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Health Minister Ticks Off Another Pledge

MEDIA RELEASE, April 27, 2000

Health Minister Ticks Off Another Pledge

Health Minister Annette King today announced an extra $21 million for elective surgery, and said she was delighted to tick off another item on the Government's pre-election pledge card.

"The Government has only been in office for four months, and we have used the first opportunity we have had to put more money into elective surgery with the aim of reducing waiting times.

"We haven't waited until the Budget before making a move. The extra money will be targeted to reduce the time people are waiting for surgery, and it will go into those areas that have the longest waiting times."

Mrs King said the $21 million consisted of an appropriation from the Consolidated Fund.

"The money will be spread around New Zealand, but I want it to go to the areas of highest need. I also want to utilise public capacity as much as possible, including capacity at smaller public hospitals."

Mrs King said the Health Funding Authority and the Ministry of Health would be working together to establish priorities for distributing the extra funding.

"I have been telling people around the country that the Government remains committed to its pre-election pledge to reduce waiting times. I am delighted to be able to give them evidence of that commitment."

ENDS

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