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Health Sector Warns Annette King Over Reforms

The first day of oral submissions to the select committee has seen National's concerns about the health reforms echoed by key groups in the health sector, National Health Spokesperson Wyatt Creech said today.

The Health Select Committee heard its first day of submissions on the Health Reform legislation, the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Bill, today.

"Some essential National concerns were echoed by the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA), Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and the New Zealand Aids Foundation.

"The NZMA saw high risks of increased bureaucracy and fragmentation of services. These are common concerns among the health sector about the Government's proposed reforms," Mr Creech said.

The Medical Association told the Select Committee that there is little, if any, evidence that District Health Boards will bring better health outcomes and say that the structure will pose significant risks to the health system and delivery of effective care. They also identified a potential conflict of interest with DHBs being both the provider and the purchaser of health services.

The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners expressed a worry that primary health care will suffer as a result of District Health Boards being dominated by hospitals.

The Aids Foundation expressed concern at the potential for inconsistent provision of services amongst the twenty-one District Health Boards. They also expressed a concern shared with many non-government organisations about the prospect of contracting with up to 21 separate DHBs.

"Clearly Labour's proposal for the health system will create more problems than it solves and will be an obstacle to improvements rather than a catalyst," Mr Creech said. Ends

A printable formatted copy of this press release will be available on http://www.national.org.nz along with an archive of previous releases.

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