Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Pre-Budget Announcement At Wellington Regional Hospital

Prime Minister Pre-Budget Announcement At Wellington Regional Hospital with Health Minister Tony Ryall

Scoop Audio + Video + Photos

By Mark P. Williams


Today the Prime Minister gave a pre-budget announcement at Wellington Regional Hospital; he was accompanied by Health Minister Tony Ryall.
He announced a number of new initiatives which came to an investment of $101m over four years which will be largely funded by an increase in prescription charges and other savings within the health sector.

Under the changes, prescription charges would increase from $3 to $5 for the first 20 prescriptions per year; after that they would be free. The Prime Minister emphasised that the level of prescription charges in New Zealand remained one of the lowest among comparable nations; lower than both the United Kingdom and Australia.

The Health Minister spoke of investments in surgery and cancer diagnosis and treatment. The Minister said that the government had increased elective surgery operations by 27,000 extra operations over the last five years and intended to increase this further. He said that he intended to increase availability of cancer treatment including investment in dedicated nurses who would act as first points of contact and case coordinators for cancer patients.

The Minister emphasised that the increase in prescription costs was limited to the first twenty items only, adding that no family need pay more than $40 per year for prescriptions.

************

Scoop Audio

Click a link to play audio (or right-click to download) in either
MP3 format or in OGG format.

Questions on Health

The PM was asked what allowances would be made for beneficiaries; he stated that this was the first increase in
The PM was asked how much of the spending on health would be coming from cuts in other departments and other areas
The PM and Health Minister were asked about the legal implications on recent legal judgments on payments for family members acting as carers for disabled or aged relatives
The Minister was asked if the increased prescription charges constituted a cut to frontline medical services—both the minister and PM emphatically rejected this

General Questions

The PM was asked questions about similar changes to education and other areas
The PM was asked about whether he would support gay marriage; he said that it was not his number one issue and reiterated that he considered economic issues to be larger priorities but indicated that he was not personally opposed to gay marriage.
The PM was asked why he was making changes to labour laws; he said that it was the fulfilment of policies the National Party had campaigned on: including allowing partial reductions for partial strikes, and removing the 30 day rule that forces non-union members to take union terms and conditions—the only new change was in the period of time allowed for unions or employers to initiate collective bargaining.
The PM was then asked whether he felt it was likely that New Zealand would be going into recession, he said that nothing he had seen indicated that this was the case

************

************


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Using Scoop Professionally? Introducing ScoopPro

ScoopPro is a new offering aimed at ensuring professional users get the most out of Scoop and support us to continue improving it so that Scoop continues to exist as a public service for all New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Don Rennie: Is It Time To Take ACC Back To First Principles?

The word “investing” has played a major part in the operations of the ACC since 1998... More>>

27-29 Sept: Social Enterprise World Forum Live Blog

1600+ delegates from more than 45 countries have came together to share wisdom, build networks and discuss how to create a more sustainable future using social enterprise as a vehicle. Attending the Forum were social enterprise practitioners, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, community leaders, investors, activists, academics and more from across the globe... More>>

HiveMind Report: A Universal Basic Income For Aotearoa NZ

Results from this HiveMind suggests that an overwhelming majority of Kiwis believe that due to changing circumstances and inefficiencies in the current system, we need a better system to take care of welfare of struggling members in our society. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Hivemind: Medical Cannabis - Co-Creating A Policy For Aotearoa

Welcome to the fourth and final HiveMind for Scoop’s Opening the Election campaign for 2017. This HiveMind explores the question: what would a fair, humane and safe Medical Cannabis policy look like for Aotearoa, NZ in 2018? More>>

ALSO: