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Cost Of Health Reforms Stab In The Dark

Cost Of Health Reforms Stab In The Dark

Cabinet has been asked to approve massive health restructuring on a leap of faith with absolutely no sound evidence about what it will cost or save, Opposition Health spokesperson Wyatt Creech said today.

"Papers obtained by the Opposition show Cabinet has made decisions based on very little information on the price tag of the reforms.

"The papers show the Minister of Health has come up with a general ballpark figure for the costs of the restructuring, and another figure for savings from the reforms. Conveniently they match.

"But there's absolutely no detail about where the money will be spent or where it will be saved.

"The Minister of Health is hiding other papers on the costs. She must front up with the detail so health professionals and the public can find out where the money is going, and where it is being saved.

"The papers estimate initial costs of $12million - and ongoing costs of $124million a year and ongoing savings of $124million a year.

"Officials have issued warnings that the figures are just estimates - and are subject to change because a lot of decisions haven't been made, and there are a large number of fiscal risks outstanding.

"We are a week away from legislation coming in that will turn the health sector on its head and the Government has no real idea how much the reforms will cost. It is very much in the public interest for people to know the detail of the costs.

"The Minister should reverse her decision to keep other reports on the costs secret and be up front to New Zealanders."


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