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New Health Minister Gets Clear Health Message

New Health Minister Gets Clear Health Message


Media Statement
Rt Hon Wyatt Creech
Opposition Health Spokesperson
Friday 21 January 1999

NEW HEALTH MINISTER GETS CLEAR HEALTH MESSAGE

Briefing papers to the new Government send a clear message that restructuring the health system is the last thing we need to improve our health status, Opposition Health spokesperson Wyatt Creech said today.

“The health briefing papers show the health system is in much better shape and is continuing to improve. But they also show there are a range of challenges in the years ahead directly related to improving people’s health status.

“Turning the health sector on its head, creating instability and diverting everyone’s energy into restructuring and reapplying for jobs will not solve our health problems.

“The new Government has been advised that our public hospitals are now fundamentally in good shape. There is also growing confidence in the stability of the sector and more co-operation between hospitals.

“The worse thing that could happen for our health services is for unnecessary restructuring. The new Government has been advised that a stable environment in health is critical to success.

“In addition the new Government has been advised that the current structure with a clear separation of accountabilities in the health sector (separate purchaser and owner) is needed.

“Annette King should be responding to the health needs of the ageing population, getting more health services to those groups that aren’t accessing them and lifting our overall health status.

“I know the new Health Minister will reflect seriously on the papers, and the concerns she is hearing from the sector against her re-structuring plans.

“I and many in the health sector want to work with the new Government to keep improving the health system. I urge the new Health Minister to take time over the coming months and rethink her plans.”

Ends

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