues to deteriorate.
• 22,000 people suffered adverse reactions to legally prescribed drugs in the last year alone.
• More than 1,600 die each year from physician-induced medications, greater than the road toll.


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