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Health Restructuring Costs Hot Air - Nats

Media Statement Rt Hon Wyatt Creech Opposition Health Spokesperson

Wednesday 26 January 2000

HEALTH RESTRUCTURING COSTS HOT AIR

The Health Minister's costs of restructuring the health sector are just hot air, Opposition Health spokesperson Wyatt Creech said today.

"Annette King stated that absorbing the Health Funding Authority into the Ministry of Health would cost between $3 and $4 million, and would be absorbed within current administrative baselines.

"The figures are flakey. Under questioning today at the Health Select Committee the Health Ministry admitted the figures were "preliminary" - no supporting detail was available. The Director of General of Health also did not react to my suggestion the figures were 'a stab in the dark'.

"The reality is the Labour-Alliance Government can not give any detail of the restructuring costs.

"The Minister of Health has indicated the $3-$4million included a range of costs included redundancy costs and yet the Health Funding Authority has not even provided any advice about these very costs.

"The HFA has revealed to the Health Select Committee they have not provided advice on the costs. In fact no supporting detail was available.

"The HFA has not done projections and says any would be pure speculation. "Labour's health reforms will cost money, cost jobs, cost institutional memory and divert energies from delivering health care.

"Once Labour gets the policy work done, and sees what all the costs are I urge them to think again about whether the reforms are worth it"

ENDS



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