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Health Bill must be sent back to drawing board


Wyatt Creech

National Health Spokesperson

Thursday 3 August 2000

Health Bill must be sent back to drawing board

National will seek Parliament's approval for the Health Minister to defer the first of the health reform legislation until she can sort out splits in the Government ranks over it, National's Health spokesperson Wyatt Creech said today.

"The legislation was public for less than 24 hours before the wheels started coming off it with the Associate Minister of Health and Labour MP John Tamihere and Alliance MP Willie Jackson all unhappy and threatening not to support it.

"The political infighting that has erupted in the Government over the Bill is unnerving health professionals at a time when they are already unsettled about the law change.

"The legislation brings in major change and uncertainty to our health sector and health services. In addition to the concerns from Government Maori MPs the Bill contains many unanswered questions because policy work is still going in.

"With Government MPs unable to even decide whether they support the legislation it is clear that it in no shape to be considered by the House.

"The only option is for Annette King to take the legislation back to the drawing board in the interests of limiting the damage from the Bill.

"We will support her pulling the Bill from the House to do more work on it."

Ends


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